There we were thinking it was all about bunkers, birdies and bogeys, when in fact golf is a game of emerald-swathed mountains, distant islands and dazzling cliff-top views. From New Zealand to Japan, we tee off. TheR8 has found the 3 best golf courses for you. The best way to build a relationship with your client is to play golf together. Call our free concierge service on 1800 908 254 to book your trip to one of these golf courses or have a look at our website http://www.TheR8.com for cool hotels all over the world.
1. Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand
This course, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, comes top of our list for its dramatic location. Built on what was a 5,000-acre sheep station, its fairways play out along a series of jagged ridges that jut out like fingers into the Pacific before plunging down to the rocks below. From the time of being struck, misdirected balls will take a full 10 seconds to reach the water. Designed by the American architect Tom Doak, Cape Kidnappers has none of the sandy dunes that characterise true links courses – but the harsh landscape is in keeping with the game. Players must contend with fearsome ravines, contoured fairways and fast, tilted greens. The coastal holes are the best, and the 15th (Pirate’s Plank) is my favourite. Arrowing inexorably down one of the narrow promontories, the final shot to the green feels as if it is bound for the end of the earth.
The East and West courses are said to be the finest in the southern hemisphere. Designed 80 years ago by the legendary Dr Alister MacKenzie, the fairways and greens are not as benign as they look. Strategically placed bunkers and fast, contoured greens mean only the best achieve a good score. Flanked by deep bunkers, the green at the fifth hole on the West course looks inviting – but its tilt from back to front means any hit short of the flag races back down the glassy surface.
Undoubted the finest design of globetrotting C.H. Alison, longtime partner of H.S. Colt. He laid out Hirono in the early 1930s in a hilly pine forest slashed by gulleys, clearing wide corridors and positioning greens on the crests of ridges. What makes Hirono special was Alison’s spectacular bunkering, which ranged from diagonal cross bunkers, fearsome carry bunkers and strings of ragged-edged ones. Soon after completion, writers were calling Hirono the Pine Valley of Japan.
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