Cape Kidnappers: A Super Star of Golf
Cape Kidnappers, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, is a must play golf course and a unique golfing experience. And here is why…
Your Arrival at Cape Kidnappers
The experience of playing Cape Kidnappers is unique in every way. When you arrive at Cape Kidnappers golf course you are greeted by a dirt road and grey metal gate and no sign of a golf course. You buzz the intercom, announce who you are. This is not a just a show-up kind of a place. The gate opens and you begin a 15-20 minute drive through forest and wilderness. Again, no sign of a golf course. Eventually, you arrive at what looks to be a small, rustic cabin that is the clubhouse. Not what you are expecting from golf course ranked as the top 16 golf course in the world. Not the grand palace that usually accompanies a course with such credentials.
That Ultimate Golf Feeling
Cape Kidnappers averages only about 40 rounds a day so don’t be surprised if you get an unusual amount of attentive care from the staff. Chances are when we play there, we’ll be the only group on the course – which will add even more to the experience. There, you won’t feel rushed. You’ll have time to soak it all in, take photos and to also feel the experience. Because you’ll feel like you are in golf heaven. You sort of won’t believe the quality of the course and the off jaw-dropping spectacular setting.
Because there is a feeling here. Because all the top 20 golf courses in the world have an ora about them. It needs to be savoured and not rushed. These rare feelings are ones you will recall throughout your life because they are so special. You’ll feel like you are in golf heaven. You sort of won’t believe the quality of the course and the off jaw-dropping spectacular setting.
The Dramatic Signature Cape Kidnappers Setting
Built on what was a 5,000-acre sheep station, the fairways play out along a series of jagged ridges that jut out like fingers into the Pacific before plunging down into the ocean below. What’s eery is that when you get to the edge of the course you can peer over the cliffs – a breath-taking experience. On the sixth and 15th holes, you have to make your way across a ravine to reach the greens. From the time of being struck, misaligned 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 deal with fearsome ravines, contoured fairways and fast, tilted greens. The coastal holes are the best, and the 15th (Pirate’s Plank) is a favourite. Playing along some of the narrow promontories, the final shot to the green will feel as if it is bound for the end of the earth.
Cape Kidnappers should be on everyone’s bucket list of golf courses to play. Some say it is the same feeling as playing the Old course at St Andrews. Cape Kidnappers is one of the most expensive golf course to play in New Zealand and yet it is cheaper than any of the great golf courses in the U.S.
In March 2017, Go Golfing salutes New Zealand’s magical golf courses – including Cape Kidnappers – its pristine beauty, epicurean delights washed down with those world famous Sav Blanc’s and Pinot’s, with back to back fully escorted tours to the North Island and South Island.
Play the courses that have adorned the front covers of the golf magazines. Kauri Cliffs, Cape Kidnappers, Wairakei, Kinloch and Royal Wellington will impress the most seasoned golf traveller in the North. And in the South, Jack’s Point along with games at Millbrook, Wanaka and Queenstown, you will soon know why these are the most photographed courses on the Go Golfing schedule.
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