Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw formally unveiled the South Course at Te Arai Links, located an hour north of Auckland, New Zealand.
The course, which has been a highly anticipated offering from the popular architects since its announcement, has been open for limited play since October 2022. The grand opening now ensures than many more golfers can enjoy its unique design sensibilities.
Coore & Crenshaw were challenged to create a course layout that not only appeals to newcomers but veterans as well by making it wide and playable but also strategic, where positioning is just as important as enjoyment.
Jim Rohrstaff, managing director and partner at Te Arai Links, said that the South Course has as much ocean frontage as any course in the world.
“It’s that connectivity with the sea that distinguishes the South Course from most links experiences,” he said. “There’s the visual sensation of actually seeing the waves crashing. But golfers can also hear them crashing — on more than half the holes.”
Other features of the Te Arai include a 2.5-acre putting green called The Playground, a practice facility with six greens modeled after classic course architecture from all over the world, 48 suites and an additional 19 cottages and six villas slated for completion in the next few months. Other activities offered at the resort include surfing, horseback riding, hiking and fishing and more.
The North Course at Te Arai, designed by Tom Doak (who also designed the nearby Tara Iti private golf club), is scheduled to open in October 2023, and amenities such as The North Clubhouse, Ocean Restaurant, North Halfway House, Spa + Fitness Centre and members-only Bunker Bar will be completed in the next 18 months.
“I think there’s a huge appeal in having Doak next door, for me personally and I think Ben would agree,” Coore says. “In each instance, it’s been a huge honor. Of course, there is a little good-natured competitiveness, too. You don’t want to build a course that’s not up to par with others in the complex.”
Doak himself even weighed in on the friendly rivalry going on between them.
“We’ve worked next to Bill and Ben a few times,” he said. “I think we’re both keenly aware that, in all those cases, the courses themselves turned out exceptionally well. So I think we’re both a little extra conscious of the good streak we’ve got going.”
New Zealand, a country reliant on tourism, has been isolated during the course of the pandemic but now…
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