Kristine Kerr continues work to harmonise nines at Omaha Beach

  • Omaha Beach Golf Club
    Omaha Beach Golf Club

    The par-four eighteenth hole at Omaha Beach has reopened for play

  •  Omaha Beach Golf Club
    Omaha Beach Golf Club

    The seventeenth hole has also been reshaped as part of Kristine Kerr’s renovation

  • Omaha Beach Golf Club
    Omaha Beach Golf Club

    The remodelled fifteenth maximises views of the adjacent harbour

  • Omaha Beach Golf Club
    Omaha Beach Golf Club

    Kristine Kerr (centre) with contractors Adam (left) and Trent Jones (right)

By Laura Hyde

Omaha Beach Golf Club, located an hour north of Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island, has reopened its eighteenth hole as part of an ongoing renovation by architect Kristine Kerr.

The club originally opened in 1975 with a nine-hole layout, and nine more holes were added in the 2000s. Discussions between the club and Kerr regarding the scope of remodelling work began in 2017, with a master plan created in 2018.

The original nine, now played as holes one to three and thirteen to eighteen, was built on the northern portion of the site, “a low-lying, sandy peninsula with virtually no elevation change,” said Kerr. “These holes suffered drainage issues in winter and periods of heavy rain, with a high water table.” 

The south nine was built using modern techniques and incorporated shaping from adjacent sand dunes. “Our work was to update the north nine to harmonise with the south,” said Kerr. 

This has involved bunker work on fourteen and an entire remodelling of fifteen, seventeen and eighteen. “The turfgrass bore the brunt of the poor drainage and age,” said Kerr. “All three were completely reshaped, elevated, include new bunkering, grass and wetlands and maximise the relationship and views of the adjacent harbour. We also extended the large lake in two areas, adjacent to the seventeenth’s tees and to come into play off a new back tee on hole two.”

The project was funded and supported by Friends of Omaha Beach GC and led by Tony Kortegast and Geoff Smith. Kerr worked with club superintendent Corey Willcox and staff, as well as Adam and Trent Jones from Golf Renovations and Shaping Specialists who handled construction.

“I can only concur with the Omaha Beach Committee’s phrase ‘idyllic coastal playground’. Translated from New Zealand Maori, Omaha means a 'place of pleasure’,” said Kerr. “Golfers are loving the large green on the par three seventeenth, which was completed in 2022. The fifteenth, which was completed in 2021, is quite tricky as its narrow, but I encourage golfers to attempt to run it up. Omaha Beach has always been a popular course, with members and visitors alike, and after the remodelling project it now offers golfers more defined holes which can be played year-round.”

Future plans include elevating tees on the first hole and transforming the par-three third into a par five.