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Golf in Godzone: Justifiably Jack's Point

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

Jack’s Point, just outside of Queenstown, New Zealand has just been nominated the top course in the South Island.

Regular readers will be aware that I have on several occasions mentioned this marvellous course and now Andrew Whiley, ‘With forty-seven respondents from NZPGA Golf Professionals, Tour Professionals (including Sir Bob Charles)…’ have come up with their latest assessment.

Andrew’s web site advises, ‘After last year’s (2010) rankings, Whiley reviewed the methodology of the rankings and also took into consideration that most of the rankers were from the North Island and had not played many of the South Island Golf Courses.  So this year, the rankings were divided into the North and South Island Golf Courses.  The average ranking points each course received resulted in the final tabulations.

The top three courses in the North Island were: Kauri Cliffs (22.87), Wairakei (21.73) and Kinloch (21.26).  In the South Island, Jacks Point (19.49) topped the list, followed by The Hills (18.54) and Millbrook (14.34).

Whiley was not surprised by this year’s results as there was consistency with rankings from the 2010 published “Top 25”.  However, Pegasus Golf Resort in Christchurch was the biggest mover out of all the courses.  Whereas last year it didn’t crack the ‘Top 25’; this year it vaulted into 7th place in the South Island.’

Having played Pegasus, I’m not surprised to read of its “vaulted” move. Located a few miles north of Christchurch and driving through typically flatland Canterbury countryside to reach the course. It comes as a surprise to find a golf course which is able to convey a feel of hilly country. Not quite Jack’s Point , however course architect Kristine Kerr, has maximized the contours of the land. And without any apparent excessive (ab)use of bulldozers to create exaggerated humps and hollows. Or thank goodness, extravagant lakes; the last resort of golf course architects devoid of any better ideas.

Of course there’s water, with a wee lake to carry from the first tee but the watery aspects of the rest of the course appear as waterways meandering through the course. And as far as I can recall, not one large funky fountain to foul the landscape.

What comes as a surprise, is the fact that the Tom Doak designed Cape Kidnappers didn’t make it into the top three North Island courses.

The golf rankings web site advises, ‘Whiley clearly saw that the golf courses with the biggest budgets produced the best results as the resort courses clearly topped the list.  He intends to do a follow-up ranking featuring regional “club member” courses.  Plans are also underway to include country and nine-hole golf courses.  He will be asking golfers from throughout New Zealand for feedback to assist these rankings.’

Not so sure that’s a good idea. As of this time of writing the world’s largest travel advisory web site, Trip Advisor is under attack because of a high number of allegedly misleading reviews. Generated by persons with their own agenda and affecting the integrity and validity of Trip Advisor’s reviews.

Here’s the link to which made me aware of Andrew’s 2011 update.

Quote of the Day

“With the snow capped Remarkables mountain range as a backdrop throughout and some stunning views from elevation of Lake Wakatipu Jacks Point is fast becoming a championship favourite in the south.” – Peter Thornton at The Golf Club

Peter also has some great photographs of Jack's Point


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