Golf Course Architecture - Issue 69, July 2022

65 Mike Clayton has been spending a lot of time at the beach. But, while he has recently turned 65, it’s not to enjoy retirement. He’s been working with Mike DeVries on the layout of Seven Mile Beach, just east of Hobart, the capital of Australian island state Tasmania. Clear of the non-native radiata pines that previously covered the site, the two Mikes (who, with Frank Pont, are the principals of the Clayton, DeVries & Pont partnership) are toiling away among pure rolling dunes that tumble down towards the ocean, shaping a golf course for developer and former tour pro Mat Goggin. Does a site with such enormous potential add pressure for an architect? “There’s no pressure, in the sense that there are no members, but there’s pressure in the sense that a lot of people seem to know about it,” says Clayton. “I played golf with a couple of kids who were asking me about it, and I didn’t think would have a clue what was going on down there. “Mat is really doing something to benefit the game. So I want to do the best I can for him because it’s his cash on the line and his dream. We’ve got to make sure that Seven Mile Beach is one of the best two or three courses in Australia, which I think is doable given how good the site is and how good the land is.” The team is making solid progress. “So far, we’ve kicked into shape the first four holes, most of the eighth, except the tee shot,” says Clayton. “Thirteen, fourteen and eighteen are done and seventeen is pretty much done. We’re getting some irrigation in, but no grassing yet. Of the original 300 piles of “The best courses show that golf is best when it’s neither fair nor predictable” Photos: Lukas Michel