12 Feb 2013

Industry veteran Graeme Grant has made public his plans for the Ocean Dunes golf course on King Island, in Tasmania. Grant and his development partner, course builder Bernie McMahon, have for some time held an option over a beautiful piece of ground at Three Rivers close to the Currie airport, which they have now exercised. The pair has been granted council approval for their development, and last year received approval from Parks Tasmania to place some holes on crown reserve land right alongside the coastline. They are now trying to secure project funding, via private investment and through government grants.

Those interested in remote golf development on King Island can find further details at the project website www.oceandunes.com.au

We visited the site at Three Rivers last year, and confirm that the land is very appealing and the holes right along the ocean have enormous potential. It does not quite boast the same raw drama of the other golf development site on King Island, at Cape Wickham in the north, but this project is much closer to the airport and the hope is that two quality courses would create a true destination. Interestingly, Grant had initially tried to purchase the site at Cape Wickham but missed out after the land was sold to another golf course builder, Andrew Purchase from the Turnpoint Group.

Graeme Grant is best remembered as the one-time superintendent at Kingston Heath, who turned his hand to design when he partnered with John Spencer and Jack Newton in the 1990s. He will be designing Ocean Dunes himself and then managing the turf once the golf holes are built. Grant’s biggest challenge on the Three Rivers site will be the routing, and handling the transition between nines and also between the holes on the ocean and those away from the shore. There is certainly enough natural beauty on the site to create a very good golf course.

Grant told the ‘Turfmate’ website this week, “the interest that we have got when we discuss this project with people is good. We are confident we will get investors.” In terms of getting golfers to the island, he believes that much of his business will come from southeast Melbourne. King Island is only a 50-minute flight away from either Moorabbin or Tullamarine airports and ease of access will be a big factor in the project’s sustainability. As Grant points out, “I live in the sand belt area and from my door to when I am on site it takes me an hour and a half.”

Should all go well, the Grant / McMahon plan is be begin construction this year and have the course in play by the end of 2014.

We wish the project team well, and look forward to following the development of Ocean Dunes closely here at Planet Golf.

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the proposed 1st hole at Ocean Dunes King Island

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