08 Feb 2024 | Clubs and Facilities |

Clubs come together on the Bellarine

by Patrick Taylor

The 12th hole at Queenscliff looking south towards the township. Photo supplied: Golf The Bellarine.

Golf and travel have long had an intertwined relationship, with fanatics and casuals alike enjoying the thrill and challenge of experiencing a new course for the first time. Australia boasts some of the world's best golf, and although pilgrimages to the ancient links of Scotland and Ireland are at the top of most golfer's bucket lists, the tourism interest in Australia is overwhelmingly on the rise. In Victoria, the famous Melbourne Sandbelt and Mornington Peninsula have long reigned supreme for golf trips, but six clubs on the other side of Port Phillip Bay have come together to celebrate and share their unique region, and their new website – and a new event - brings this passion to life. Golf The Bellarine is made up of Barwon Heads, 13th Beach, Lonsdale Links, Curlewis, Portarlington and Queenscliff, and alongside the incredible and interesting golf (all courses ranked inside Australia’s top 140), each club is excited to share all of the off-course offerings synonymous with the region. The clubs have realised that by working together they can build the profile for golf in the entire region, which they can then all individually reap the benefits of. "The six clubs have the intention of using golf not only to promote themselves, but more broadly the Bellarine Peninsula as a tourism destination," said Mark Hayes, President of Golf The Bellarine. "We'll engage with our other tourism operators, and our wineries and distilleries, and restaurants, and accommodation houses. "Hopefully we can really create a segment of the market that has been not available to this area because of the way it was previously structured." The restructure Hayes refers to is the group of clubs working together, now providing a single resource and point of contact for councils and tourism operators, as well as the clubs themselves, to promote the region, and indeed for individuals to plan their own trips. This one-stop-shop that is the Golf The Bellarine website already has a wealth of information on all courses, complimented by stunning visuals captured by William Watt. Some of the most stunning shots are those taken aerially at Queenscliff. With the golf course sharing the land it sits on at Swan Island with a Department of Defence training facility, very little drone footage has been allowed in the past, these new videos capturing the holes in a perspective never seen before. On top of launching the website, Golf The Bellarine has introduced The Epic, an annual event week that combines tournament golf on the Bellarine with all the region's proud off-course offerings. "It represents not only a great chance to play tournament golf, but also to get on courses that you may not otherwise find yourself on and that you've seen on television, and that's always a great thing," said Hayes. This year's event comprises rounds at Lonsdale Links, 13th Beach's Beach Course, and Queenscliff, with welcome and presentation dinners at Curlewis and Portarlington respectively. Players are also offered the opportunity to plan further activities, both on and off the golf course, with the help of Golf The Bellarine's expert knowledge. To view Golf The Bellarine's new website, and take in the visual and written content, click HERE.

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