Nov 7, 8  Continuing on our trip to the west coast, we could not miss the opportunity to play the oldest golf course in the Southern Hemisphere, the Ratho Links course at Bothwell. In August 1821, a boatload of Scotsmen and their families emigrated to Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) and many of them settled in the Bothwell area. This may explain the early golf course and the nearby whiskey distillery!

One of the settlers was Alexander Reid who named his land grant ‘Ratho’ after his family farm ‘Ratho Bank’ near Edinburgh. Golf was played at Ratho some time before 1840 Making it the oldest golf course in the Southern Hemisphere. If it could be proved that clubs and featheries (golf balls) came out with Alexander Reid in 1822, the course would be the oldest outside the UK.

The course hasn’t changed much since it was formed with sheep keeping the fairway grass low and fences around the square shaped greens to keep the sheep off. Some holes have their tees behind fences and / or hedges !!


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