Despite a lofty reputation thanks to years spent hosting prominent professional tournaments, the Clearwater Golf Resort near Christchurch is very tame and, for connoisseurs, one of the big disappointments in New Zealand golf.
The course is built across flat ground with the only bumps and mounds visible those used to build tees and the unsightly bunkers that provide some form of visual interest from the tee. A few greens are also built-up. Typical of standard resort golf worldwide, there are plenty of lakes and four par threes that head across water to rather average putting targets.
Arguably the biggest blight here is the bunkering; shallow, frilly useless shapes permeate across the property, with few traps effecting strategy or challenging the accomplished player. The 10th hole around a lake is typical of what to expect here – the green is pushed inland a little to allow for flanking bunkers, while in the fairway the sand hazards are as flat as pancakes and with little lips. As with other lake holes, there is often sand between the playing area and water meaning the primary hazard is less intimidating than it might have been otherwise. Often the best line is away from the water anyway.