By Ian Neubauer
The world’s first synthetic golf course is nearing completion at a development site near Yeepoon on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast, with 13 of the 18 holes now complete.
The Reef Palm golf is part of Zilzie Bay, a $12million beachfront and golfing community conceived by British entrepreneur Chris Dadson, who previously owned the largest seaside resort in Southern England.
Dadson has spent 11 years battling councils and continues to battle skeptics who are quick to point out that ‘plastic’ greens have evaded the attention of developers in even drier parts of the world.
But Dadson is resolute about the cost savings and ecological benefits of synthetic turf, and has been backed by a lucrative research and development grant from the federal government.
“I’ve got a different mind to most people,” he told The Australian Financial Review. “I never ever believe I’m going to be beaten.”
The 1106-acre property is fully approved for 8500 people while still retaining 60 per cent green open space. It features a leisure complex, village shopping centre, water sports centre, country club, restaurant, bar and function centre. The residential homes and apartments meander around a system of interconnected lakes, golf course and beachfront.