Located near Queenstown in New Zealand’s south island, Millbrook is one of those really wonderful places in the world to spend some time.
Yes it has 27 holes of some pretty decent golf- but only around 30% of the guests that stay at Millbrook come to play golf…
The setting is majestic!
Surrounded by snow capped mountain ranges the resort has an old world feel with many of the main resort facilities having been adapted from old farm buildings- the site was formerly a wheat farm…
The land on which Millbrook now calls home was first discovered by Maori and later by Europeans who were lured to the region by tales of a gold rush. In the 1860s, it was the French brothers John and Peter Butel from Normandy who established a 450 acre wheat farm to feed hungry miners. The rustic remains of the farm live on in Millbrook's restored buildings and The Avenue of trees that still welcomes visitors just as it did 150 years ago.
That restoration was quite beautifully done-it is all very rustic, and so very comfortable!
Millbrook Resort opened its doors to the public as a luxury golf and lifestyle resort on 6th March 1993.
With the vision of providing a luxury Country Club environment for everyone, Millbrook has since become one of the leaders in the luxury resort industry in New Zealand and the world.
Over the last 20 years, Millbrook has received a significant number of awards and accolades, positioning it as one of the leading accommodation, golf, spa, dining, property and resort venues in the world.
The resort boasts a quality spa, and fitness centre, tennis courts, walking tracks and so many activities....
But for me the key issues are the quality of the rooms, service levels, and quality of the dining.
In these areas Millbrook rates with the best in the world.
Visitors can be accommodated in the Village Inn area, the cottages , and the villas. Each type of room has it's own character, and much to commend it..
The breakfast spread in the clubhouse each morning is magnificent, and you have multiple dining options for the rest of your day including the Hole in One Cafe, The Mill Restaurant, and Kobe Restaurant.
It would be a great place for a romantic few days with your special person…
The resort now boasts 27 holes of championship golf, with the possibility of another 9 holes in the planning stages.
The original course was designed by Kiwi golfing legend Bob Charles in conjunction with John Darby, and opened for play in 1992.
In 2010 Turner & McPherson introduced another 9 holes, and renovated the existing Bob Charles course
Currently there are 3 distinct nine hole courses:
The Remarkables nine holes were all part of the original course designed by Bob Charles, and still retain the look and feel of the original course, although Turner & McPherson added some bunkering and tweaked the course a little.
It is beautifully maintained and visually striking as the course is set in a natural amphitheatre with those lovely alpine backdrops…
Charles chose to site the course so that most of the fairways are on flattish ground in the valley ( the old wheat fields), and a majority of tees AND greens are on elevated ledges
Charles was an exceptionally good golfer, and was known for hitting the ball long and straight.
His golf holes tend to reflect his style in that the holes require long straight hitting.
Quite often you will drive from an elevated tee to a relatively straight treelined fairway below you, and then approach a green sitting in the hillside ahead of you.
Turner and McPherson have attempted to add some interest and strategy to the course by introducing more central fairway bunkering but overall the course retains that old world character.
It is perfect for professional golf, as the professionals love flat lies, and greens without too much complication.
For the amateur it is a nice place to play, but can be quite difficult, and does not offer much in the way of strategic decisions….
The Arrow nine holes was also based predominantly on the Bob Charles course with revision by Turner McPherson. The first 5 holes of the Arrow are quite different from The Remarkable nine in that the land is almost entirely flat- so no elevated tees or greens. These 5 holes are relatively straight treelined holes, and in my opinion a step below the quality of the rest of the resort course - there is simply is not enough interesting territory to negotiate. Nevertheless each hole is nice to play, and well maintained….its just not memorable!
The last 4 holes of this 9 are a different story- Turner and McPherson have been given a free hand here and created entirely new holes to finish the 9. These holes are a matching set with the newer Coronet nine. The design is much more modern and strategic, and the bunkering and green complexes demand your attention. Decisions have to be made about whether to lay up ( 6th), go for the green ( 7th), which club to approach the green with ( 8th )…..
Turner may not have got it all right but in my mind it is much more interesting to play.
I particularly liked the very short par 4 eighth hole where one can hit a putt or wedge with the short approach to the green.
It is a very short hole, and a difficult little par
The key is the severe green
This is a hole I could play over and over to sort out the angle and method of approach, and of course that would change with a change of pin position…
I liked these 4 holes by Turner, although his strategic designs like 6 and 7 could be tweaked to better match the objectives of the design.
The latest nine holes- The Coronet- was entirely a Turner McPherson design.
The design strategies are very good, but sometimes miss the mark. In my opinion the green complexes need a little softening in parts on holes 2, 3, 5, and maybe 8.
The third hole is a strong long par 4 in a spectacular setting. Most will be approaching the green with everything they have to a green heavily protected by slope and bunkering. It is my opinion that such a hole does NOT require a severe green as well!
The short par four, fourth hole is intended to give players options to play but instead most hit the same shot every time- the detail in the build does not quite match the intended strategy.
Nevertheless the Coronet nine has a lot to recommend it. The holes do ask you to make decisions, and the routing of the nine heads through interesting territory
I like it and it is my preferred nine at Millbrook
Other Courses in the area
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