Barnbougle Lost Farm
Big Dune Linksland in the Heart of Tasmania
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Architect: Bill Coore
Green Fee: $139AUD
Kiwi Caddy Tier: One
The Holes that Stick:
4th- Par 3/112m
5th- Par 4/400m
14th- Par 4/251m
Playing second fiddle is never easy, especially when you’re this bloody good! To call Bill Coore’s Lost Farm a secondary course, behind its older sibling next door, is doing its brilliance a massive disservice, however when you’re routed in the same backyard as one of the best links courses in the world its never going to be easy.
The fact that Barnbougle has two of the top 100 golf courses in the world is nothing short of remarkable, and as described by Mike Keiser, “1+1=3” in the golfing business. Barnbougle is a million miles away for most and having two world class courses to dive into has now made it one of golf’s greatest destinations.
Truth be told, I have heard a number of people remark on their preference for the Lost Farm course and it’s not hard to see why. The course is characterized by its extreme width which is put on show at the first tee- a fairway which could challenge The Old Course’s opener for the widest in the game!
This is a consistent theme throughout the course as tee shots are much less stressful than next door, also opening the course up for plenty of strategy through angles, where one side of the fairway (often the most difficult to hit) offering the best approach into the green.
Lost Farm is a true links course, with firm and fast turf encouraging the ground game, and the relentless wind off Bass Strait being the course’s main defence. The layout is beautifully minimalistic and natural with a pure flow to the routing.
Despite being home to some of the largest dunes on the property, Lost Farm is routed across distinctly flatter land when compared to next door. The course’s features are much more subtle, with less fairway contouring to negotiate. This however does not remove any of the intrigue or strategy, with Bill Coore’s preference for building second-shot golf courses at the forefront ensuring an ample mix of subtle and bold slopes, contouring and landforms around and on the greens.
I found the course to be an excellent balance of slopes which both assist and challenge the golfer depending on where the flag is placed. At Lost Farm the flag is never the target, whilst utilizing contours is often the easiest way to get the ball close. The greens are firm and large, making what’s on the ground a significant consideration to every approach.
There is excellent variety in the routing, with every hole asking you to solve a completely different puzzle with no obvious correct answer. I had immense fun over multiple plays trying to figure out the best way to play each of the holes however I quickly learned that as the flag was moved and the wind changed its direction, so to did the best way to get the ball down. That’s pretty fun!
Fun is at the forefront of Lost Farm, the course is imminently playable for all and with a number of half-par short 4s which offer opportunities to be aggressive mixed with a fantastic set of short-mid length par 3s to be approached with short irons, it certainly isn’t out to beat you up!
When I think of Lost Farm, my mind immediately jumps to the stretch of holes at 3,4 and 5- to my mind the peak of the course. Showcasing its variety with a devious drivable half-par 4 (A mere 240 metres!), a devlish wedge shot into a par 3 smothered by bunkers and run-offs, and a longer par 4 featuring a tee shot over a towering dune synonymous with the The Old Course Hotel at St Andrews!
Playing this stretch of holes for the first time and each subsequent brought me nothing but joy and shots I wouldn’t find anywhere else.
The best way to describe golf at Lost Farm is just fun- a non-stressful round which gives you endless opportunities to be creative with approaches and hit shots you wouldn’t normally play. In my opinion it doesn’t quite sustain the peaks of the Dunes course due to it’s more significant land movement, however that takes nothing away from the fact that it may well be the best second course on the planet!
Booking a Tee Time
The three courses at Barnbougle are as public as they can be. Their online booking system is extremely user-friendly and can be accessed HERE. Green fees are $139AUD for 18 holes, or $170AUD for all day play- perhaps the best value for money golf in the world, and definitely the cheapest golf in the world top 100!
Where to Stay
Staying on-site at one of Barnbougle's two accommodation offerings is one of the great experiences in golf. The Lost Farm Resort is the more modern option, with nice rooms overlooking the course and ocean, with a spa, sports bar and restaurant on site. The Dunes side of the property features a number of cottages which can host up to 6 people at a time. The accommodation is extremely affordable and all you need for an outstanding golf trip!
Best Golf Within 45 Minutes:
The best golf is all on site, The Dunes course next door, designed by Tom Doak & Mike Clayton, sits comfortably inside the World top 100, and the Bougle Run 14 hole short course is a boat-load of fun. Truth be told you could play these courses every day for the rest of your life and never get bored!