Review of the Month September 2020 – Barnbougle Lost Farm
Having been on a 16-year quest to play its older brother, I initially considered Bill Coore’s Lost Farm a warm up to the main event the following day. As a result I had done little or no research on the Bill Coore gem located on the other side of the Forrester River estuary.
The Melbourne smoke had followed us overnight to Bridport, so visibility was somewhat restricted during the course of the round. A pea soup like, veil of fog sat over the course for the duration of this 20-hole exposition. In hindsight, my initial observation that the course was ‘resorty’ represents my GCA knowledge to that point. I now have a somewhat better appreciation for the minimalist philosophy and naturalism that Coore and his team adopt and the fact that wide fairways with little rough is how to best enjoy this great game we call golf.
Lost Farm presents an expansive challenge as a counterpoint to the slightly narrower Dunes course next door. The golfer is often presented with so much choice it can be overwhelming for the first time visitor to know where the best angles of approach are.
Australia must have one of the greatest collections of par threes anywhere in the world; the six short holes at Lost Farm are no different. The 6th is a personal favourite, with a huge green wrapped in an L-shape around a cavernous beardy bunker. This hole sits perfectly within the landscape as if it has always been here.
Special mention must also go to both the 17th and 18a which concentrate the mind! Outside of the shorter holes, I particularly enjoyed holes 10, 13 and 15.
Lost Farm is a tour de force. When you make the pilgrimage, play it early and often. It will slowly release its secrets and in uncovering them you will start to see golf as it was, is and can be.