Virtually unknown, Onekaka Links Golf Club is regarded by those who have played it as really special. Located just 15 minutes’ drive from Takaka in Golden Bay the original course hasn’t hosted any tournaments and due to its compact dimensions is unlikely to in the future.
The initial course design in 2006 by Chris Castle has benefitted from a number of upgrades in collaboration with head greenkeeper Richard Barham. Despite this lack of pedigree the course has been highly praised by visiting players over subsequent years. A new Mountain Course opened in August, so there are now 36 very testing holes. The second 18 is much more testing than the original course.
Why are these courses so special? The views are extraordinary, the topography is very challenging and the holes all exploit that to the maximum degree. There are good putting surfaces, including two double greens and a triple green. There are a number of unforgiving deep, revetted bunkers, two of them in the middle of the greens. You are also very “close to nature” which means that there is a real possibility that you will be playing in gale force conditions and you might meet a seal or a penguin on the course.