As excitement builds for the inaugural Australian Ladies Classic in Bonville this week, several players have commented that Bonville Golf Resort reminds them of the famed Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia.
Carly Booth, who attended The Masters at Augusta as a 14-year-old, said: “Before coming here, I received a lot of comments through Twitter saying that it’s like the Augusta of Australia and they were right! It looks very similar. It’s beautiful and very tree-lined.
“However, there seems to be more wildlife here. When I was practising on Monday, I saw a koala along the side of the fairway and I quickly tried to grab a photo. He was not being too camera kind, but it was great to see one on the back nine, around the 14th hole. I’m sure there are a few more around and about!”
United States rookie professional Casey Danielson, who played at Augusta National with her golf team from Stanford University in January 2016, said: “I can see some similarities, in the look of it,” but she also mentioned that the wild koalas on the course and amongst the flooded gum trees were unique. “I’m excited to get out there and see some koalas. I haven’t seen them yet, so I’m excited to get an eye on those!”
Christine Wolf, from Austria, said: “When you get here, and you look at the course and how it’s maintained and everything, you just think that you must be in Augusta, Georgia,” while Chloé Leurquin, from Belgium added: “The course looks amazing with huge trees and the beautiful course is in perfect condition. It’s like a little garden here.”
According to Bonville Golf Resort general manager Brad Daymond, the design brief from the original Japanese owner was to create ‘Australia’s Augusta’ and the resemblance has not been missed by the visitors. The main similarities are the beauty and the general movement of the course through the tall trees, although they are flooded gums, rather than pines.
On the course specifically, the 17th hole was designed to resemble the par-3 12th at Augusta, albeit with a more defined water hazard protecting the green, while the 18th was designed to evoke the spirit of the 15th at Augusta, but there is also a huge abundance of native wildlife in Bonville, including more than 100 species of birds, reptiles including iguanas, possums and wild koalas.
While The Masters drives interest in Augusta and fuels the local economy, the inaugural Australian Ladies Classic, which is a co-sanctioned event between the LET and ALPG tours, is about to put Bonville Golf Resort on the map.
The event, which has been signed for the next five years, will showcase the natural beauty of the course and the Coffs Coast in New South Wales, but also the incredible talents of some of the best female golfers in the world.