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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hamilton Island’s World-Class Golf Club Officially Opens

Hamilton Island Golf Club has officially opened as the only 18 hole championship golf course on its own island in Australia. The event was marked by an official handover between designer and champion golfer, Peter Thomson AO CBE and Hamilton Island owner, Bob Oatley, on Sunday 30th August 2009. The opening was especially timely for Thomson, a five-time British Open winner, who celebrated his 80th birthday the week before.

The 18 hole golf course has been tipped to quickly gain a reputation as one of the best courses in the world, not least because of the stunning views of the Whitsunday Islands from many of the holes. The 6,120 meters, par 71 course sits on its own island called Dent Island, just a five minute ferry ride from Hamilton Island. It has been designed not only to test the golfing proficiency of resort guests, but also to challenge the world's professionals.

The course makes the most of the island's natural and rugged beauty and works with the landform, offering variety and excitement with some holes being played across steep valleys and over lakes, trees and natural boulders. To ensure a good game for all proficiencies, three tee positions are offered for each hole, taking their names from indigenous trees on the island. The changes in course elevation, restricted landing areas and the ever-present breezes provide a definite challenge from the back 'Hoop Pine' tees. Meanwhile, resort golfers can enjoy an easier time of it from the forward marks of the 'Grass Tree' tees. For the middle-ground, there are the 'Pandanus' tees.

The crowning glory of the course is the stunning Chris Beckingham-designed clubhouse, ideally perched to take in the stunning views of Passage Peak and the Coral Sea. The clubhouse offers an idyllic spot for non-golfing partners to relax over a laid-back lunch, or for golfers to take stock of the day's game over a cold beer.

Those that wish to brush-up on their golfing skills can enlist the support of the resident golf-pro, Cherie Byrnes. Cherie has been a professional for nine years and past strings to her bow have included being Tournament Director for the 2002 and 2003 Australian Ladies Professional Golf Players Championship, as well as assisting with the 2004 Men's ANZ Championship.

A number of packages are being offered to celebrate the opening of the new resort, including 'Golf in Paradise' and 'Golf and Spa in Paradise'. Guests can enjoy three or four nights' accommodation on Hamilton Island, to include a round of golf on the new course and an optional spa treatment, from $628 per person.* qualia guests can benefit from preferential tee times on the course and, in the near future, luxury golfing packages will be offered, to include accommodation at qualia and helicopter transfers to the course.

Sandy Oatley, chairman of Hamilton Island, commented, 'The opening of the Golf Club is part of our ongoing commitment to develop and maintain Hamilton Island as a truly world-class and leading holiday destination. Since we purchased it in 2003, we have invested over $300 million in the Island. This has included the development of qualia, the 60 pavilion luxury resort on the northern most point of the Island and, most recently, the building of the iconic, Walter Barda-designed Yacht Club.'

For more information about Hamilton Island Golf Club visit www.hamiltonislandgolfclub.com.au

*Rate includes: Three or four night's accommodation based on twin share at a choice of either the Palm Bungalows, Whitsunday Holiday Apartments, Reef View Hotel or Beach Club; Full buffet breakfast; Round of golf for one adult (18 holes) to include return launch transfers from Hamilton Island and use of a two-seater electric golf buggy on-course; Return Hamilton Island airport/marina to hotel transfers; Use of catamarans, paddle skis, windsurfers and snorkelling equipment; Unlimited use of the scheduled 'Island Shuttle' service (7:00am -11:00pm daily). To book this package, guests can contact Hamilton Island Holidays on on 13 REEF (13 7333) within Australia or +612 9433 0444 outside Australia
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