The Takeaway: A wonderful compliment to its sister property Cape Kidnappers, Kauri Cliffs is even more scenic but not quite as compelling from an architecture standpoint; particularly with the non-coastal holes. The front nine has large elevation changes to contend with while finishing stretch of holes are absolute jaw droppers. Grade A
Designer: David Harman in 2000
Cost: $200 NZD - $560 NZD Click for current rates
Phone Number: +64 9 407 0060
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Kauri Cliffs Golf Course's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 139 Tepene Tablelands Road, Matauri Bay, Northland 0478 – NEW ZEALAND
Accolades: Ranked 3rd in New Zealand by Golf Course Gurus
What to Expect: Located near the top of New Zealand's northern island nearly four hours north of Auckland, Kauri Cliffs enjoys one of the most scenic and dramatic sites the golf world has ever known. Perched above the Pacific Ocean with views of the Cavalli Islands to the north and sandy Takou Bay to the south, players will never grow tired of the eye candy surrounding Kauri Cliffs. The drama starts early with the most stunning driving range I've ever been on boasting expansive views stretching ahead of you including a bird's eye view of waves crashing on the beach. The front nine starts with a pair of downhill par fours followed by a short dogleg right before getting to one of the best par fives in the Southern Hemisphere at the 4th. The 5th used to play from tees 90 degrees to the right of where the boxes currently sit and required a long uphill carry over jungle to reach safety, however Rees Jones changed it to a short drop shot since it played too similar in length, direction, and strategy to the impressive 7th hole. The back nine starts with a severely downhill tee shot before the course goes through the forgettable marsh holes that do little for the course other than provide a transition back to the high ground where the climatic finish awaits. You'll be glad you can use a digital camera rather than develop film for the 14th - 17th holes because you are going to give your camera a workout as you soak in the downhill cliffside holes. That finishing stretch is what people pay Kauri Cliffs' high end green fees to play and most won't walk away disappointed. With less than 5,000 rounds played annually at the Cliffs, you can always count on the course being in great shape and never being pushed by the group behind you. The severe elevation changes make playing Kauri in a cart the logical choice for virtually every visitor to the course and if I were to draw a comparison to another track I would identify the Jack Nicklaus designed Manele course on the island of Lanai in Hawaii. In the end, Kauri Cliffs is all about the visuals with plenty of water views and oodles of downhill shots. It doesn't offer as compelling of architecture as other top tier courses on New Zealand, but it does offer plenty of fun.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 7th Hole – 220 Yard Par 3
Best Par 3: 14th Hole – 230 Yards
Best Par 4: 17th Hole – 472 Yards
Best Par 5: 4th Hole – 558 Yards
Birdie Time: 16th Hole – 367 Yard Par 4
Bogey Beware: 15th Hole – 544 Yard Par 4