Te Arai Links in New Zealand has officially opened its South Course, designed by the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw on a long stretch of beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The resort has been dubbed by some to be “a 17-Mile Drive for the southern hemisphere” in reference to the famed courses on California’s Monterey Peninsula that include Pebble Beach Golf Links and Cypress Point. That’s a huge hurdle of comparison to jump over, but the photos below are certainly eye-catching and any serious fan of golf travel needs to go for themselves to be the judge.
The resort plans to open its second course, the North by Tom Doak, in October. Te Arai Links follows on the well-regarded heels of the private Tara Iti Golf Club, another Doak design just up the road. The resort is less than a 2-hour drive north of Auckland on the eastern shores of New Zealand.
Te Arai Links is a resort that also includes private memberships, and resort guests will have access to the South and North on alternating days, playing one course as the members play the other. The South opened for limited preview play in October, and it is now fully open for resort play.
“We invite the Monterey Peninsula comparison because we believe it’s apt,” Jim Rohrstaff, a partner in Te Arai Links and its managing director, said in a media release announcing the full opening. “Our good friend Mike Keiser (founder of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon) believes the South Course has as much ocean frontage as any golf course in the world. It’s that connectivity with the sea that distinguishes the South Course from most links experiences, from the golf experience in Monterey, even from Tara Iti just up the shoreline. On the South Course, the beach is just so close. There’s the visual sensation of actually seeing the waves crashing. But golfers can also hear them crashing — on more than half the holes.”
Te Arai Links includes 48 on-site suites with 19 two-bedroom cottages and six four-bedroom villas slated to be completed in the coming months. The resort also will have a 2.5-acre putting green named The Playground that wraps around a pizza barn near the South’s clubhouse and range and will serve as the resort’s communal gathering spot.