Photography: Nick Wall
The Hunter Valley wine region of New South Wales lacks few attractions, but until 2003 it was missing a top-shelf golf course. Cypress Lakes had opened 11 years earlier but wasn’t in the elite class. That changed when Greg Norman and Bob Harrison weaved fairways between the grapevines at The Vintage. With both the state’s two largest cities on its doorstep and a favourable climate, the valley was a natural fit for a golf destination. And The Vintage made an immediate impact. Brash, bold and full of richness, it was a difficult test from the outset, particularly upon the firm, immature surfaces. Yet much like a good red, the place mellowed and softened with time.
A thorough bunker refurbishment program completed during the second half of 2016 rejuvenated the at-times troublesome traps. Many bunkers received subtle adjustments such as raising the lip heights in places by just enough to enhance their visual influence and aesthetic value. About the same time, the scenic downhill par-3 17th hole received a makeover that turned a scrubby, unkempt hazard fronting the green into a more visually pleasing pond.
The Vintage is one of those beautiful locations in Australian golf that just gets better as it ages. –
The Vintage Golf Club
Where: Vintage Drive, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Phone: (02) 4998 2500