Development of Tom Doak’s design at Tara Iti reaches completion

Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley
  • The par three second hole features a small bunker within the green (Photo: Joann Dost)

    The second hole features a small but menacing greenside bunker (Photo: Joann Dost)

  • The par-four sixth hole (Photo: Joann Dost)

    The par-four sixth hole (Photo: Joann Dost)

  • The Tara Iti clubhouse sits gently among the dunes (Photo: Joann Dost)

    The Tara Iti clubhouse sits gently among the dunes (Photo: Joann Dost)

  • The course lies on the northern coast of New Zealand’s North Island (Photo: Joann Dost)

    The course lies on the northern coast of New Zealand’s North Island (Photo: Joann Dost)

The new Tara Iti Golf Club is slated to open for member play in October 2015.

Designed by golf course architect Tom Doak, the new course lies in dunes north of Te Arai Point on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island, around 100km from the city of Auckland. 

The course is Doak’s second in the country, following on from his design at Cape Kidnappers Golf Club in Hawkes Bay. The architect has extensive experience working at sand-based sites – notably at Pacific Dunes at Mike Keiser’s Bandon Dunes resort in Oregon, US, and Barnbougle Dunes in Tasmania, Australia.

Doak played the course at a preview event in April alongside club principals and invited guests.

“Once a golf course routing is finished, we start building holes in some sort of sequence that makes sense for construction purposes, and we pretty much never walk the course in order from one to eighteen until it’s ready to open,” Doak explained. “So, what I appreciated most about Tara Iti during this recent visit was the pacing and rhythm of it.”

“What also struck me is how much it plays like a links, and how fun that is,” Doak added. “You can't take your eye off the ball until it stops rolling, and CJ Kreuscher, the course superintendent, has the playing surface so tight, the ball is still rolling long after you think it might stop.”

As well as the golf course, the site will also be home to a real estate development created by the Legacy Partners company.

Jim Rohrstaff, a partner at Legacy Partners, said: “It’s been instructive to see (Doak’s) team at work. They work deliberately, not so much designing golf holes so much as identifying them in the existing landscape. This minimalism, this assuredness in the links discipline, has proved a perfect fit for our overall approach at Te Arai.”

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