The Cut : The Cut - Autumn 2018
GOLF & LEISURE 173 used to reside near the middle of the 13th fairway and often blocked out the green on the par-4. One thing that hasn’t changed is the beauty of the beast that is the par-5 14th. ‘The Rogue’ is world famous in New Zealand and for good reason: if the forest left off the tee doesn’t get you, the massive tree in the middle of the landing area of your second shot just might. Even if you reach the green in regulation, the enormous, horseshoe- shaped surface is ready to kick you off with a three-putt lesson. Indeed, at a shade under 550m from the back tees (and well long enough at 471m from the whites), the number-one stroke hole keeps coming at you. Escape with a par and you’ll be dancing a jig. The par-3 15th is where my round started to unravel and a reminder that Wairakei isn’t over until its over – even after you’ve negotiated that brilliant rogue. As is the case with all of Wairakei’s large greens, avoiding three putts is, well, sometimes unavoidable. Sadly, I suffered a pair of them back- to-back, including on the stunning downhill 16th, where the long green defeated my depth perception and a wedge came up woefully short. The tee shot on 17 is partially blind, but the real challenge is the approach to yet another skinny, elevated and Any pin cut towards the front of the 8th green brings sand into play.
The Cut - Summer 2018