Golfing Getaways Blog

24 January 2014

Cape Kidnappers

I recently had the pleasure of playing golf at Cape Kidnappers Golf Course located in New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay. It is not hard to see why the golf course is currently ranked at No. 38 in the best golf courses in the world and why people from all corners of the globe come to play golf here and enjoy the fabulous accommodation provided on site.

The drive in to the complex is along a purpose built road which winds for 8 kilometres through farmland and pine forests. The beauty of the drive in is merely a taste of what awaits golfers and those spending time relaxing at the lodge.

We were fortunate enough to be shown around the accommodation and lodge facilities before our round. The thought that has gone into designing and building every aspect of the facility is fantastic. Each room has its own unique characteristics and artefacts purchased from different parts of the world add to the charm. We sat and had a coffee on a couch once owned by Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. The gym has punching bags dating back to the early 20th century which were sourced from Trinity College in Dublin. In fact, there are so many unique aspects and items throughout the lodge that provide a feeling of nostalgia that you can easily forget that it was opened in 2004.

After a look at the luxurious accommodation, we took the short ride to the clubhouse. One of the things that impresses me most about Cape Kidnappers is the service we received from the staff. We were met at the door by Head Professional, Jon McCord and we couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome. Jon showed us through the clubhouse, pro shop and bar facilities and then gave us some advice on how best to tackle this Tom Doak designed course.

The opening hole is a testing Par 4 playing from left to right from the tee and requiring an approach shot to an elevated green. The second hole is a solid par 5 requiring an accurate drive and approach shot avoiding strategically placed fairway bunkers. Playing from the back markers, the course measures over 6500 metres. The tee shot on the Par 5, 4th hole is one I will long remember. Requiring around 200 metres of carry across a deep gully - with no chance of finding any ball that doesn’t quite make the journey - this shot was one that I was very pleased to have land in the fairway.

The back nine is where the scenery of the Cape Kidnappers region becomes spectacularly clear. With fairways winding out towards the Pacific and greens perched on top of cliffs 400 feet above the ocean, there are views galore and we were often distracted from our golf for photo opportunities of the course and surrounds. The 600 metre Par 5 – 15th aptly named ‘Pirates Plank’, is a hole that people familiar with New Zealand golf courses would identify. This is one spectacular hole with a 120 metre drop off the left side of the fairway and a green with nothing behind it but blue sky and the crystal clear water of the South Pacific.

All 18 holes on Cape Kidnappers will stick in your mind long after your round is complete. The conditioning and manicuring of the course is impeccable. The fairways are lush and there is no possibility of getting a bad lie. The greens run perfectly true every time. Nothing is out of place and with a busy day seeing only 30 golfers playing the course, you will never feel rushed or be held up by a slower group. 

There are so many great holes at Cape Kidnappers. I found myself thinking about my round for weeks afterwards, how I would play things differently next time and which of my golfing friends I would most like to have play there with me. Cape Kidnappers is a strong test of golf but worth every step and stroke.

I cannot recommend Cape Kidnappers more highly and I can’t wait to get back there again for another crack at this magnificent golf course. To begin your New Zealand golfing adventure, contact International Golf Specialists and let us put a great golfing itinerary together for you.