of New Zealand's newest and exciting projects is Windross Farm Golf
Course. Located roughly a half hour south of Auckland city center (barring traffic), this course was designed over 6 years by Brett
Thomson (The Hills, Clearwater, Jack's
Point) with additional consulting input from Phil Tataurangi.
An initial challenge in its design was the course's location in farmland formerly used for potatoes, corn and dairy. Essentially a flood plan, 290k cubic meters of fill (half a million tons of clay) was used to create shape and contour where once only flatland existed. With the addition of 50,000 indigenous plants and 1000 native trees the Manakau Golf Club today has good reason to be proud of its 'New Zealand-style' course. Complete with burns, ridges, shared fairways, and few trees there is a links style to the feel of play... only brighter.
Play-ability is high at Windross Farm and golfers of all levels will find this track very approachable. There are no forced carries from the most-forward tees, while the tips play at a modern length at close to 7000 yds. With only 39 bunkers total and wide fairways (some 80+ yards wide!) Windross Farm offers an opportunity for confidence off the tee.
The 3rd hole (par-3) tee box sums up the course perfectly:
- Understand the Elements: Facing a prevailing wind from the Southwest (which needs to be accounted for across the entire course) will dictate club selection
- Accessibility to All Skills: One may have either a short 85 yard tee shot (red tees) to the green or a more daunting 190 yard shot (from the tips)
- Modern Design: Tee boxes may be moved across 50 yards in tournament play- bringing new shot-making decisions and increasing play-ability
10th: The approach on this hole is interesting in that there is a trap on the backside of the green. If the pin is placed such that it is in line between the player and the bunker, it can look as if the flag is placed directly next to the hazard. This trick of perception can cause a shot being played with not enough force and thus setting up a harder putt. Be bold!
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