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Introducing Elizabeth ‘Biz’ Sattler

Raised on the salty coastline of North East Tasmania, in an abundance of fresh air and postcard views, Elizabeth Sattler, affectionately known as Biz, was born with a creative disposition, a country spirit, and a brain that ran a million miles an hour. Today we’d call it entrepreneurial. For Biz, it meant big dreams and bigger ambitions. One of four, Biz likely picked up skills from her father; a farmer turned hotelier who’d embarked on an ambitious, and arguably questionable venture, to turn the family farm from sandy paddocks into manicured golfing greens. It would pay off: Barnbougle Golf Course is now one of Australia’s, albeit one of the world’s, most renowned destination golf courses, seeing flocks of golfers around the world set foot on its luscious hills.

Having lived and breathed the birth and evolution of Barnbougle, the moment Biz finished her studies followed by a 2-year stint working in marketing in London, it seemed only natural she’d join the family business. Her role in strategizing and managing Barnbougle’s marketing and PR campaigns across the world was the inevitable birth of her own agency Sattler & Co. Ladies Golf Magazine recently met with Elizabeth and scored an insight into her professional life with the aim of inspiring our business minded readers.

Ladies Golf: How did you originally get into the business side of the golf industry?

Elizabeth:   I actually fell into golf by accident. My family weren’t really golfers at all (my brother played a little), until in around 2001 we started developing a golf course on our family beef and potato farm. The Farm is located right on the coast in Tasmanian and, as we later learnt, is a spectacular site for a links course.  In December 2004 the course Barnbougle Dunes opened for play. I had moved to London to work in marketing and returned in 2006 to run the marketing and PR for Barnbougle. Fast forward to 2020 and we have two links golf courses, both rated in the top 100 in the world, accommodation, two restaurants, spa and sports bar. It’s still a family run business and I still run all the marketing, PR and digital.

Ladies Golf: Please tell our readers about the concept behind Great Golf Courses of Australia?

Elizabeth: Great Golf Courses of Australia is a marketing collaborative between Tourism Australia and the Golf Industry. The premise around the collective is that one collective voice is very powerful, especially when aligned with the national tourism body. The collective involves 28-member courses located around the country which meet a set of pre-established criteria to ensure they can deliver a tourism ready product. Together we market to international travellers (and since COVID we have pivoted to include domestic campaign opportunities) to showcase Australia as a world-class golf destination. The marketing collaborative revolves around the pillars of trade and distribution, marketing, public relations and media. It involves everything from facilitating trade and media famils, trade training and education, partnerships and industry relations to attending tradeshows, social media and digital. It’s very comprehensive!

Ladies Golf: I love that Great Golf Courses of Australia promotes both signature courses and unique golf experiences in unison. Which venues and activities combinations are proving most popular?

Elizabeth: It really varies. Certainly, for international travellers, Melbourne and Sydney are a huge drawcard and they are also international ports. However, the itinerary and course requests do change depending on the origin of the traveller and how long they are in the country.

Ladies Golf: What’s the most exciting golf tournament you have been to?

Elizabeth: Without doubt the US masters in 2013 – which was the year Adam Scott won! We were there on the final day and it was absolutely pouring with rain as Scotty and Cabrera were playing the 18th. It was so tight but there was such comradery and respect between the two players. The replay of the 18th saw Adam get up and the crown went wild! It was awesome.

Ladies Golf:
Elizabeth, I’ll be presumptuous and assume you’re not a scratch golfer gal. Do you play socially? If so, what’s your local ‘go to’ golf course?

Elizabeth: I do play; however, I am most definitely not a scratch golfer (nowhere near). I like to play socially and to be honest, when we play (mostly) don’t really keep score. I am currently living back in Tasmania (given we have been in lockdown with COVID19) so have been playing at Barnbougle a bit – but not nearly as much as I should be!

Ladies Golf: When planning an Aussie golf itinerary what are some of the most requested non-golfing guest activities?

Elizabeth: Great question. It really depends on the traveller, where they are from and if they have been to Australia previously. The cities are always in demand, food and wine is a huge drawcard and we work really closely with the Ultimate Winery Experiences of Australia (a sister marketing collective) to facilitate unique experiences to some of the country’s best vineyards. Tasmania has also become extremely popular as a destination for international visitors.

Ladies Golf: Great Golf Courses of Australia curate personalized experiences based on the customers interests. For example; if I were seeking a golf holiday that incorporated arts & culture elements, what direction would you point me in?

Elizabeth: We do, however we are not a travel agent, so we don’t book these experiences for you. Our role is to inspire a trip to Australia and then work with travel trade to assist the client in booking the golf trip of a lifetime. If you were looking for cultural experiences, I would suggest checking out Discover Aboriginal Experiences and Cultural Attractions of Australia (both sister marketing collectives) for some inspiration on the type of cultural experience you would like. From there you can either book the experiences yourself or we can connect you with an experienced travel agent that will be able to create and book a bespoke itinerary that incorporates everything that you would love to do and see in Australia.

 18th Fairway Lighthouse and Barnbougle Lost Farm

Ladies Golf: Which premier regional golf courses would you recommend as being notably ‘female friendly’ aka women are welcome to play on any given day?

Elizabeth: Definitely the public access courses in Tasmania and Hamilton island. Having said that all the Australian courses are very female friendly and are really working hard behind the scenes to get more women involved and excited about golf.

Ladies Golf:
Have you worked with any Australian female golfers on promotional activities? Is there perhaps an opportunity to organize a group golf trip, hosted by a pro female player keen to share their technical tips?

Elizabeth:   We haven’t done a huge amount with any female pro-golfers as they tend to be travelling so much it’s difficult to find a time when they are in the country! However, it’s absolutely something we would like to develop.

Ladies Golf: Name the top three most picturesque golfing greens? Tricky I know. Go!

Elizabeth: They are all so different! The 15th at Kingston Heath, 18th at Peninsula Kingswood and 6th at NSW Golf Course, 4th at Lost Farm, 18th at Cape Wickham. There are far too many to choose!

Ladies Golf:
Please share the most luxurious destination ‘golfing holiday’ you’ve personally experienced.

Elizabeth: Internationally Sand Valley in the US is an unbelievable golf experience. The facility was developed by the Keiser family who revolutionised world-class public access golf in the US with Bandon Golf Resort and now Sand Valley. Sand Valley sits in the tumbling prehistoric sand dunes of central Wisconsin. The facility has three courses, the first two courses by Coore & Crenshaw and a third course, Mammoth Dunes, by David McLay Kidd in addition to accommodation, restaurants etc.

Domestically it’s hard to go past the Melbourne Sandbelt, especially with the two newly redeveloped courses at Peninsula Kingswood and their world class accommodation, dining, gym, pool and practise facilities.

Ladies Golf: Insider tip; which golf course has the most decadent day spa for an after game relaxation treatment?

Elizabeth: Qualia on Hamilton Island.

Ladies Golf: It’s no surprise that women generally like wine. Which signature courses in your portfolio are easily accessible to vineyards?

Elizabeth: There are many! The National Golf Club is located on the Mornington Peninsula close to some of the best wineries in Victoria and the courses of the Melbourne Sandbelt are close to the Yarra Valley. In Adelaide The Grange, Kooyonga and the magnificent Royal Adelaide are all within easy drive to the Clare, Eden and Barossa.

Ladies Golf: What’s your thoughts on the future of golfing in oz?

Elizabeth: I think golf has an amazing future; however I believe that golf will change as more and more people engage with the game as social golfers – especially younger females. Golf is amazing for fitness and also for mental health and I think after the farce of 2020, there will only be more appreciation and emphasis on looking after your mind and body and being able to get outside!

Ladies Golf: If you could go on a golf holiday anywhere in the world right now, which golf club would be at the top of your ‘must visit’ list?

Elizabeth: Scotland generally as a destination. I would love to go to Cabot Links in Canada also.

Ladies Golf: Any advice for women seeking to build a career within the business side of the golfing industry?

Elizabeth: Go for it! There is a brilliant community associated with the golf industry and many opportunities for females – what are you waiting for!

By Roxanne Williams