Tuesday, November 18, 2008

World’s number one golf course features in intriguing new book
In October the UK Telegraph proclaimed it No.1 of ‘The World’s Top Ten Golf Courses’. Now the Cape Kidnappers course in Hawke’s Bay has won more accolades, with three of its famous holes featuring in an intriguing new book, 100 Essential New Zealand Golf Holes, released this month by Awa Press.

Tom Hyde, who combines being a golfer with being an award-winning writer, spent a year travelling New Zealand, playing golf and selecting and writing about the most interesting and exhilarating golf holes he found.

He says that Cape Kidnappers, founded by Americans Julian and Jose Robertson and designed by the acclaimed golf course architect Tom Doak, is a standout for its minimalist design and dramatic site.

‘Like other new courses such as Kauri Cliffs, also created by Robertson, Millbrook near Arrowtown, Clearwater in Christchurch and Lakes Resort on the Coromandel, it has definitely raised the bar for New Zealand courses by attracting international attention,’ Hyde says.

‘But what the world is finding out is that such courses are the tip of the iceberg. New Zealand is a paradise for golfers. There are countless wonderful courses, from Wairakei International near Taupo, established by the government in the 1970s to lure tourists, to more humble clubs such as Greymouth, Dunedin’s Balmacewan (the country’s oldest golf club) and Kerikeri, which is blessed with pretty greens and bucolic fairways.’

100 Essential New Zealand Golf Holes is full of stories, from the ghost of a Maori chief said to haunt the Mahunga Golf Club in Masterton to Clarice Espiner, lifelong member of the Thames Golf Club, who scored a hole-in-one at the age of 94. Along the way we meet up with a host of famous golfers who have competed in New Zealand tournaments, from Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer to Tiger Wood, and many local stars, from Bob Charles to Michael Campbell, Craig Perks and our latest star, the youngest ever US Amateur Champion, Danny Lee.

If there’s a golfer in your family, give them this book for Christmas. But be warned: if they take up Hyde’s challenge of playing all 100 holes, you may not see them for a while.

1 comment:

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