Windross Farm where this year’s historic LPGA-sanctioned New Zealand Open will be staged has come under attack especially by pennant playing clubs in Auckland and here I quote from a reliable source who produces an excellent newsletter
‘This year Windross Farm (the old Manukau Club) have welcomed visiting pennant players for a practice round, on the condition that they pay $45.00 green fees. Well you can imagine how that went down! Third World War had broken out. Well sort of. Now nearly every other golf club in Auckland has let Windross Farm know, in fairly colourful language I understand, that any of their members wanting a practice round on their course, will be charged $45.00. Windross Farm G.C. as a public relations exercise, you stuffed up bigtime.’
Yet another example of how the face of the game is changing in New Zealand and alas not for the better
Thanks to Doran Hannes for the view from a drone
And thanks to Brendan Bain a closer look from ground level.
Here's a link which will take you to Brendan's YouTube and channel
Probably the closest most of us will get to Tara Iti
Why you ask?
Secrets of New Zealand's most expensive golf course
Tara Iti, on the coast near Mangawhai, about 90 minutes north of Auckland, is New Zealand's first American-style private golf club.
First tee at Pegasus
So there I was checking out my second-favourite golf course review web site (Golf Club Atlas comes first) and there I found a review on the Pegasus Golf Club where the reviewer writes, ‘I had played Terrace Downs a couple of days earlier and rate Pegasus the better of the two.’
The site I’d gone to is called top100golfcourses.co.uk and I’d actually gone there looking for a review of Erin Hills, the venue for the 2017 U.S. Open and by chance spotted the Pegasus review.
Pegasus came as a pleasant surprise some years ago and is in fact mentioned in my forthcoming book.
‘Russley, Shirley Links and Clearwater are the best known in the immediate Christchurch area however the lesser-known and relatively-speaking new course at Pegasus Golf & Sports Club came as a very pleasant experience. Kristine Kerr, the course architect had made the best of what little humps and hollows there are on the Canterbury Plains and in so doing she has made it a more visually interesting course when compared to its better-known neighbours.
Day 3 of our South Island sojourn took us to the Terrace Downs Resort which was officially opened in 2001. We'd not played here on previous trips to the South Island and few of us had any idea of what to expect. We did know it was close to the Mt Hutt ski field and that there is commercial jet boating on the Rakaia River. Also views of the Rakaia Gorge and the spectacular Southern Alps which are a feature of the golf course scenery.’
As to Pegasus being better, I’ll just say it’s a very enjoyable experience.
Here’s the link to top100golfcourses.co.uk
Clearwater Golf Club Christchurch New Zealand
‘Clearwater Golf Course in Christchurch was this week named the best course in New Zealand for the second consecutive year at the annual World Golf Awards in Portugal. It won over nominations from nearly all of Golf Tourism New Zealand’s marquee golf courses.’
The above is from a 14 November 2016 press release on the Clearwater Golf Club website and has caused me to reflect on something that was written by Ken (No surname given in case he wishes to play there at some time in the future).
Ken writes, ‘Hey, what the heck is going on??...Imagine my surprise when I read on the internet a press release on 8th November, 2015 with the headline WORLD GOLF AWARDS NAME CLEARWATER GOLF COURSE AS THE BEST IN NEW ZEALAND AND OCEANIA’
Clearly they got it wrong yet again.
Ken writes in his November 16, 2016 newsletter, ‘The listing a few months later, as alluded to in paragraph one listed Tara Iti as No.1, followed by Jack’s Point, Cape Kidnappers & Kinloch making the top 5. Where was Clearwater rated? Yes, it came in at No. 17 – yes I will spell it out – Seventeen. How can there be such a variance?’
Ken concludes, ‘The fact that our local people voted it No. 17 in the country, yet the overseas experts put it at No. 1 in Australasia and this include Fiji, makes it very hard to comprehend…’
Perhaps not too difficult to comprehend given that even their experts most likely couldn’t manage to get a game on Tara Iti.
Unlike Ken I have had the good fortune of playing Clearwater but I’m reluctant to advise it as No. 1 in New Zealand or for that matter Oceania.
'Oue' at Oreti Sands
What no Oreti Sands review and to make matters worse Phil Hamilton does not include Wairakei which I have frequently described as the nearest thing to Gleneagles Kings Course in the Southern Hemisphere.
Phil does acknowledge his omissions and it says something about his taste in golf courses that he mentions the relatively unknown Oreti Sands of which, “John Huggan, European golfing correspondent, said that Oreti Sands is one of the two best Kiwi courses he has played.”
Keeping in mind that ‘Huggy’ can be quite harsh at times this is a most impressive recommendation.
Since my web site is designed to encourage people from overseas to come to New Zealand it was pleasing to recognise that Phil’s selection of reviews is one of the better brief glimpses of what’s on offer.
I like to encourage people to play the lesser-known Kiwi courses and I particularly liked Phil’s review covering the wee course at Arrowtown, “Often under-rated because of its lack of length, Arrowtown is a unique course and certainly among the most fun in the country. The high-profile neighbouring courses may get all the publicity but they can't match the charm of this gem.”
As to its exclusive nearest neighbour; The Hills I cannot agree, “ This is certainly among the most beautiful courses in the world, with the contrasting colours of the grasses and the astonishing sculptures spread along the way,” especially when The Hills is compared to Jack’s Point.
As to the Jack Nicklaus signature course at Kinloch ‘nuf said Phil, “Unfortunately it doesn't live up to the promise of its appearance. While it has some good holes, with the fourth and fifth the pick of them, too many are over-bunkered.
Despite the over-bunkering, there are stretches of holes that aren't particularly memorable or, in some cases, memorable for the wrong reasons.”
And Kinloch is also kinda tough so it must be Wairakei over Kinloch when in the Taupo area.
Here’s the link to Phil Hamilton