Thomson Perrett’s Black Bull charging ahead

The complete 18 holes at the Thomson Perrett designed Black Bull Golf course in Yarrawonga Victoria is now open for play!

The below article was published in the Border Mail on 6 June 2015.

It plans to be among the top-20 public courses in Australia, rivalling the likes of Tasmania’s much vaunted Barnbougle Dunes and Lost Farm, and if Joe Public’s vote counts it is already well on the way to that mantle.

Black Bull’s full 18-hole championship layout on the foreshore of Lake Mulwala at Yarrawonga opened to the public last Sunday.

Black Bull


Today, in fact all long weekend, it’s booked out.

The Peter Thomson-designed course was completed with the finishing touches added to the final five holes in the past month.

The highlight of the additions is a stretch of three holes to rival Augusta’s Amen Corner.

It will be known as the “Bull Ring” and, in time, a more than life-sized statue of a bull will be added to the entry way.

Nicknamed Charlie it will remind golfers of the land’s former history — a black angus stud owned by Charles Botter.

Director of golf and course professional James McCully believes they have created something special.

“I’m obviously biased but I have travelled the world as a golfer and involved in golf management and this is unique,” he said.

“It’s a typical Thomson-Perrett designed course with wide undulating fairways, generous greens and plenty of bunkers.

“Some people would liken it to another of Thomson’s course at Hope Island.

“The Bull Ring has already created a stir — people love the concept, it’s almost a course within a course.

“It’s a tough par 3 across the water, a great 353m par 4 and then a tough par-4, possibly the hardest hole on the course to finish.

“The feedback from golfers has been overwhelmingly positive and on Saturday from first light to 1.30pm there is not a single spot left open.”

The flag says it all with Black Bull insignia flying in the wind.

But McCully suggests the layout is versatile enough to offers both the scratch golfer or hacker the choice to make it as tough or as easy as they like.

“We see ourselves as a public access course where we need to encourage golfers of all abilities and so we let them choose to play off the black, blue or red markers,” he said.

“From the championship black markers it is the longest course on the river but moving to the blue or red tees takes a lot of the heat out of that.

“The par 3 that starts the Bull Ring is the only shot across the water despite holes having the lake and other water as lateral hazards.”

McCully said more than $22 million had been spent on the course over its seven-year genesis — an average of more than $1.2 million a hole.

“We believe when Golf Australia does it ranking of public courses next year we will be in the top 100, we’d like to think in the top 20,” he said.

“Along with Yarrawonga’s two courses we will also host the Victorian Seniors professional tournament next February, we may also get involved in the Murray Masters.

“There is no secret that the Murray River course are now the no.1 golfing destination in the country, overtaking Queensland, and we want to be the no.1 course on that list.”