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Golf: An Aussie’s Extravagance

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“This guy had £450m in the bank, so he built his own golf course,” writes Rob McGarr and the first thing that strikes me is the guy’s an Aussie with attitude and a golf course called Ardfin.

"Extremely unget-at-able"

Rob writes, “Former hedge fund manager Greg Coffey decided to take things one big step further, building his own 18-hole championship course, and it looks like an absolute belter.”
The thing is, it’s nowhere near Australia, it’s on the Isle of Jura which takes four different ferry rides to reach from the Scottish mainland and has less than 200 total population and a very fine whisky distillery.

"Extremely unget-at-able" was how George Orwell (author of 1984) described the location of Jura in 1946, and it would appear it’s much the same today. It’s said George wrote most of 1984 on Jura.

Not everyone approves of the Aussie’s attitude, David Garside at the Isle of Jura’s website writes, “A developer who knows lots about costs, but very little about values – monetary or otherwise. The loss of access to the walled garden robs the island of one of its most attractive features for visitors. Hence, we have omitted Jura from our annual Scottish tour for the last 6 years. Won’t hurt the millionaire, but won’t bring our trade to the rest of the island either. A selfish world is’nt it?”

As a matter of fact I found out about Ardfin while following up on its near neighbour The Machrie on the Isle of Islay which has come under criticism for the changes that’s been made to the course. But that’s another story.

No surprise
It comes as no surprise to read that Ardfin Estate has indicated that access to this golf club is restricted only for resort guests. That’s all I could find to determine if I should pop across from Islay and have a game at Ardfin until I found this from Golf Week, “Playing Scotland’s exclusive new course requires approval from 'Wizard” and reference to a wizard is because Greg Coffey is known in the financial press as “The Wizard of Oz” Shouldn’t that be the wizard from Aus? 

As expected Golf Club Atlas have a comprehensive review of the course and combined with fabulous photographs. The website is well worthwhile viewing since it’s unlikely you or I will have the opportunity to play.

Link to Rob McGarr and Isle of Jura website and Golf Week and Golf Club Atlas

Quote of the Day
“Cypress Point is such a beautiful place, but it’s also very exclusive. They had a very successful membership drive last month. They drove out forty members.” — Bob Hope


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