Designed by world renowned architects Coore Crenshaw, Te Arai Links- South Course opened for play in October 2022.
The course occupies an extensive tract of coastal sand dunes very close to Tara Iti, and is the second of three courses developed by American Ric Payne and team.
The land may be close to Tara Iti, but the dunescape and design are quite different.
Te Arai now boasts 36 holes with Tom Doak and his Renaissance men completing Te Arai Links- North Course
It opened for play in October 2023.
The South Course starts off with four hilly inland holes framed with pine trees.
This group of holes reminds me vaguely of Pinehurst and the courses in North Carolina.
The first is a particularly attractive uphill par 4
The fourth hole sweeps down to a green by beach, introducing a string of strong links holes right on the coast..
Sweeping ocean views dominate proceedings from that point until you walk off the final hole- with the one exception being the lovely tenth hole.
It is a spectacular looking course with very generous fairways framed by extensive wild looking bunkering and glorious sea views.
As the course is open for public play the wide fairways are perhaps appropriate, although in places they are very forgiving, with hazards not really in play. More importantly there are four sets of tees, and it is important you play from a tee commensurate with your ability. The forward tees are oft placed on the fairway and are just too short and lack the challenges one would expect for such a quality course.
Off the correct tee all players will be challenged and enjoy a world class course.
First time around I thought the back nine more interesting with hole after hole right on the beach
Notable holes include:
Hole 5, a par 3 right on the beach with a steep drop off at the front of the green
Hole 11, a strong par 4 out of the trees to an elevated and well bunkered green by the beach
Hole 14, a very appealing short par 4 in a wilderness of sand (see pic top of page)
Hole 15, an impressive par 4 along the beach
Hole 16, a shorter par 4 that plays long with an elevated green well protected by sandy hazards
Hole 17, a delightful par 3 with ocean backdrop
Hole 18, the big finish along the beach with a challenging approach over sand.
Te Arai South had just opened when we played and will mature significantly in the next few years.
It is a course that you will appreciate more with repeat plays.
Te Arai Links- South Course is a "Travelling Golfer must play!"
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