I have mixed feelings about this course. True, the setting is great and the views magnificent. This, together with the long private road after the entrance, the clubhouse, the facilities, the staff, make you feel you are at a special place. I had a great day of golf, and I certainly do not regret the experience nor the trip.
But come on, 2nd in New Zealand, before Kauri Cliffs or Jack’s Point ? 44th worldwide before courses such as (in totally different styles) Cruden Bay or Woodhall spa ? I strongly disagree. If you take out the setting, the lay out, in my humble opinion, is rather ordinary. I found 15, one of the holes where you get some of the nicest views, in itself uninteresting.
I have often wondered why a course like Old Head, in Ireland, which setting I find even more stunning than Cape Kidnappers, is not even in the World top 100, and in fact rather low in the British Isles ranking. Same question goes for Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria, which I also would rank before Cape Kidnappers. These are courses I played a few years back, with less benchmarks and references. I imagined the weaker holes accounted for that.
But I do not find them any weaker than Cape Kidnappers. And even the greatest courses have some weak holes. Royal County Down is a top league course despite its less interesting back nine because of an out of this world front nine.
So what explains that difference of treatment ? An excessive hype around Tom Doak design ? I would be curious to hear your views.
Date: March 30, 2018