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Review of the Month April 2018 – The Kinloch Club

23 May, 2018
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Review of the Month April 2018 – The Kinloch Club

What a difference a day makes, twenty-four little hours (miles)… I allow myself to borrow a (slightly rewritten) line from Dinah Washington’s immortal classic to illustrate that yesterday I played the lovely parkland layout of Wairakei, and the day after the neighbouring moon landscaped Kinloch Golf Club.

Both courses are situated less than half an hour outside of the town of Taupo and equidistant from one another. Surrounding areas being fairly similar, the most striking difference really is the layout of the courses. And what a difference it is. Having played some 750 different courses around the world I have been searching my mind to find two neighbouring courses that present themselves so differently. I am talking differences in layout/design, playability and total experience. Whilst Wairakei is Nature's delight that goes beyond the golf experience itself, Kinloch is pure and raw golf at its best (or worst, some would probably say). I for one was on a high for most of the round as I love links golf and also unconventional designs.

To be precise; Kinloch is linksy in that it is an inland course where shapes are totally man made, but very well done in my book. All along I had flashbacks to the Castle Course in St Andrews and to some degree to the Links Course at Fancourt, South Africa, both severely punitive courses. And this is a serious golf course. Unique, challenging, tricky, well bunkered, undulating fairways and greens, runoff areas, you name it and you will likely be spot on. Being a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course I can almost believe that Master Jack on one of his many (?) visits shall have uttered that ”this is one of my absolutely best designs anywhere”. It certainly is totally different to any of his courses that this writer has ever played.

By Louis

Review of the Month April 2018 selected by Editor-in-Chief, Keith Baxter – click to read more about The Kinloch Club.

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