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Golf in Godzone: Jack’s Point

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

‘Jack's Point is easily ranked as one of the top 25 courses I have ever played. Like my experience at Sand Hills, playing at Jack's Point permanently changes your perspective. The place raises the spirit, elevates your mood and leaves your yearning to come back for more.’ So says the anonymous blogger who has set out to, and almost completed playing the top 100 golf courses in the world.

Jack’s Point, perhaps because it’s in the deep south, doesn’t feature much when Kiwi golfers living in the North Island talk about golf courses. So here’s some information for those who’ve not had the good fortune to play Jack’s Point.

‘Jack's Point Golf Course is set in a valley between the Remarkable Mountains and Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown. The course was designed in 2008 by Kiwi John Darby who studied golf and landscape architecture at Harvard. After seeing what he designed here, I would say he graduated magna cum laude. Darby's design philosophy is an interesting one, "look hard, play easy." Jack’s Point was named in honor of “Maori Jack” Tewa who first discovered gold in this region and made a dramatic rescue of a passenger of an overturned ferry off this point of the lake.’

Having played the course several times and making a return trip in November. I agree with the thoughts of the anonymous blogger.

‘For many weeks after my trip to New Zealand my wife and boss would ask me frequently whether I was listening, "Did you hear what I just said?" Fact is, I didn't. I would just sit there with a dumb grin on my face looking right through them. Mentally, I was up on that sheep meadow in Queenstown, 14,950 kilometers away. Such is the appeal of this place, that it still has a grip on me.’

Thankfully for me it’s a mere 1,000 kilometers.

There’s some great photographs which display the same high standard as when reviewing Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers.

Of particular note for those who may be inspired to play the course is, ‘The par four 15th as seen from the tee box’. It’s a drive over a dry stane dyke taken from the photographer’s point of view and is very challenging. But beware in case you miss the experience. You’ll need to be playing from the Tiger tees and not the forward tees. There’s a soft option which doesn’t involve going over the stone wall but not nearly as much fun

Top 100 golfer writes, ‘When this hole was originally designed by Darby he wasn't happy with the way it came out. The original green was down lower. He sat on a nearby rock all day as the crew shaped the hole and came up with idea of the rock wall and elevating the green to a higher position. It is now arguably the best hole on the course. Don't be surprised to find yourself hitting two balls off the tee even if your first drive is perfectly in play. The hole is that much fun. When I mentioned this to Darby, he said he does the same thing when playing the course!’

Here’s the link to the Top 100 golfer and to the Jack’s Point web site

Quote of the day

“So we’re going to sell the house in Sydney and move over here to Switzerland where I will base myself till I stop competing…Tax reasons has to do with my decision but mainly it’s more to do with the family and wanting the family together.” – Michael (Cambo) Campbell on his proposed move which will take him even further away from Godzone

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