Alan nominated Barnbougle Lost Farm as a Gem on February 2nd 2011. The course has rocketed into the world rankings since then, however, we liked Alan's comments so much we've left his story intact:
The Lost Farm has only been open for a month or so I think, and the clubhouse is still months from completion, but you can already see that this is a fine course and a great complement to Barnbougle Dunes. I Played the course the day after the Dunes which is a shame because it had the almost impossible task of living up to its neighbour. It did however put up a strong fight!
There is a fair mix of links and parkland holes here as it is set a bit further back from the dunes and it actually comprises 20 holes, with additional par threes on the back nine which makes things interesting. The bunkering is again attractive with huge waste areas and fairways similarly generous.
The first two holes are in my opinion better openers than at Barnbougle Dunes and got the heart going in anticipation of what was to come, which was an excellent run of links holes with the short par three 4th the highlight looking out onto the beach from the headland. This is followed by an almost crazy dogleg where you can see the green from the 450 or so yard hole but all the fairway is obscured by a simply huge dune system.
The majority of the holes are then played a little inland with more lush grass and a less links-like feel. They are all good holes but it was in this midsection that the Lost Farm lost a little ground to its older brother that is littered with exceptional holes. The Lost farm does however finish very strongly as it gets closer to the sea again. 14 if I remember is a beautiful short downhill par four followed by a great downhill through the dunes par 3 directly below the new spa complex, which I’m sure has one of the greatest views in world golf of almost the entire course, as it sits proudly on the huge dunes. The par four 18th is a fitting end to the round and a truly great two-shot hole.
All in all this may be my second favourite course in Australia but as it is so new the greens are not quite at the same level and it is just occasionally rough round the edges. Still a 5-ball course however, and my advice is to play Lost Farm before Barnbougle Dunes and see what you think.
Without the wind Barnbougle Lost Farm is not a difficult course. It has a decent routing and the bonus two extra par 3's are fun. The fairways are overly generous in spots and four of the greens are silly with too much contrived ridge lines. Best holes are 4, 5, 8, 10, 11 and 17. What people will love about Lost Farm is that it is very playable, has some great views of the coastline and clubhouse, is very natural incorporating the terrain and vegetation of the land, and the bunkers are well placed, vary in size, and are rugged. This course is fun to play.
During the first round around at this Coore/Crenshaw course I very much liked it. I still do. But during the second round I thought a bit less of it. The first round we played we started on ten and ended in the rain. For the second round the same day we started on one, put on our rain gear three separate times with some wind as well, but ended in warm sunshine with no breeze.
There are two bonus par 3’s on the back nine so it is easy and expected to play 20 holes. I did not find it difficult to play 40 holes due to the mostly level terrain and could have played another 18. We walked and took trolleys.
The fairways are typically wide here, perhaps too wide in many cases resulting in the definition of a few holes being lost. There are also a few very flaky and contrived greens due to overly done shaping on several holes. The severe shaping of elevation into those greens is completely unnecessary as the hole and green had adequate challenges without the absurdity.
I don't think 80 yard wide fairways are very interesting, no matter the wind conditions, and Lost Farm has several fairways that wide beginning with the first hole, a long par five. The second hole is even wider. I hit a shot to the right on the second hole that was so far offline I was embarrassed. Yet when I walked beyond the curvature of the taller fescue I saw my ball still on the edge of the fairway. I had even a decent shot to the green and saved par even on this undulating green. Golf holes should not be like this.
People will disagree with me but I did think there are only three great holes on the front nine which are 5, 7 and 8. Some may say the third is a great hole as a short, driveable par 4 but for a person of my length there is no decision to make and one is left with a short shot into a well protected green placed in a corner but it is not a difficult shot. The short par 3 fourth hole along the coast is beautiful but again is not a demanding shot despite all of the eye candy near it with some beautiful bunkers The fifth is a longer par 4 dogleg right that requires a blind shot over the edge of a large hill with a green set back between two mounds. The seventh is a mid-length par 4 that requires a well-placed approach shot to a green well defended in its front with large bunkers either side. The eighth is one of the three best holes on the golf course as a marvelous long par five to a very good green, the best green perhaps on the golf course. One has to navigate a huge fairway bunker and stay away from the trees all down the right side until you arrive at this elevated green with lots of run offs and a deep bunker strategically placed front middle. The ninth, while pretty, is too short and too easy despite the bunkers surrounding the green.
On the back nine there are a lot of good holes with 10, 11, 13 -15, and 17 as the highlights. Ten is a gem from an elevated tee threading one’s tee shot through the dune canyon that continue on either side nearly all the way to the green which has a cleverly single tree by the green to confuse you.
The eleventh requires a blind tee shot over the large fairway bunker threading the dune on the left and the trees on the right. Bunkers continue the way in but there is a large area surrounding the green providing a chance to chip and recover par if the long second shot does not find this large green. I did not care for the twelfth as I felt the fairway was too wide. The thirteenth is a very fine par 4 playing back into the canyon to a narrow green while the fourteenth offers a splendid view and canyon effect from its elevated tee. The fifteenth is a gorgeous downhill longer par 3 playing along the coastline to the bottom of the clubhouse. It is terrific. The seventeenth is a gem as a 175 yard uphill par 3 that is well defended by bunkers and a false front. I thought this to be the best par 3 on the golf course. The eighteenth hole has length and some nice dunes on the left for the tee shot but I thought this green was too large for the hole. However, I want to emphasize it is a fun hole to finish on.
Coore built four greens that are too contrived and actually not fun to putt on. There is a point where an unnatural four feet ridge line is silly. Two feet would have been adequate enough to make a challenge as opposed to absurdity. The downhill par 3 sixth hole is a prime example of a green that is overdone with its mounding and undulations. For me, the green made me dislike a hole that I should have liked. The other greens overly done I thought were 10, 14 and 16.
I think this course is not quite as good as Streamsong Red or Bandon Trails and not even close to as good as Sand Hills, Friar’s Head or Cabot Cliffs. It is not as strong as Barnbougle Links. However, it is very much worth playing because it is beautiful, it is fun, there are some real challenges, and it is so natural. The routing, given the land available, is splendid. Barnougle’s second course is a winner.
It took me a while to write this review. Of course my Tassie pilgrimage wouldn't have been complete without having played the Lost Farm as well as its bigger sister next door. Thanks BB for making me realize this just in time. Playing all 38 holes in one day gave me a lot to process. It helped that I was out alone, which facilitated in absorbing the greatness of the venue.
I had never played a Coore and Crenshaw course before. One thing I learned is that they have great respect for the natural contours of the amazing piece of land they were given. I loved the rugged bunkers and the fairways that transition seemingly effortless into the greens. It's a scenic rollercoaster ride that starts on flatter land, then takes you to the fantastic stretch 3-6 in the corner of the estate. The ninth hole is probably the least spectacular hole on the course. It brings you back to the clubhouse just fine though. Also, the elevated tee shot on the par 5 10th also justifies this. I find the back nine tot be particularly strong, as it is a little more protected from the wind and presents one world class hole after another. It also felt unique in a way that you can sense very well that you are playing a links course at the end of the world rather than in Scotland or Ireland. The 11th is a world class long par 4. The drive is blind, played over a massive central bunker to a fairway on a plateau guarded by another bunker and more bush trouble lurking. It's a long carry and visually very narrow. Good drives are rewarded with a long approach still, but to a green that is hidden behind a hill on the right depending on where you ended up. The good news is that it is not guarded by bunkers. The 14th and 15th are outright gems. Bloody amazing golf holes right next to the roaring ocean. The 14th reminded me of the 10th at Ballybunion playing straight into the prevailing wind heading for the ocean and a tiny green. This one is a just better and harder though. It's reachable in terms of distance on a calm day but you'll probably be lucky to just find the fairway and have a nice angle to the highly raised narrow green that is put in the far right corner of the little valley that the hole lies in. The ball wants to roll down to the left valley of sin very badly.
The finish to the course is fitting. Quality golf holes, beautiful views and the fun little tiebreaker hole that is nothing more than a little wedge. Mixed feelings will be experienced. It sucks this day ever ended but it was so satisfying and memorable. Just go, you won't regret it.
Both these two world class courses remain favourites of ours, and with the new King Island courses open for business- Tasmania is now truly a top destination for golf.
The second course at Barnbougle Dunes is the Coore & Crenshaw gem Lost Farm. While I personally didn’t like this course nearly as much as Barnbougle it’s wonderful in its own right and a fantastic 2nd course for the resort. The main difference in the author’s opinion is that it lacks the spectacular holes due to a slightly more gentle landscape in comparison to Doak’s Barnbougle routing.
As good as this course and routing are there is something about it hat had me struggling to remember holes. It starts with a gentle par 5 and follows it up with two solid par 4’s the second of which is a short, even drivable par 4 with the right wind conditions. The fairways have tons of width and the greens are large and allow pin positions to dictate the best angle of approach and which side of the fairway to shoot for.
At 124 meters the short par 3 4th hole is a visual standout and sits at the corner of the property separated only by a small inlet from Barnbougle Dunes. The greensite looks as though they just walked up and put a flag there leaving it in the exact natural shape it had always been. It’s protected by a huge blowout bunker in front and a smaller deep bunker on the left.
The par 3 6th is a 155m one shotter with a crazy green that I can best describe being in the shape of a pistol laid out with the butt of the grip on the left side. I huge bunker protects the barrel portion of this pistol and with a large back board allows a daring shot to this portion of the green taking on the bunker. This is one of the stronger par 3’s on the course and gets some extra credit for originality.
The 306m par 4 9th makes you choose the high road or low road off the tee with its double fairway. The high road allows a slightly better angle to most pin positions and a far better view of the approach.
The 543m Par 5 10th may well have the toughest drive on the course. While straight is always good, with the wind gusting and waste high, snake filled, native grasses and high dunes on either side. This tee shot will make the best of you think twice.
The back 9 really does offer up one solid hole after the next however, I think the main difference for me is that the ground they had to work with here was just always on the flatter side. It seems that you are always playing to wide fairways in between dunes. Not that there is anything wrong with this it’s just for me not quite a memorable.
The 18th hole plays from an elevated tee down to a fairway running between the dunes back to the clubhouse. Having recently just visited Trump International in Aberdeen, this hole would of fit right in on that course and couldn’t almost have been interchangeable with the waste high native grasses on both sides.
Lost Farm actually has an 18a hole which you play to get back to the clubhouse. It’s another fun short little par 3 allowing you to break the tie.
All in all as I have said, it’s another great course though slightly nondescript. I wouldn’t rate it among my favorites from Coore & Crenshaw but I would absolutely play it again. What did you think?