The Cut : The Cut - Autumn 2018
angled green. My second caught the wind, plugged itself high up the face of the front trap like a fried egg and necessitated a couple of sandy swipes to escape en route to a triple. It was nearly as depressing as the double-bogey finish that was entirely of my own doing. The pretty par-5 18th deserves plotted respect but always seems to entice a ludicrous tilt at the green in two. Another lesson learned on a course that is a true examination, but never unfair. KIWI GEM From the protected wildlife to the pristine playing surfaces of a golf layout that has stood the test of time, owner Gary Lane and his team deserve our thanks for not only preserving Wairakei but enhancing a Kiwi gem. The ecological restoration of the 182-hectare Wairakei Tourist Park, in particular, is to be applauded, making this Golf + Sanctuary what is perhaps a world first. Throw in Maori cultural experiences, fishing, bubbling mud and the nearby hot pools and this Taupo treasure becomes a must-play for golfers seeking a well-rounded getaway. Indeed, Wairakei is a place where golf and the native habitat work in such stunning harmony you wouldn’t mind if you were sentenced to a week inside the fence. It may just be a fantasy inspired by the cosy 19th hole, but right now I’m happy to be an inmate. WAIRAKEI GOLF + SANCTUARY ADDRESS: Wairakei Drive, Taupo LENGTH: 6,460 metres, par 72 GREEN FEES: $155 NZ affiliated; $210 international; $75 under-18 CLUB HIRE: $55; cart $50 174 THE CUT A view back down the 10th. All four par-3s at Wairakei are memorable. BELOW: Local inmates going about their blissful business.
The Cut - Summer 2018