Over at golf.com there’s a slide show,” The Best Golf Courses You've Never Heard Of,” and would you believe it, two of the 10 are in New Zealand.
The choice of the other Kiwi course comes as a very pleasant surprise especially when I reflect on the premature hype focused Tara Iti.
Given that Tara Iti has just opened its tees and very few of the who’s who in golf course design have seen or played the course I’m reluctant to accept the comparison with Royal Dornoch; having been there and done that but alas not Cypress Point.
As to the names of those making comparisons there’s little to go on although Ron Whitten does a good job in, “DREAMY KIWI: NEW ZEALAND'S TARA ITI New Zealand has a new coastal gem”.
The Best 10 blurb about Tara Iti continues, “This private, low-key club doesn’t officially open until October 2015. Still, its enviable location in the dunes along the Pacific Ocean has its architect, Tom Doak, proclaiming, “Top 50 or bust!” Seaside breezes, swift-running fairways and multiple options around the greens lend an honest Scottish feel, despite being less than 100 km from Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island.”
The North Berwick of New Zealand
Having very recently played North Berwick there’s no need for me, unlike at Tara Iti to rely on the comments of other people and so when Tom Doak calls Arrowtown, “The North Berwick of New Zealand,” I must agree. Of course there’s little comparison between the two courses. One of them is ages old and Arrowtown is a latecomer. North Berwick is a links course and Arrowtown is inland and in regards to the topography North Berwick only has its Law whereas Arrowtown is surrounded by mountains.
Golf.com adds, “The short, quirky, 80-year-old layout in the southwest of the South Island is ringed with mountains that make up the Southern Alps, best known as backdrops in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Its 6,003 yards aren’t much, but are loaded with character, with undulating holes framed by landmarks such as the Remarkables and Coronet Peak.”
“Short and quirky,” sounds OK to me but when attempting to articulate my feelings on what’s similar about the two courses I’m almost lost for words.
However I’m reminded of the French expression, “Je ne sais quoi, “ in other words I don’t know but for sure after playing the courses you know you've experienced something special.
Here’s the links golf.com and Ron Whitten
Quote of the day
“A little like a Links course with very narrow fairways and very easy to get into trouble. It is unlike any golf course I have played on before.”- Trip Advisor review of Arrowtown Golf Club