Along with Barnbougle Dunes and Cape Wickham in Tasmania, the Bonville resort on the New South Wales north coast is probably the ideal resort for those wishing to take the non-golf partner on their next Australian golf holiday. The area itself is beautiful and with plenty to distract those averse to our great game, you are usually able to enjoy your golf free from any hint of petulance.
The overwhelming attractiveness of Bonville strikes the moment you drive through the gates with the resort and golf course literally carved through an undulating forest of huge flooded gums and native rainforest. Perfect for weddings, romantic getaways and relaxing sabbaticals the resort is also a place for serious getaway golf.
Aside from tall trees, flower beds and trickling creeks, Bonville is dominated by steep elevation changes from tee through green. There are plenty of nice views over and across the sloping ground with each hole totally secluded and surrounded by gums and dense forest foliage. Keeping the ball in play from the tee is an absolute imperative, while hitting greens in regulation is the biggest challenge as judging approach shots into the small targets from fairway crests and depressions can be awfully difficult.
Better moments include the numerous water holes and roller coaster fairways, such as the 5th and 18th. The short dogleg 16th hole, with a creek dissecting the fairway and a small pond fronting the green, is also good as is the par three 17th, played over a gorgeous lily filled pond.
Bonville’s immaculate garden beds and surrounding grounds complete with scores of flowering plants, including azaleas, have at various times had owners trumpeting the course as Australia’s Augusta. The truth is the golf course is nothing like MacKenzie's Masters masterpiece, although it does have lots of fans in Australia. In fact were one to conduct a people's choice ranking of Australia's most popular courses, it would likely appear quite high. Were the routing better and the shaping of greens and bunkers a little more sophisticated, however, Bonville would be a terrific golf course, rather than just a popular one.
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