Forget about how the other half live, this is how the “one per cent” do it. Tara Iti, on the coast near Mangawhai, about 90 minutes north of Auckland, is New Zealand’s first American-style private golf club. With the emphasis on private. Getting information about the members or what they pay to join this elite club is almost impossible. And most of the information that has filtered into the public domain is dismissed as incorrect by Jim Rohrstaff, who manages real estate sales and memberships for the club.
No, he says, memberships do not cost $175,000. No, the annual fee is not $10,000-$15,000. No, there is no compulsory bar tab of $1000.
Tara Iti Golf Course is located just over an hour north of Auckland on the east coast, this ultra-private layout opened its full 18 holes in October 2015 and for most golfing purists it went straight to No.1 in New Zealand. Designed by Tom Doak, the visionary behind Cape Kidnappers, Tara Iti was built on what had been a pine-covered Sahara by the sea.
Cape Kidnappers bring together a world-class golf course and five star luxury lodge accommodation in spectacular location. Cape Kidnappers is an iconic promontory of rugged cliffs and farmland overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Designed by US Architec Tom Doak, the challenging course is the result of clever design and respect for the natural landscapes. Cape Kidnappers is perched high above the cliffs at the southern tip of the Hawkes Bay, looking out across the Pacific Ocean. Like Kauri Cliffs, it is spread out over 6,000 acres of rolling farmland and native bush and has drawn international fanfare since it opened in 2004.
3. Jack’s Point
With a backdrop of 2300 vertical metres of the Remarkables mountain range and an armchair view of an outstanding lake panoramas, Jack’s Point Golf course is one of the most visually spectacular in the world. As an 18 hole par 72 championship course it offers golfers an exciting challenge with five tee positions to choose from, providing all golfers an unforgettable golf experience. Jack’s Point is located on the eastern side of Lake Wakitapu, a 20-minute drive from Queenstown and just five minutes from Queenstown airport. The golf course is located between the lake and The Remarkables mountain range, so everywhere you look you’ll see amazing scenery.
4. Kauri Cliffs
Kauri Cliffs was designed and built by David Harman of Golf Course Consultants, Orlando, Florida. The par 72 championship golf course measures 7,119 yards / 6,510 metres and offers five sets of tees to challenge every skill level. Fifteen holes view the Pacific Ocean, six of which are played alongside cliffs which plunge to the sea. The beautiful inland holes wind through marsh, forest and farmland. Kauri Cliffs is 30 minutes north of Kerikeri – is simply outstanding. The course is rated in the world’s Top 100 and deservedly so. With only a maximum of 24 golfers gracing its fairways on any given day it’s easy to believe you’re the only person enjoying the privilege.
5. The Hills
The Hills was designed by Darby Partners and opened in 2007 to host the New Zealand Open. Set over 500 acres of land across a glacial valley the layout highlights the dramatic elevation changes and rocky schist outcrops that are a feature of the area.
This championship layout provides a serious challenge for accomplished players while thoughtful and considerate design means that the golf course is equally enjoyable for golfers of all abilities. The beauty of the courses lakes, waterways and wetland areas are complimented by a stunning array of sculptures made by local and international artists. Located in Arrowtown, only 20 minutes from Queenstown, the course has elevated tees make for exciting shots but also allow the golfer to take in the panoramic views around them – some of the most colourful anywhere in the world.