Righto, cards on the table – I’m a member at Curlewis Golf Club and bloody proud of it.
It’s different. There’s no preppy dress rules; women and kids are actively encouraged; it’s inclusivity and innovation or bust. I love it.
And by arrangement, there are kids’ tees, expert coaching for beginners through to the elite, the hybrid of golf and soccer known as foot golf and the soon-to-be-legendary golf boards.
To be fair, I didn’t know much about these magical boards until I wandered into the pro shop recently, preparing for my regular game, when I heard excited young voices emanating from the shed where the club’s new toys were stored. Their chat was along the lines of, “That was so cool, I can’t even remember what I scored”.
Firstly, I loved hearing the pumped-up teens around the club – as much as that should be the norm, it doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should in a sport maligned for its conservatism.
Next, perhaps noticing I was caught up in their enthusiasm, the crew in the pro shop assured me I should check out the boards and, having been convinced that I didn’t need to be Tony Hawk to navigate the course safely, I booked my mates and I in for our next round on the wild side.
Look, I won’t kid you and say we looked like we were going to win the X-Games when we first stepped on to the boards. But with two minutes’ instruction, I was at ease midway up the first fairway.
So what are these boards? Imagine a cross between a segway, a giant skateboard and a quad bike and you’re heading in the right direction. Pretty much everything that hasn’t been golf. Ever.
You strap your clubs on the front and still play your normal round. It’s just that you feel like you’ve had a surf and a bike ride as well by the time you’ve finished. It’s just next level fun.
And while I’m in full brag mode, on a peninsula full of great golfing experiences, there’s nothing cooler right now than the new Range at Curlewis.
It’s a driving range, but on metaphoric steroids. There are 18 indoor/outdoor bays, all with the latest technology to help your game and comfy lounges where your mates can watch while having a quiet drink or two. Inside, there are two simulators alongside a restaurant and bar showcasing mouthwatering local food and wine among a broad menu.
For the young, or just young at heart, there’s the innovative two-tiered mini golf course on the other side of the main building with two flag positions on every hole to cater to every ability level.
Again, I’ll confess to being biased. But honestly, if you and your family aren’t taken by how progressive and welcoming Curlewis is after a visit, I’ll be stunned.
Welcome to how golf will look in the future.