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Golf in Godzone: Queenstown’s Fabulous Fifth Hole

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

Queenstown is most certainly the “Adventure Capital” of New Zealand and hard to beat anywhere else in the world. And now it has an adventure golf hole.

This from the Australian PGA web site.

“To celebrate the start of the PGA Tour of Australasia's NZPGA Pro-Am tournament which began today at The Hills in Queenstown, sponsor Callaway Golf decided to take advantage of Queenstown's status as the adventure capital of New Zealand by hosting a NZ first "Adventure Golf Hole" challenge from the back of a jet boat on Lake Wakatipu.

NZ Golfer Phil Tataurangi, Australian Brendan Jones and former All Black Justin Marshall, all lined up to tee off from the boat onto the 5th tee (Oops! I think they meant 5th green) at the Kelvin Heights Golf Club, a distance of around 200 yards.

After some warm-up shots the difficulty of teeing off from a rocking boat became apparent as the boat moved noticeable when both Brendan Jones & Phil Tataurangi took their first shot.

Former All Black Marshall was even more affected with his first shot not even making the shoreline.

Order was restored the second time around, with both Phil and Brendan hitting the green on their second ball and Justin slightly off to the right of the green.

With a small side bet riding on the result, after a sharp uphill putt for a birdie Phil was handed a crisp note from the world number 111, Brendan Jones.”

Queenstown Golf Club better known as Kelvin Heights is mentioned in the New Zealand Sunday Star Times, February 2009; "MOST SCENIC COURSE: Kelvin Heights Golf Course, Queenstown…It's situated on the Queenstown peninsula, surrounded by the rugged Remarkables and on the shore of the beautiful Lake Wakatipu. This 18-hole course will give you reason to pause and drink in the scenery. You have the lake on three sides and the craggy Remarkables on the other, with Coronet Peak and the town behind you. The course is not long, but fairly tight and challenging.”

Sunday Star Times you got it wrong. Jack’s Point which is very close to NZ’s “Adventure Capital” is the most scenic course in New Zealand but Kelvin Heights still comes close. And the view from behind their 5th green looking towards the lake and the Remarkables is truly remarkable. Here’s a link to the view from QGC’s web site, the Aussie PGA and to the Sunday Star Times article which lists other honourable mentions such as; Southernmost  course (and smallest) Ringaringa Heights Golf Course, Stewart Island. Spookiest course Napier Golf Club and most Underrated course, Kinloch Golf Club, Taupo.

Perhaps if Kinloch was cheaper to play for the average Kiwi it would quickly shed it’s underrated image with lots of players lining to play what is undoubtedly a very good test of golf.

Quote of the Day

“It's (Ringaringa Heights) the second southernmost golf course in the world, the first being Ushuaia Golf Course in Argentina. Nine and 18 holes for $5, full membership $100.” – Sunday Star Times

Has to be one of the cheapest golf courses to play in the world and with only 32 members there shouldn’t be any problems getting a tee time.

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