Upgrade for Australia’s oldest golf course

From a report in The Mercury,
30 December 2006

Ratho, the oldest golf course in Australia, at Bothwell in the Tasmanian midlands, is to be upgraded to an 18-hole course and there are further plans to develop period accommodation on the site.

Golfer with sheep on Bothwell course
Bothwell golf course in Tasmania
© Tourism Tasmania and Bill Bachman

The restoration should be completed towards the end of 2008, with financial assistance from the Australian Tourism Development Program.

Scottish settlers brought the game of golf to Tasmania in the 1820s. They laid out the course on their sheep property and the square-shaped greens were fenced to keep the sheep out. That is still the case on the current nine-hole course at Bothwell. The new 18-hole development will retain the feature – and the sheep!

At St Andrews in Scotland there is one hole where players hit over railway sheds. At the new Bothwell course the tee shot on the first will be over sheepyards.

See the golf page for information on golf in Tasmania.