Developed by the founders of the ultra-private Tara Iti Golf Club, and located a short distance south of Tara Iti, the public access Te Arai Links features two modern American designed “links-style” golf courses.
The first course completed at Te Arai was the South Course, which was built during Covid and opened for play in late 2022. The South was designed by Bill Coore, and occupies a beautiful stretch of duneland right along the Wellsford coast.
Though the first three holes are inland of the coastal views for which Te Arai is destined to be famous, the routing collapses dramatically down toward the water on the long par four 4th hole, and features a prolonged stretch of holes on each nine that run along the beachside dunes.
The 4th through 8th are particularly notable for a delightful short par three at the 5th, and a stunning tee shot on the 6th hole, where golfers will need to choose to either boldly drive across an enormous sand chasm on the left, or play to the outside of the dogleg on the right and risk leaking their tee shot out of bounds.
On the back nine, the short par four 14th is a standout, along with the lovely par three 17th.
Bill Coore has the finest portfolio of completed golf courses in this modern era, and Te Arai South is further proof of his ability to route interesting golf courses, and to create beautiful, subtle and challenging golf tests through sensible design. The features were expertly shaped by John Hawker and Riley Johns, who moved a lot more earth to build these holes than many will realise, but did so in a manner that makes it difficult to distinguish between the natural and built form. The fescue playing surfaces are sure to compliment the linksy characteristics well.
As a destination Te Arai is sure to win many plaudits, and prove particularly popular with those who can’t afford the lofty fees associated with a round at Tara Iti.