Quick show of hands - who has seen a humpback whale breach from a tee box? For land-locked North Americans this site isn't common in life, let alone golf, unless you're playing the absolutely spectacular Hamilton Island Golf Club, in the Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Designed by 5-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson, Hamilton Island GC is the only golf course in Australia that is its own island. As the pictures from this work event Ambrose Scramble I played in can attest, it is unmatched in terms of scenery. The challenge is stiff also, as hitting fairways is crucial, and searching for balls can bring you face to face with snakes native to the island.
The routing is dictated to a large extent by the topography which is unsurprising given the terrain. But the holes are varied, leading to a fun and interesting challenge. If you find yourself in Sydney or Brisbane with time to kill and don't mind paying for a flight, Hamilton Island is one of the most epic golf experiences on the planet.
A special thanks to my Aussie playing partners Jon Evans, Alex Slade and Keith Masterton (a North Berwick, Scotland native) for taking videos (see below) . This was easily one of the most memorable days I've ever had on a golf course. Thanks guys!
Hamilton Island Golf Club - View From the Cart
Now that's a tee box!
"Oh yep, you're on the edge - nice one."
"I think you might've hit the grass between 'em!"
A nice panorama from one of the highest points at Hamilton Island GC.