Kinloch Golf Course. © Gary Lisbon

Kinloch Golf Course, Taupō

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Every hole of the Kinloch Golf Course near Taupō requires strategic thought and patience, thanks to the unique design features incorporated by 18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus. 

The course is a fantastic skills test and has been recognised worldwide with numerous accolades including a Top 100 in the World ranking from Golf Course Architecture Magazine and recognition as one of the top 10 new golf courses in the world by US Travel and Leisure Golf magazine. In fact, it’s the only course outside of North America to feature in that prestigious list. 

The only Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course to be built in New Zealand, Kinloch showcases a design philosophy that aims to enhance the natural environment, allowing the surroundings of the Taupō region to shape each hole. Although technically not a true links course, it cleverly merges aspects of both links and parkland course design.

Kinloch is unlike any other Nicklaus course you have ever seen; rustic in feel but immaculate in presentation.

It would be easy to become preoccupied with the views and majestic green setting, but the golf course alone is why so many are making the trip to just north of Taupō. Nicklaus claims that there is no one signature hole on his courses – he prefers to have 18 holes of outstanding quality, which is something he has managed here.

The par 72 course has three sets of tees with ranges from 4,640 – 6,734 metres.

There are an impressive array of facilities and services including a three-tier grass tee driving range, putting and chipping greens, golf shop, a fleet of electric carts, hire clubs and trundlers.  PGA golf professionals available for lessons and there is an on-site restaurant. Both the golf course and the clubhouse have been designed to stringent specifications to meet the Jack Nicklaus design standards.

Kinloch is also less than 20 minutes from Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary, New Zealand’s oldest championship course, which provides an interesting contrast in style, topography and design. Both are ‘must play’ courses in the Taupō region.

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