Golfing down under â where to watch or playAustralia has produced some of the world's most successful golfers â think of The Great White Shark (Greg Norman) for example. They play on some of the greatest golf courses on the globe.
Three events are established on the world golf calendar: the Open in December, the PGA and the Masters (both usually in November). There is also the prestigious World Cup of Golf. featuring 60 of the top players of the game â Melbourne in November, although the event does tour other countries as well in turn.
But each state has its own championships and these too are worth watching. The top courses are Royal Melbourne and Royal Sydney Golf Clubs, Perth's Mount Lawley, Queensland's Royal Pines (Gold Coast) and Brookwater Country Club (a majestic 6,469m course just outside Brisbane, designed by Norman).
But there are delightful courses throughout the country, blessed by the climate that encourages the outdoor game, and although some are extremely expensive, you can usually find a municipal course or a local club that will let you play as part of your holiday.
Of course if you want to concentrate on your game, there is no shortage of tour packages centred on golf.
Many leading courses are attached to fantastic resorts, such as Hamilton Island Golf Club, in Queensland's Whitsunday Islands. this offers wonderful views at almost every hole, especially on the second nine holes where you play alongside the sea.
To reach the club,it is necessary to take a ferry from one of the ports of Hamilton Island across to Dent Island.
There's something really special about playing a round in the tropics, and it's not only the price â upwards of $300 per person per night exclusive of the green fees, although kids stay and eat free.
Victoria could be your destination if you are really hungry for golf courses: the famous Sandbelt in Melbourne is renowned as possibly the finest series of facilities in the world.
As well as Royal Melbourne itself, there is Commonwealth, Kingston Heath, Metropolitan, Victoria, Huntingdale and Yarra Yarra. Each of these is a championship quality course; all are within twenty minutes of each other.
There are also plenty of opportunities to learn the game, taught by a professional. Golf schools abound and many can offer programmes to suit tourist visas instead of applying for an education visa.
With reliable weather conditions and plenty of spacious courses, Australia is a great place to pick up the finer points of golf.