Clearwater Golf Club is located near the airport in the suburbs of Christchurch, New Zealand.
Designed by John Darby with Sir Bob Charles as a consultant, Clearwater Golf Club opened in 2002.
Since opening Clearwater has regularly hosted major championship events including The Clearwater Classic, NZ PGA, NZ Womens Open, & New Zealand Open.
Horses for Courses
Something I have not seen before anywhere in the world is the way Clearwater adapts the competition course with the changing conditions. Wind is a big factor and with the course quite challenging at times, and so much water in play, it is important that the tees and pins are placed appropriately for the conditions of the day. They have different cards for the different wind directions- fully utilising the different length tees to make each hole playable on the day.
There is also the 30/30 course devised by Bob Charles which offers a combination of short par 4 and par 3's adapted from the full course to play as a short and sporty par 60 course for members after a bit of fun- but without taking too long...
Clearwater is a parkland course somewhat reminiscent of the popular resort courses in the USA. Water is the dominant hazard, and a majority of the holes are framed by water, or require water carries
The front nine is more open, and only really fires up on holes 8 & 9 when suddenly the proliferation of h2o requires your full attention
The back nine is a much stronger nine in my opinion and includes a number of memorable holes. The closing stretch- 16,17 & 18 is indeed a championship finish
Notable holes include:
hole 8- a short par 4 with water to carry off the tee and in play down the right hand side of the fairway and around behind the green (see pic top of page)
hole 9 - a strong all water carry par 3
hole 11- another strong all water carry par 3
hole 13- a par 4 with water in play along the left of the journey from tee to green. Add ball magnet bunkering to the right off the tee and a big tree to the left, and throw in a tricky green- it makes a tough but interesting hole
hole 14- a tight par 5 with 2 burns bisecting the fairway. You need to pay attention!
hole 16- a par 3 that requires a water carry!
hole 18- a strong par 4 to finish with water on the left and a semi island green
Clearwater has a pedigree for hosting championships. You need to be on your game to bring home a score here!
Convenient to the airport and the Christchurch CBD, Clearwater is now more than a golf resort- with all the lovely lakeside homes, Clearwater is becoming a residential suburb. Visitors can stay on course at Peppers where the dining is also quite superb
If in Christchurch golfers will want to test themselves on the back nine at Clearwater…
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