Unless you are an avid Australian golfer, you may have never heard of the small town of Bonville on the New South Wales mid-north coast. You may be unaware that there is an internationally renowned golf resort tucked away just off the old Pacific Highway, a pristine pocket of real estate amidst native forest
Just 10 minutes south of Coffs Harbour, Bonville Golf Resort has won a multitude of tourism awards, not only for the quality of the golf course but for the cuisine at its Flooded Gums Restaurant and for the tastefully appointed accommodation that sits just to the right of the first fairway.
Coffs Coast Prawns with Chaponata, Squid Ink Mayonnaise and Herb Salad
Construction began on one of Australia’s most beautiful golf courses more than 20 years ago with a brief to replicate as near as possible the ambience of the famed Augusta National Golf Club in the US, home of The Masters. Designers Terry Watson and Ted Stirling carved a golf course out of a former plantation of flooded gums, which lend their name to the only golf course restaurant in Australia to be awarded a prestigious Chef’s Hat by The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide (2013 and 2014).
With such dramatic surrounds, the designers decided to insist golfers make use of a cart rather than compromising the design by putting the holes as close together as possible. Each hole at Bonville is worthy of its own postcard and while a difficult challenge for good players, can be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities.
That challenge starts from the very first shot of the day and doesn’t let up until you hit your approach shot into the par-5 18th, with the magnificent clubhouse standing sentinel beyond the tiered green. There are tight tee shots, spectacular changes in elevation, treacherous putts and a par-3 over water at the 17th hole that will either become the highlight of your round or the one that got away. Whatever happens out there, none of it will be in ordinary.
Staying at Bonville is akin to spending the weekend at a friend’s house, albeit a friend who has saved you the best room, cooks food that makes critics swoon and whose backyard is one of the most scenic golf courses in Australia. Bonville offers a weekend of luxury easily accessible from major east coast cities – with great golf as an optional extra.