The closest Greg Norman-designed public course to Sydney, The Vintage also houses the award-winning Après Restaurant – and the course lies on the doorstep of one of the most celebrated wine and food regions inAustralia, with more than 100 cellar doors for Dad to choose from. If he can’t wait for wine tasting time, just whack one out of bounds into either the Beggar’s Bridge or Bimbadgen Vineyards that line the course.
Where: HunterValley, NSW, phone: (02) 4998 6789.
Signature hole: The 194m par three eighth, a complete water carry to a two-tiered 39m green, with three bunkers lying in wait on the right. Ouch.
Did you know? Newcastle TV weather man Gary Youngberry once shot an albatross two on the par five seventh. Driver, three-wood, plonk. Job done.
Tanunda Pines GC
A must for every Dad who fancies his round with a bottle of Penfolds Bin 707 – as well as fairways lined with spectacular ancient gum trees and an abundance of birdlife. The undulating championship course is next to the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort on the hilltops overlooking the vineyards, but it’s the 19th hole you’ll remember: a specialist wine tasting room in which to toast the memories of a great round, or to drown the sorrows over that triple bogey on the 18th.
Where: BarossaValley, SA, (08) 8563 1200, www.tanundapines.com.au
Signature hole: The gorgeous par three 16th. Surrounded by massive gums, this hole may look straightforward, but getting your ball to stick on the postage stamp-sized green is another matter altogether.
Did you know? You can actually see the grapes grow on the vines ofAustralia’s most famous wine export, Jacob’s Creek, as you play your round.
Margaret River GC
In perhaps Australia’s prettiest wine region, Margaret River GC gives Dad the best opportunity to play alongside kangaroos and other wildlife, before sampling food and wine at the vineyard restaurants the region is famous for. Very popular among the pre-Dad set, your main struggle will be securing a spot on the tee among all the groups of young grooms playing their final rounds before getting married in nearby vineyards.
Where: Margaret River, WA, (08) 9757 3161, www.margaret-river-online.com.au/golf
Signature hole: The newly rebuilt 17th, a 291m uphill par four called “Cardiac Hill.”
Did you know? A lot of country courses in WA have sand greens – but not this bad boy: the smooth, grass greens are its pride and joy.