Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kauri Cliffs, Matauri Bay, NZ

The golf course at Kauri Cliffs is a wonder in the world of modern golf courses. Perched on top of a small mountain the clubhouse allows expansive views of the entire front nine and the Matauri Bay. When walking (not suggested) this golf course one senses a true cross country golfing experience. The front nine straddles and climbs the sides of former cattle pastures before getting you out to the cliffs edge for the spectacular seventh hole, a tough par 3 across a chasm. The back nine begins by climbing down into a valley which shares holes 10, 11, and 12. Hole 13, Tablelands climbs out to a ridge and the sense of the ocean becomes stronger. No where in the world have I seen such dramatic cliffside golf starting on the fourteenth hole! Golfers are then treated to uninhibited and inspiring views of the Cavalli islands and the surrounding bay for four spectacular golf holes before again climbing back home to the clubhouse. The views are good and the golf is great. Somehow architect David Harmon was able to create a place for these golf holes among heaving pastures, high ridges and rolling cliffs along the ocean. I was left in awe of the grand scale of this course and left with a great satisfaction to have seen this amazing property.

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