Review for Chisholm Links

Reviewer Score:


I’m not one of those people that believes there are any objective truths when it comes to the appreciation of golf courses, so there are no rights or wrongs really. Nevertheless, reading my initial review of the golf course formerly known as Chisholm Park, it feels like I was at least a little bit wrong. Of course, the reality is that I have just developed my tastes in architecture, but certainly my mind has been changed.

I previously listed what I thought were fairly ordinary holes – some of which I still believe are nothing special (5, 14 and 16), but I don’t know why I was missing what I was missing with others. Probably the 3rd is the prime example – it is actually a terrific short par 4, where the risk/reward element is not immediately apparent until you try and get down in 3 shots from a sliced drive. The narrow green, benched into a hillock and wickedly angled, means that the hole has maybe three distinct routes to choose from, and the abundant ice plant to the left of the putting surface can be a real card wrecker. What looks a wide open hole from the tee is actually a real tightrope walk.

I had also overlooked how the green contours of the short 4th absolutely bring the hole out of mediocrity – they certainly need to be thought about when on the tee - and the 12th, a challenging long par 4 with another beautifully benched green site. Since my initial visit, the club / greenkeeping staff have also changed the mowing lines for the long par 5 15th – a simple tweak that has really transformed the hole for the better.

All in all, whilst this clearly isn’t the greatest links course in the world, or even New Zealand, it is a round with great variety, firm conditions, just the right amount of quirk, and some stunning scenery at the far end of the course. I’m seriously thinking that it might be the smart choice for somewhere to join in Dunedin, and I think I might put my money where my mouth is in that regard.

Matt Richardson

Date: September 18, 2017

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