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Buck Wolter

  • Karma: +0/-0
Warne and Wolf in NZ
« on: February 23, 2024, 06:25:48 PM »
I've been following Jeff Warne and Michael Wolf's trip around New Zealand on X/twitter and it has been fascinating to see.


Jeff posted the following stats today -- 25 courses in 18 days, 423 holes and over 3000 KM driven with one internal flight.


I have never really had the desire to head to NZ to play golf (Have always wanted to visit but not to play golf) other than to hit a few of the modern masterpieces on my way to Australia-- this trip to me is like an explorer has discovered a completely new world to explore and may have gone to #1 destination or me.


A quote from Jeff's post yesterday
"You can have Pinehurst. I'll take a surf town with a golf course. Raglan - great land, firm fairways, quirk, huge tilt and slope --barely pinnable due to slick smooth greens. Walked off 18 straight back to #1.


They seemed to have found a huge number of interesting courses. Can't wait to hear more.






Those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience -- CS Lewis

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2024, 10:03:54 AM »
Thanks Buck.
Given my inability to post pictures here, @jeffwarnegolf  on Twitter is best for pics.


Huge shout out to Clyde Johnson, whose book "The Golf Courses of the North Island" was instrumental in planning.
Also Ash Towe, Tom Doak commentary and  few other Twitter shoutouts were helpful.
The amazing thing is how  many I missed!
I could easily see a trip where we did all country courses-they are that good/different.




Michael, myself and two of my assistants played the first leg Feb 6th-11th
Murawai, Tara Iti, Te Arai North, Te Arai South, Waipu, Hikurangi, Kaitaia, Kauri Cliffs
Michael and I then flew to Wellington where my son joined us from the US.


The other two headed to Australia to play the usual suspects on the Sand Belt, Taz, King Island etc., which Michael and I had played (mostly separately)in early 2020 around the Renaissance Cup.


From Wellington, Michael, my son and I played Paraparaumu, Marton, Wangarai, Waverly, Waitara, Rotorua, Kinloch, and Cape Kidnappers.
We then dropped Michael off at Napier where he flew to Auckland and played Titirangi the next day before his return to the US.
So Michael played 16 courses with us plus Titirangi-17 courses in 12 days on the ground.

My son and I then played Mahia(9), Poverty Bay, Te Puia Springs(complete with a 5 hour drive around the very remote East Cape), Ohope, Tokoroa, Taupo Centennial,Putaruru, Kawhia(9) and finally Raglan where we played 27 holes the last day. (Thursday),
Making 25 courses.
Two of the courses we only played 9(front 9 at Marton and back 9 at Waitara-which was AMAZING-on Clyde's advice)
Te Puia is a 16 hole course(you play 1 and 2 again from different tees-we didn't)and we played an additional 9 at Raglan-super fun.


It was an amazing trip-the roads are wide compared to Ireland, albeit many I went on unpaved, but there seems to be construction on every road in New Zealand. Flagmen pretty much every road but the delays are short. Google seemed to factor that in for the most part.


Given that everything exceeded expectations I will only list the disappointments of which there were VERY few(first world problems)
1.Golf Clubs delayed a day-played Murawai with rental clubs-shot a million(I clearly don't adapt well)
Luckily I had to go to the airport the next day anyway to pick up one of the party.


The flight down was fantastic-bulkead seat-I'm 6 foot five-200 lbs. Slept 7-8 hours. Very comfortable.
2.On the return flight no "extra space seats" were available(full flight-I had booked in October) and I had an aisle seat and was bumped solidly in the shoulder by the "far wider than the aisles" stewardess team over 50 times(all of them were easily over 200lbs). It was the smallest seat and aisle I have ever had on a international flight and American should consider the size of passengers and staff(largest size staff I've ever seen) when downsizing seats and aisles. And I'm pretty sure one doesn't need three meals, three snacks and 5 beverage cart visits on a 13 hour return redeye. Small wonder the passengers and staff are so large.
3. In a country with no air conditioning, hard to understand why they don't do screens. It cools down at night so open windows were a must, but the bugs were real thing in the area north of Auckland-not biting but very present. Definitely needed to not have lights on. Screens would make this a total non event-you got used to it, but the choice was heat or shared space ;).


Flights were comparable or less than UK/Ireland with 1 stop from Augusta GA, ($1000) and while some might consider them long, you can get a good night sleep on the way down(15.5 hour flight)-Which I consider a plus. It takes me a day to go anywhere from Eastern LI or SC, and that's all it took from New Holland SC to Auckland, the only difference is I slept on a plane.


Other than that, literally everything went fantastic. I didn't even make a tee time for the last set week long of courses played with my son. Both Saturdays at 10:30 we walked up and teed off  on empty courses-mostly with honor boxes and $15-40 NZ courses.
Nearly all the courses were EMPTY.
Lodging was easily available and inexpensive-mostly one night air bnb's, some motels in the remote places.
Weather was perfect 68-78 degrees for daytime highs.
Wore long pants once, a sweater once during the day, wore a rain vest for three holes. Sunny every day-cool at night.


All the towns were fantastic, but these very vibrant towns absolutely die by 8 PM so we ended up eating quite a bit of takeaway.
The people were very nice, most assumed we from Canada, so we went with that.
We were a curiosity, which was nice-not many Americans in the rural towns, which were very authentic, clean, tidy.
We saw very few Americans, except at the American owned big resort courses, mostly the staff.


Despite all the golf, and 5-6 26 holes days. I never was really tired, despite multiple adult beverage days-not too many at night.
With the exception of Tara Iti and Te Arai, The newish resorts provide carts(Kauri Cliffs, Kinloch, Cape Kidnappers), so I guess that saves the legs a bit.


I'll save my commentary for the courses until after I digest the trip and look at the pics I took of the courses.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2024, 10:08:42 AM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2024, 10:22:24 AM »
Thanks Buck.
Given my inability to post pictures here, @jeffwarnegolf  on Twitter is best for pics.


Huge shout out to Clyde Johnson, whose book "The Golf Courses of the North Island" was instrumental in planning.
Also Ash Towe, Tom Doak commentary and  few other Twitter shoutouts were helpful.
The amazing thing is how  many I missed!
I could easily see a trip where we did all country courses-they are that good/different.


Note: I was in NZ in 2016 for the Renaissance Cup with my family and played Tara Iti and Waitangi on the North Island and Arrowtown and Oreti Sands on the south Island.



Note' this trip was all north island-which is still pretty large geographic space.

Michael, myself and two of my assistants played the first leg Feb 6th-11th
Murawai, Tara Iti, Te Arai North, Te Arai South, Waipu, Hikurangi, Kaitaia, Kauri Cliffs
Michael and I then flew to from KKE in the Northland to Wellington where my son joined fresh from the US.


The other two headed to Australia to play the usual suspects on the Sand Belt, Taz, King Island etc., which Michael and I had played (mostly separately)in early 2020 around the Renaissance Cup.


From Wellington, Michael, my son and I played Paraparaumu, Marton, Wangarai, Waverly, Waitara, Rotorua, Kinloch, and Cape Kidnappers.
We then dropped Michael off at Napier where he flew to Auckland and played Titirangi the next day before his return to the US.
So Michael played 16 courses with us plus Titirangi-17 courses in 12 days on the ground.

My son and I then played Mahia(9), Poverty Bay, Te Puia Springs(complete with a 5 hour drive around the very remote East Cape), Ohope, Tokoroa, Taupo Centennial,Putaruru, Kawhia(9) and finally Raglan where we played 27 holes the last day. (Thursday),
Making 25 courses.
Two of the courses we only played 9(front 9 at Marton and back 9 at Waitara-which was AMAZING-on Clyde's advice)
Te Puia is a 16 hole course(you play 1 and 2 again from different tees-we didn't)and we played an additional 9 at Raglan-super fun.


It was an amazing trip-the roads are wide compared to Ireland, albeit many I went on unpaved, but there seems to be construction on every road in New Zealand. Flagmen pretty much every road but the delays are short. Google seemed to factor that in for the most part.


Given that everything exceeded expectations I will only list the disappointments of which there were VERY few(first world problems)
1.Golf Clubs delayed a day-played Murawai with rental clubs-shot a million(I clearly don't adapt well)
Luckily I had to go to the airport the next day anyway to pick up one of the party.


The flight down was fantastic-bulkhead seat-I'm 6 foot five-200 lbs. Slept 7-8 hours. Very comfortable.
2.On the return flight no "extra space seats" were available(full flight-I had booked in October) and I had an aisle seat and was bumped solidly in the shoulder by the "far wider than the aisles" stewardess team over 50 times(all of them were easily over 200lbs). It was the smallest seat and aisle I have ever had on a international flight and American should consider the size of passengers and staff(largest size staff I've ever seen) when downsizing seats and aisles. And I'm pretty sure one doesn't need three meals, three snacks and 5 beverage cart visits on a 13 hour return redeye. Small wonder the passengers and staff are so large.
3. In a country with no air conditioning, hard to understand why they don't do screens. It cools down at night so open windows were a must, but the bugs were real thing in the area north of Auckland-not biting but very present. Definitely needed to not have lights on. Screens would make this a total non event-you got used to it, but the choice was heat or shared space ;) .


Flights were comparable or less than UK/Ireland with 1 stop from Augusta GA, ($1000) and while some might consider them long, you can get a good night sleep on the way down(15.5 hour flight)-Which I consider a plus. It takes me a day to go anywhere from Eastern LI or SC, and that's all it took from New Holland SC to Auckland, the only difference is I slept on a plane.


Other than that, literally everything went fantastic. I didn't even make a tee time for the last set week long of courses played with my son. Both Saturdays at 10:30 we walked up and teed off  on empty courses-mostly with honor boxes and $15-40 NZ courses.
Nearly all the courses were EMPTY.
Lodging was easily available and inexpensive-mostly one night air bnb's, some motels in the remote places.
Weather was perfect 68-78 degrees for daytime highs.
Wore long pants once, a sweater once during the day, wore a rain vest for three holes. Sunny every day-cool at night.


All the towns were fantastic, but these very vibrant towns absolutely die by 8 PM so we ended up eating quite a bit of takeaway.
The people were very nice, most assumed we from Canada, so we went with that.
We were a curiosity, which was nice-not many Americans in the rural towns, which were very authentic, clean, tidy.
We saw very few Americans, except at the American owned big resort courses, mostly the staff.


Despite all the golf, and 5-6 26 holes days. I never was really tired, despite multiple adult beverage days-not too many at night.
With the exception of Tara Iti and Te Arai, The newish resorts provide carts(Kauri Cliffs, Kinloch, Cape Kidnappers), so I guess that saves the legs a bit.


I'll save my commentary for the courses until after I digest the trip and look at the pics I took of the courses.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2024, 01:44:04 PM »
And you didn't even go to the South Island !!


Anyone from New Zealand would have immediately dissed you if you shared that part.

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2024, 03:14:35 PM »
And you didn't even go to the South Island !!


Anyone from New Zealand would have immediately dissed you if you shared that part.


You must know different people than I met in New Zealand.
Actually I shared "that part"many times with multiple New Zealanders.
I wasn't "dissed" by anyone, in fact all were engaging and extremely curious to know why we had stayed in their area and ate a meal or two, done laundry in the local laundry mat(Mahia and Gisborne) and enjoyed their small towns.They also wanted to know where we were headed and offered opinions.
I spent quite a bit of time before and after with the volunteers, Supers  managers,and occasional pro at most of the places we visited.
We were put out right in front of a regional Senior group(Paraparaumu), a Ladies day(Taupo) ,several twilights(Mahia and Raglan) and always were warmly welcomed and even included. We watched the Super Bowl after a morning round at Paraparaumu and walked in on a Sunday AM finance meeting at Te Puia-they were discussing shockingly small numbers but were in the black!)




Even at the most deserted places,someone on a mower would surface and often open the bar/provide a pull cartl while we shared stories.The bar was opened for us and we had drinks with the staff/volunteers and/or members at Kikurangi,Kaitaia,Waverly,Tokaroa Putururu Mahia,Poverty Bay, Raglan and Kawhia. All of which were mostly deserted honor box courses.-except Poverty Bay and Raglan both of which had a jack of all trades pro manager who we spent over an hour with.
Many were curious about such places we visited that they had not.such as the East Cape etc.
Ironically the pro manager at Poverty Bay wasn't too engaging with us until he found out we had played Mahia and headed to Te Puia,and suddenly he was holding full on court with stories and history of both.Fascinating guy-professional since 1979.

I was on the South Island 8 years ago in an almost virtual non golf capacity(2 courses) and intend to return to the South island in both a non golf and golf capacity as no doubt I only scratched the surface.
There's a lot of geography between the two islands and the South Island certainly has more variation and spectacular natural features, but to skip the rest of the North Island entirely to do a  fly around  to see only the  "modern masterpieces" on the North Island en route to Australia would be a massive missed opportunity, full of no doubt great modern golf but comparatively devoid of local charm and the people who play these places.




Ironically the original plan was supposed to be based around a lot of time in Melbourne, but when I saw I could get from Augusta-Auckland with one connection thru Dallas for $937 RT, I changed gears.




I still feel like I barely scratched the surface of country courses and could easily do a North Island trip again to revisit friends we made and see the many courses I was referred to but didn't make it to.


No doubt I'll return to the South Island next, but I would most definitely like a return trip to replay the magestic "golf park" of Putaruru or attempt the shotmaking curve ball challenges of charming Tokaroa .And it would be an empty feeling to think I wouldn't ever get back to rustic Kawhia and then Raglan to play their friendly incredibly fun newly deforested course and try my hand again at surfing while enjoying the upscale surf town.(my son and I opted to stay an additional night)
« Last Edit: February 24, 2024, 09:12:26 PM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2024, 04:31:31 PM »
Thanks Buck.
Given my inability to post pictures here, @jeffwarnegolf  on Twitter is best for pics.


Huge shout out to Clyde Johnson, whose book "The Golf Courses of the North Island" was instrumental in planning.
Also Ash Towe, Tom Doak commentary and  few other Twitter shoutouts were helpful.
The amazing thing is how  many I missed!
I could easily see a trip where we did all country courses-they are that good/different.


Note: I was in NZ in 2016 for the Renaissance Cup with my family and played Tara Iti and Waitangi on the North Island and Arrowtown and Oreti Sands on the south Island.



Note' this trip was all north island-which is still pretty large geographic space.

Michael, myself and two of my assistants played the first leg Feb 6th-11th
Murawai, Tara Iti, Te Arai North, Te Arai South, Waipu, Hikurangi, Kaitaia, Kauri Cliffs
Michael and I then flew to from KKE in the Northland to Wellington where my son joined fresh from the US.


The other two headed to Australia to play the usual suspects on the Sand Belt, Taz, King Island etc., which Michael and I had played (mostly separately)in early 2020 around the Renaissance Cup.


From Wellington, Michael, my son and I played Paraparaumu, Marton, Wangarai, Waverly, Waitara, Rotorua, Kinloch, and Cape Kidnappers.
We then dropped Michael off at Napier where he flew to Auckland and played Titirangi the next day before his return to the US.
So Michael played 16 courses with us plus Titirangi-17 courses in 12 days on the ground.

My son and I then played Mahia(9), Poverty Bay, Te Puia Springs(complete with a 5 hour drive around the very remote East Cape), Ohope, Tokoroa, Taupo Centennial,Putaruru, Kawhia(9) and finally Raglan where we played 27 holes the last day. (Thursday),
Making 25 courses.
Two of the courses we only played 9(front 9 at Marton and back 9 at Waitara-which was AMAZING-on Clyde's advice)
Te Puia is a 16 hole course(you play 1 and 2 again from different tees-we didn't)and we played an additional 9 at Raglan-super fun.


It was an amazing trip-the roads are wide compared to Ireland, albeit many I went on unpaved, but there seems to be construction on every road in New Zealand. Flagmen pretty much every road but the delays are short. Google seemed to factor that in for the most part.


Given that everything exceeded expectations I will only list the disappointments of which there were VERY few(first world problems)
1.Golf Clubs delayed a day-played Murawai with rental clubs-shot a million(I clearly don't adapt well)
Luckily I had to go to the airport the next day anyway to pick up one of the party.


The flight down was fantastic-bulkhead seat-I'm 6 foot five-200 lbs. Slept 7-8 hours. Very comfortable.
2.On the return flight no "extra space seats" were available(full flight-I had booked in October) and I had an aisle seat and was bumped solidly in the shoulder by the "far wider than the aisles" stewardess team over 50 times(all of them were easily over 200lbs). It was the smallest seat and aisle I have ever had on a international flight and American should consider the size of passengers and staff(largest size staff I've ever seen) when downsizing seats and aisles. And I'm pretty sure one doesn't need three meals, three snacks and 5 beverage cart visits on a 13 hour return redeye. Small wonder the passengers and staff are so large.
3. In a country with no air conditioning, hard to understand why they don't do screens. It cools down at night so open windows were a must, but the bugs were real thing in the area north of Auckland-not biting but very present. Definitely needed to not have lights on. Screens would make this a total non event-you got used to it, but the choice was heat or shared space ;) .


Flights were comparable or less than UK/Ireland with 1 stop from Augusta GA, ($1000) and while some might consider them long, you can get a good night sleep on the way down(15.5 hour flight)-Which I consider a plus. It takes me a day to go anywhere from Eastern LI or SC, and that's all it took from New Holland SC to Auckland, the only difference is I slept on a plane.


Other than that, literally everything went fantastic. I didn't even make a tee time for the last set week long of courses played with my son. Both Saturdays at 10:30 we walked up and teed off  on empty courses-mostly with honor boxes and $15-40 NZ courses.
Nearly all the courses were EMPTY.
Lodging was easily available and inexpensive-mostly one night air bnb's, some motels in the remote places.
Weather was perfect 68-78 degrees for daytime highs.
Wore long pants once, a sweater once during the day, wore a rain vest for three holes. Sunny every day-cool at night.


All the towns were fantastic, but these very vibrant towns absolutely die by 8 PM so we ended up eating quite a bit of takeaway.
The people were very nice, most assumed we from Canada, so we went with that.
We were a curiosity, which was nice-not many Americans in the rural towns, which were very authentic, clean, tidy.
We saw very few Americans, except at the American owned big resort courses, mostly the staff.


Despite all the golf, and (five 36 hole days.four 27 hole days). I never was really tired, despite multiple adult beverage days-not too many at night.
With the exception of Tara Iti and Te Arai, The newish resorts mandated carts(Kauri Cliffs, Kinloch, Cape Kidnappers), so I guess that saves the legs a bit.


I'll save my commentary for the courses until after I digest the trip and look at the pics I took of the courses.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2024, 06:53:27 PM »
Jeff:


I wasnít suggesting the South Island for its golf courses (although, Arrowtown).  But my perspective on Kiwis generally is that most of them take their vacation time in the South Island wilderness and think we are foolish to stay North and play golf.  Ask Greg Turner!


It was the same when I visited South Africa . . . everyone asked if I was going to Cape Town, and when I said I didnít have time, they tuned out.  :D

mike_beene

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2024, 07:37:24 PM »
Did you go from LAX or DFW? 15.5 hours is tough!

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2024, 08:40:11 PM »
Did you go from LAX or DFW? 15.5 hours is tough!


AGS-DFW-AKL
Comfortable seat, two movies, dinner and a good sleep.
Thinner staff and a bulkhead window helped;)
Also landed an hour early.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2024, 08:49:19 PM »
Jeff:


I wasnít suggesting the South Island for its golf courses (although, Arrowtown).  But my perspective on Kiwis generally is that most of them take their vacation time in the South Island wilderness and think we are foolish to stay North and play golf.  Ask Greg Turner!


It was the same when I visited South Africa . . . everyone asked if I was going to Cape Town, and when I said I didnít have time, they tuned out.  :D


I can completely understand why they would visit the South Island with its cooler weather, incredibly diverse geography etc.And the feeling of getting away.


I've just finished a bit of homework on the South island.Looks perfect for someone who considers the journey half the fun.And enough "country" and raw golf for me. Obviously the non golf stuff is a huge draw as well, so seems perfect for my wife and I to wander around.
I have a lot more time in the winter now than I did when I visited in 2016.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Michael Wolf

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2024, 10:22:32 PM »
Until this recent adventure I'd always thought the North island would be my golf trip to New Zealand and the South island might someday be a separate vacation trip with my wife (sneaking in a trip to Arrowtown while she's distracted)


But the North island has logistics for golf that are very similar to Ireland. The courses best known to visitors are all in separate corners of the North island. So you could take a one week trip and change hotels 5 or 6 times to play the big-names, but you'll miss all of the stuff in between. Prior to this months trip with Jeff I wasn't sure whether the quality and variety of those in-between courses would be high enough to justify another week on the road?


They are.


Traveling all the way to New Zealand and not seeing Waverly, Waipu and Wanganui is IMO like driving a lap around Ireland without stopping at County Louth, Sligo or Cruit Island.


If you want to see everything on the North island it really is at least a two week trip. Or like Ireland, two separate trips.


A few other observations...
- make sure to fill your water bottle every morning. The courses in NZ had even less access to water than UK courses. Most clubhouses were locked up in the afternoons.
- the maximum speed limit anywhere is 100kph, and that's as fast as anyone goes. Not a single car blew past us going 120 all week.
- flights from the US land and depart in Aukland at perfect early-afternoon times for golfers. We played on the evening we arrived and the morning we left.
- there was almost no internal water and very little gunch on any of the courses we played except Kinloch and Kauri Cliffs. I think I lost seven balls in two weeks.
- Kinloch wasn't as difficult as we'd been warned - or at least Mr. Warne didn't think so. He hit every fairway and I believe 16(?!) greens.
- I thought almost every course was just as easy to walk as it was to use the 3-wheel push carts. I miss the days of simple pull carts.
- interesting how many non-golfers we saw eating in clubhouses. Te Ari's was packed with local folks just grabbing a burger and a beer at lunchtime.
- one of our few travel hiccups were the automated gas pumps at unattended stations. We never could get any of them to accept any of our credit or debit cards? But stations attached to convenience stores where we could pay inside were easy enough to find.
- seconding Jeff's comment on the bugs/open windows. What gives?


My bottom line: For a first trip to Oceana I'd still recommend flying to Melbourne, renting an AirBnB, and playing everything in the neighborhood. The easy logistics and quality of courses in the Sandbelt are unmatched. But a quality second or third week-long trip to Oceana would be flying to Aukland and playing Titirangi and Muriwai Sands, then driving two hours up to Waipu, Te Ari North and South and Tara Its if you have access.


Sadly, I didn't find any new golf books on the trip. Titirangi and Paraparaumu have nice displays of their histories in the clubhouses. Both clubs have their original Russell and Mackenzie maps and greens sketches.




Michael

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2024, 11:41:32 PM »
Timed out on a super long pist...aaaaargh.
Sivwull agrees one thing;)

Kinloch was very hard.
I was scared into playing well tee to green.
I don't think I would enjoy bringing my usual travelling companions there.
Dizzying choices off the tees and deep lost ball gunch plus heavily spined repelling greens.
Not the kind've place I would choose on my own but it was a stunningly beautiful place.
Such beautiful and naturally  contoured land should not have to compete with the(over) design of the bunkering,  driving line options and greens.
A very low key operation-which was nice.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2024, 08:50:16 AM »

Kinloch was very hard.

Such beautiful and naturally  contoured land should not have to compete with the(over) design of the bunkering,  driving line options and greens.
A very low key operation-which was nice.


Believe it or not, Iíve heard Kinloch was pretty flat to start with and that most of those contours were created.  If true, the mimicry of the outside terrain is impressive, and I wonder if it is an early example of using digital technology to create contour where there was none.


Kinloch was built right after Sebonack and they were definitely trying to incorporate more fairway and green contour into their designs.  All of his courses right then were wild- Dismal River and those wild greens in Arizona were among the others.

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2024, 09:10:09 AM »

Kinloch was very hard.

Such beautiful and naturally  contoured land should not have to compete with the(over) design of the bunkering,  driving line options and greens.
A very low key operation-which was nice.




Believe it or not, Iíve heard Kinloch was pretty flat to start with and that most of those contours were created.  If true, the mimicry of the outside terrain is impressive, and I wonder if it is an early example of using digital technology to create contour where there was none.


Kinloch was built right after Sebonack and they were definitely trying to incorporate more fairway and green contour into their designs.  All of his courses right then were wild- Dismal River and those wild greens in Arizona were among the others.


Michael and I discussed whether the contours outside the play corridors were natural or not.
If not, they did a heck of a job mimicking the land that is virtually everywhere around there.
Seems odd that there wasn't natural contour around as you see so much of it on the surrounding land,
It was busytown though for the driving areas.
That was compounded a bit for  by the fact we played a tee up(6600 yards) which would seem about right for a 61 year old pro but it certainly drove me into taking more driver risk than I usually would by forcing me into what appeared to be narrower corridors than if I had played back and driven to wider safer areas.


It was a stunningly beautiful day.


Par 4 Choices felt like driver just right of green or 5 iron into wide area.(link below)
Many driving holes felt like this to me.
I'm normally pretty conservative off the tee but drove it well all day with the driver.


https://photos.fife.usercontent.google.com/pw/ABLVV8615FZsXoVyUpwePF-FHHVM2Hls6BZf0BxWk3LFBL9GgxbvQvgOVlGcNg=w1317-h911-s-no-gm?authuser=0


250 out on a par 5.(link below)
A "where do I hit it" moment.
I laid up with a pitching wedge, leaving a 9 iron before the massive clusters because it was clear neither of my opponents was going to finish the hole and I saw nowhere to land a second shot other than clearing everything.


https://photos.fife.usercontent.google.com/pw/ABLVV87zq5RTkwWHTr62aWl5tDPI27OiZzHqMDZ_D0Lb6MlBvQ76GfYcsLrw1w=w1683-h911-s-no-gm?authuser=0
« Last Edit: February 25, 2024, 09:19:50 AM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Adam_Messix

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2024, 01:18:28 AM »
It you had time to only play one, would you play Raglan or Kawhia? 




jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2024, 02:50:44 AM »
It you had time to only play one, would you play Raglan or Kawhia?


Kawhia is real raw golf. A pretty tough drive in
It's 9 holes, and is a challenging walk.
the greens were basically rough fairways surrounded by fences(I did make 3 twenty footers putting with a 5 wood)
3-5 really cool holes and some great views.
[size=78%]Even I was frustrated with the turf height/thickness on certain holes(2-3 inch thatchy couch)[/size]
The only course we moved the ball, but it was nearly fruitless on some holes as the thatchy surface was everywhere and there was nothing to compress the ball against)on 3-4 holes).


Raglan is a really cool upscale surf town, that happens to have a golf course.
A very fun course, but not quite the "country course" that many of the other courses were
The front nine is really good(9 really good holes), the back less so.
I really enjoyed the course and the town, but if you had dropped me there and told me I was in Southern Cal I would've bought it.
the biggest surprise was the upscale fun town with a "country priced" golf course $35 NZ


Both courses were part of the unique lineup of very different courses I chose.(both Ragland were a bit of a surprise to me for different reasons
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Paul Rudovsky

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Warne and Wolf in NZ
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2024, 09:23:22 PM »
Jeff and Michael--My trip a few weeks ago was very short but was about my 5th or 6th golfing trip to NZ.  First major one was in 1977.  On this year's trip I returned to Paraparaumu which I had last seen in 1977.  Remembered almost none of it but think the land on which the front nine is built might be among the best pieces of land for a golf course anywhere in the world.  Loved the front and back nine is very good.


Played Kinloch 1x (in 2016) and thought it was one of the 4-5 hardest courses I had ever seen.  Had long talk w HP after round and he said the course had to that point gone thru six different owners (as I recall the HP was there for all of them).  After a while he said he almost never sees a visitor coming back for a second round either on the same or a later trip.  He also said the first owner had asked JWN to build "the world's hardest course"....and I would add that he forgot to say to make it fun to play.


Sorry I missed Waverley...as this was most likely my last trip "down under" unless I fall for the 7 Mile Beach swansong

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