Cape Kidnappers Golf Course
|Red (W)||71||5310 meters||74.4||139|
|Yellow (W)||71||4739 meters||70.4||125|
|Blue M: 75.4/145||440||540||212||584||420||225||453||182||403||3459||470||224||460||130||348||650||500||463||480||3725||7184|
|White M: 73.0/139||390||510||155||512||400||190||388||172||385||3102||410||200||430||125||338||551||490||420||390||3354||6456|
|Green M: 70.8/134||370||468||125||460||365||165||348||158||358||2817||370||133||375||120||288||512||480||366||372||3016||5833|
|Red W: 74.4/139||320||463||115||413||335||120||318||140||303||2527||333||128||345||115||225||508||470||362||320||2806||5333|
|Yellow W: 70.4/125||272||398||95||340||310||115||276||85||227||2118||238||105||311||105||220||472||460||323||296||2530||4648|
Good not great
Frankly a bit disappointing. Doesn't equal its sister resort course Kauri Cliffs. Some spectacular holes along the water but the inland holes are good not great. Didn't stay at the resort, drove over from Napier. Very pricey green fee, nice facilities but somehow the whole experience failed to impress.
New Zealand Golf
The Cape Kidnappers Golf Course and Resort is magnificent, breathtaking, and timeless. I was attracted to Cape Kidnappers Golf Course years ago after watching a series entitled The Ten Best Golfing Destinations In The World. The pictures of a golf course sitting high atop a windswept plateau on bluffs of finger like ridges stuck in my mind. Cape Kidnappers Golf Course was immediately added to my bucket list. Going halfway around the world to realize a golfing dream became a mind-boggling challenge. When Michael Campbell won the US Open he opened my eyes to golf in New Zealand. It was Lydia Ko and Danny Lee that really fired up my interest in New Zealand as a golfing destination. The "Best" reason for me to golf New Zealand and justify the trip is "Bragging Rights". I am the First person among my friends to ever golf a world famous course in New Zealand. Hello, New Zealand. Yes, you can call me "The Big Dog".
Cape Kidnappers Golf Course is located just outside of Napier, New Zealand in the little town of Hawke's Bay. It is ranked in the top 40 golf courses worldwide by Golf Digest. Tom Doak makes a bold statement in his stunning design of Cape Kidnappers. The course is Rustic, Rugged, and Natural as described by the Director of Golf, Jonathan McCord and I totally agree with him.
Cape Kidnappers features fingers like bluffs with a precipitous face, rising 300 to 500 feet from the beach below. Additionally, there are deep canyons and ravines, natural elevation changes, deep gullies, steep dropoffs, rolling hills, mature trees, thick rough, large fairway bunkers and greenside bunkers that vary in size, depth, and sit on the edge of the cliffs. The greens are fast and some have false fronts. There are no water hazards, but there are plenty of other hazards to disrupt your thoughts and game. Stay focused, play fearlessly, and trust your shots. Now, enjoy the view and have some fun.
There are 5 sets of tees on the course. The Blue tees measure 7147 yards from the tips with a slope rating of 75.4/145. I played the white tees which are 6686 yards with a 73.0/139 slope rating. The first three holes are the easiest holes on the course and they will set the tone for your round, so play well. Also take the time to read the yardage book as it will minimize your mistakes. I learned the hard way about reading the yardage book, and by the sixth hole I had lost two balls.
The beauty of Cape Kidnappers Golf Course is also reflected in the Clubhouse, Pro-shop, Restaurant, Locker Room, and friendly staff. The Clubhouse has a fresh, rustic, country look, which blends well with the rugged environment. Upon my arrival I was greeted by a courteous and radiant staff member, who was focused on customer service and satisfaction. The Pro shop is well stocked with name brand apparel and rental clubs. The locker room is nicely decorated, exceptionally clean, and relaxing. The "Best" treat is the clubhouse restaurant after your round. It is a must stop! The bar is fully stocked. The food will make an epicurean blush with joy, and the local wines will delight the taste buds of every wine enthusiast. What an excellent way to wind down after your round.
Golfing Cape Kidnappers is a dream come true and a true Golfer's dream. I love this course because each hole is unique and the majority of them are signature holes. New Zealand has world class golf courses, which you may want to consinder as a destination.
One Happy Golfer
H Bell (Golf Enthusiast / Writer)
Visited Febuary 2017
Almost picture perfect
You know that spectacular aerial photo of Cape Kidnappers with all those fingers of land jutting out into the ocean? Makes the course look unreal, right?
The problem is golfers don't get a sense of those grandiose features while they're playing. Sure, there are great views and a couple of amazing tees and greens clutching the cliff's edge, but a lot of that awesomeness just doesn't translate to someone on the ground.
Most golfers I've met who have played the course complain of blustery conditions. Fortunately, I caught it on a decent day in 2012. I got off to a crazy good start - three birdies in the first six holes - then reality set in. A couple of blind shots derailed me, and Tom Doak's greens are always interesting.
I like Kauri Cliffs better, but this is still definitely one of the world's most interesting rounds of golf.
Overpriced, but ...
First you have to get there. Turning off the road you are confronted by an electronically controlled gate and you have to announce your arrival at a squawk box. The reply wasn't really intelligible but the gate magically opened and you have to negotiate a 15 minute drive up a narrow road w/ several blind hairpin turns (mirrors placed at several points). You also have to avoid numerous sheep wandering about. Arriving at the course there is a small parking lot. If you are renting clubs don't bother driving up to the bag drop as there is no parking up there.
My round was played in steady 35 mph wind and temp was mid 60's Fahrenheit. To give you an idea on the wind, on #7 I killed a 3W (normal distance over 250 yd) from 192 yd and it floated to the green and stuck 10 ft from pin like a lob wedge. I played the par 5's from the Blues and everything else from the Whites. This property is amazing. The first few holes are nothing special, but beginning w/ #4 it begins to pick up. My favorites were #6 (w/ left pin plmt), #12 (aptly named Infinity), #'s 15 and 16. Much of the visual impact of the steep cliffs portrayed in aerial photos is lost on you as you stand at ground level on the course because you can't really see the drop offs for the most part.
The Course is laid out very nicely for walking. Plenty of yardage markers showing both meters and yards. Three pin positions provided for greens. Course condition was what you might expect from a lightly played track. Very few ball marks on greens and pristine fairways. Pace of play was whatever I wanted it to be because I was the only person playing as far as I could tell. Finished in 3 hr 50 min and that includes about 10-15 minutes of taking photos. (My wife walked along but didn't play so she became the photographer.)
My only two negatives are, first, the pricing is deceptive as they add 15% GST. So the advertised NZ$475 is really $546. Add in rental clubs and pull cart and you are looking at NZ$ 640 or about US$480 at the time, You get 15% off if you stay at one of their rental units, but there are far less expensive alternatives nearby.
The rental clubs (Taylormade) were also disappointing. The woods and hybrid were okay, but the irons were game improvement model w/ the real fat soles (yuck) and the putter was way too light for my liking. At least they did offer stiff shafts.
I wouldn't pay the list price to play this course again (NZ residents get 50% discount) but for a one time deal if you get the chance I'd have to say give it a go. And bring a good camera.