An exciting and innovative addition to the ‘Stay and Play’ golf landscape has been launched, with the unique Southern Highlands ‘Golf Pass’ thought to be the first of its kind in Australia.
The alliance between Destination Southern Highlands, a growing band of quality accommodation partners and each of the region’s eight golf courses provides a unique opportunity to combine some fantastic golf with the numerous historic, cultural and gastronomic attractions – not to mention the stunning natural beauty – that have lured people to the NSW Southern Highlands for generations.
Avoiding the bustle of weekend golf crowds, the ‘stay and play’ mid-week (Sunday to Friday) packages allow golfers to play 54 holes at any of the 8 courses when staying with an accommodation partner property. The range of accommodation options available to choose from include motel suites, boutique bed & breakfasts and historic country inns and hotels that combine the ambience and charm of yesteryear with today’s modern conveniences and facilities.
Once an accommodation package with a participating partner has been chosen, guests will receive their ‘Golf Pass’ made up of six Coupons – 9 holes per coupon – that can be redeemed at any of the participating golf courses (subject to availability, bookings essential).
Speaking at the Golf Pass launch at Bowral‘s Gibraltar Hotel & Golf Course, Destination Southern Highlands’ Manager for Tourism and Events, Steve Rosa, spoke of the diversity of the experience that will greet golfers. “What sets us apart in the Southern Highlands is that we have a little bit of a Scottish feel in courses like Mt Broughton, with its distinctive clubhouse architecture, our temperate climate and course grasses, right through to Moss Vale which has a bit of English parkland about it, with mature pines and other native species” Rosa said. “The golf courses we have suit all levels of skill and competency. Subject to tee time availability, you have the ability with the Golf Pass to be as flexible with when and where you wish to play as you like.” “You can use the Golf Pass to play three rounds at the one golf course only or mix it up with combinations of 9 or 18 holes at a number of courses during your stay.”
TV personality and Golf enthusiast Deborah Hutton [below] spoke enthusiastically about the Golf Pass concept and the opportunity it presents for people of all ages to get involved with golf in the Highlands. “I think it’s a really clever concept because you also have the option of not using your Golf Pass vouchers all at once if you don’t want to.” Hutton said at the launch. “With the vouchers valid throughout 2017, you can have a taste of golf in the Southern Highlands and come back at another time and play the courses you’ve missed.” “Providing a 9-hole option is quite attractive when you’re pressed for time or trying to explore all the other great spots around the area with your visit.”
Hutton is a frequent visitor to the Southern Highlands and loves the relaxed ambience of the area, which is a little more than an hour in any direction from the outskirts of Sydney, Canberra or the Illawarra region. “Courses like Mt Broughton border on farmland so it gives you a sense that you’re really out amongst nature. I love that peaceful, rural feeling of being in the country.” Hutton said. “Off the golf course, there are some sensational restaurants in locations like Moss Vale, Bowral and Berrima. Every time I come to visit, we seem to find or have a new one recommended that we try.” “There are a lot of really impressive wines coming out of the Southern Highlands now, some really interesting wineries that are getting their name out there.” “It’s a great thing for golfers because we all know that golf goes so well with eating and drinking – it’s a triple bill!”
The eight courses in the Highlands each provide a point of difference in their design, physical characteristics and history, ranging from easy walking 9-hole layouts at Sylvan Glen and Peppers Craigieburn to a number of popular and highly regarded 18-hole layouts that are always provide great pleasure and a challenge to the best.
The ALPG Tour have been regular visitors to the Southern Highlands with national pro-am events held at Kangaroo Valley, Moss Vale and Mt Broughton attracting many home grown and foreign stars – including World Golf Hall of Famer Dame Laura Davies – to pit their skills against golf courses that have been designed by some of Australia’s finest players, including Australian Open champions Frank Phillips, Jack Newton and the prolific Carnegie Clark. Clark, a three-time national champion, established his own legacy in Southern Highlands’ golf by providing the original designs for the Bowral, Highlands (Mittagong) and Moss Vale Golf Clubs in the early part of the 20th century.
“As far as we know, the Golf Pass concept is a first for any destination in Australia.” Rosa continued. “To be able to offer this opportunity for people to play any combination of our courses using Golf Pass, with accommodation included, is something we think will be a perfect complement to the many other attractive attributes the destination has to offer by way of great food and wine, history and heritage.” “All of our golf courses have good tee times available midweek for players and it has been exciting to see the clubs and our accommodation partners come together like this to create something quite unique.”
For more information on the Southern Highlands and surrounding golf courses, visit www.southern-highlands.com.au/stayplaygolf