TOMARATA, New Zealand – The new Coore and Crenshaw-designed South course at Te Arai Links in New Zealand has opened for play.

This article first appeared in the October 2022 issue of Golf Course Architecture.

The Te Arai Links development is a few miles south of the Tom Doak-designed Tara Iti course on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island and is being led by the same owner, Ric Kayne, along with golf industry veteran Jim Rohrstaff.

Construction of the South course was completed in September 2021 and it has been growing in for the past year. Te Arai Links will also have a North course, designed by Doak, which entered construction in early 2022 and is now growing in.

“Our members and guests have been absolutely blown away by the South course,” said Rohrstaff. “They are also loving the 2.5-acre putting green, The Playground and Ric’s, our casual pizza barn.”

“There really are 18 unique holes that are all great – each one is memorable from the first time you play. Two stretches that jump out are four to six and the closing holes on the back nine. The course is very wide off the tee, which makes it very playable for all skill levels. Also, the views are as good as any course in the world!”

The Pacific Ocean can be seen from almost every hole on the course. 

“It is such a great layout and routing,” said Rohrstaff. “It takes you away from the ocean after the first for a couple of holes and then the fourth tee reminds you that you’ll be playing along the Pacific Ocean the rest of the day. 

“There is a great rhythm to the routing and the walk is so enjoyable. It is almost irrelevant what score you shoot; you just enjoy the day.”

As well as the wide fairways – the par-5 first for example stretches nearly 100 yards across – green complexes are also expansive. 

Rohrstaff warns however that hitting them doesn’t automatically mean golfers will score well. 

“There are a lot of subtleties on the greens and many false edges that will lead your ball six to ten feet below the putting surface,” he said. “It is a very linksy course that you can – and probably should – putt from anywhere within 30 yards of the green.”

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