QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand -- One minute, it's the jagged peaks of Remarkables Mountains. The next, the crystal blue waters of Lake Wakatipu come into view. Then the skydivers and their colorful parachutes steal the show.
The senses run full throttle at Jack's Point Golf Course, as players try and absorb the panoramic surroundings, while staying focused on taming a strong golf course of 6,388 meters (roughly 6,986 yards). Jack's Point might not be the household name that Cape Kidnappers Golf Course and Kauri Cliffs Golf Club are in the United States, but it's every bit the scenic wonder of those two coastal courses on the North Island.
Jack's Point opened on the South Island in 2008, the handiwork of local designer and real-estate developer John Darby. It's an uphill climb to start the round, both literally and trying to score well. The reward comes at the fifth green, where the lake and mountains collide visually in epic fashion.
The risk-reward sixth hole, a drivable par 4, and the scenic seventh hole, a tiny, downhill par 3 playing directly toward the water and into the wind, continue along the lake shore. But the best hole might be the par-4 15th, where the tee shot must clear a sheep meadow and a four-foot-high stone wall to find the fairway.
If playing Jack's Point G.C. does not get the juices flowing, you're blind to the joys of this great game.