« Reflecting upon my recent golf journey to New ZealandThe magic of New Zealand's North Island softens the blow of leaving Queenstown and the Remarkables Mountains behind »

5 comments

Comment from: Dave Langmuir [Visitor] Email
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As a 6 handicapper having played both Kinloch and Cape Kidnappers last year whilst visiting from the US , I couldn't disagree with you more. Kinloch is a fantastic golf course with no weak holes whereas I would almost place a wager that Cape Kidnappers is not one of Tom Doak's proudest layouts ! Kidnappers has several unmemorable golf holes and a number of green complexes that are like camels backs. Kauri Cliffs and Jacks Point along with Kinloch in my opinion trump Cape Kidnappers. It's great that opinions on golf courses can be so vastly different but I wonder if your interview with Tom Doak played a part in your review ?? I doubt my comments will be posted but NZ top 3 would be... 1. Kauri Cliffs
2. Kinloch and 3. Jacks point. The layout and scenery of 'The Hills' in Queenstown would make it number 4 but personally I would even rank Paraparaumu and Wairakei above Cape Kidnappers and the both of those you can play for a fraction of the price of Kidnappers.
03/09/13 @ 21:03
Comment from: Jason Scott [Member] Email
Dave, I respect your opinion. This story has nothing to do with my interview with Doak. And I would agree that Kauri Cliffs and Jacks Point are possibly (maybe even probably) better than Cape. Six handicappers like you will love Kinloch. For the 90 percent of the rest of us, however, it will defeat us endlessly. For the record, I still believe Kinloch is magic and with a few minor tweaks would be a course among the best in the world.
03/09/13 @ 21:29
Comment from: dyakimec [Visitor]
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I lived in NZ for two years and only played Cape Kidnappers because of the good job Doak did at Pacific Dunes. In all honesty, I wasn't overly impressed with the course. Yes, there are some great views to be had but where in NZ don't you have spectacular views. Give me a round at any of the following, Wairakei, Int'l, Poverty Bay GC, Formosa CC or Ngamotu Links.
03/10/13 @ 13:41
Comment from: Alistair Tod [Visitor] Email
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Jason

I struggle with the title of your piece, and also the finish of it. You are clearly a Tom Doak fan, as I am, yet I get the feeling that you are implying that you are in fact a Nicklaus fan also, by steering people to your "good" Nicklaus articles....yet you've had a pretty good left-field swipe at Kinloch here (which incidentally many see as one of Jack Nicklaus' finest designs to date).

I do love the fact that golf offers and opens up so much debate about golf course architecture, however it does interest me when I see it come from someone who only played 9 holes of a golf course. Clearly you did not have the time to enjoy the full Kinloch experience...? Had you run out of ammunition? That happens...!

Now, you say that Doak "gets it". That implies that Nicklaus doesn't. You need to understand the context of what the brief was for both architects. Nicklaus was asked to design a members "Championship" layout which would be enjoyed by members for years to come. Kinloch definitely does not benefit from a single round there, and does often defeat people, but I would disagree with you saying that happens endlessly. Once you are familiar with the layout and the variety it offers, it is one of the finest challenges in world golf. That is why there is a great emphasis on visitors to have at least 2 rounds to fully benefit from playing there (discounted green fees for subsequent rounds).

Tom Doak on the other hand had a brief to design a stunningly spectacular, playable course as part of a complex to be enjoyed by all visiting golfers in particular for guests staying at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers. And that he did.

I personally love both courses - they offer a completely different set of challenges and are incomparable on the same piece of paper.

So, please, if you are going to bag a designer or his design without having fully experienced it or grasped it, then it really should be saved for your private journals.

However, saying that, there is not a lot wrong with creating "polarity", since debate in the clubhouse after a round is what we love to look forward to...!

Finally, I will say that your statement of : "This is not Nicklaus v Doak" - in my view has made it such... I too, respect your opinion - you said you weren't playing very well, and it has always been recognised that to enjoy Kinloch, you are advised to bring your "A" game!

I hope that next time you visit New Zealand, you find the time to return to Kinloch to be able to experience it for all its glory, as part of a fantastic piece of the New Zealand golfing jigsaw that offers some of the worlds greatest golf courses.

Incidentally - if you could make a few "minor" tweaks to Kinloch as you call them, what would the two at the top of your list be...?
03/10/13 @ 21:39
Comment from: Jason Scott [Member] Email
Alister. I hardly ran out of balls. I only had time to play the back nine and I drove the entire front nine, taking pictures and watching players tackle the course. I've seen enough courses around the world -- 600 - to form an educated opinion. Plus, I spent time at length interviewing the head professional Tom Long. I think my point is valid: Kinloch is too difficult to leave visitors with a strong first impression. It is a members course ... and as such ... those who play it multiple times will get more enjoyment out of it.

And I don't get the sensitive nature of those defending Kinloch. I gave it much praise. Its layout is strong and beautiful. You are nitpicking my every word. It's a great course, one of the top five in New Zealand, and I'd love to return for a second look.
03/12/13 @ 17:41

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