Cape Kidnappers Golf Course

Cape Kidnappers Golf Course

Course Overview

Par: 72
ACR: 76
Length (m): 6525
Architect: Tom Doak
Design Year: 2004
Cape Kidnappers Golf Course is a resort golf course offering a wide range of playing times 7 days per week. Contact either Cape Kidnappers Golf Course or GOLFSelect for more information.

Cape Kidnappers is a Tom Doak designed golf course which is amongst the world's most spectacular courses. The clever use of the layout is best seen from the air where Doak has used God created "fingers" of land to craft some memorable (and challenging) golf holes.

However the Cape Kidnappers experience starts from the moment you drive in the entrance gate. What follows is a 10 kilometre drive (yes that is correct) leading you up to the shearing shed designed clubhouse. The long drive helps to build the anticipation of the day ahead as one passes through a pine plantation, a working cattle farm where sheep abound, across streams and along roads cu out from sheer faced cliffs.

Once you do arrive and mange to collect your thoughts you are faced with a golf course combining a series of clever, inland holes and the memorable cliff top holes. One such clifftop hole is the 15th hole, known as the Pirates Plank. From the tee shot to the green the fairway becomes progressively narrower until you reach the green where it is barely 20 metres across. And on one side lies a sheer faced cliff plunging downward into the Pacific Ocean.

Wind is an everpresent factor at Cape Kidnappers and is enjoyed not by golfer but by the very populous gannet bird colony which seem to float and "windsurf" above the clifftop holes for what seems to be an eternity.

Meticulous attention to detail in the golf course conditioning and five star service in the clubhouse ensure a golfing experience of a lifetime.

And what better way to end a piece on "Kidnappers" than to refer to some comments from the designer Tom Doak - "Our goal in designing golf courses is to create interesting holes you wouldn't find anywhere else. That wasn't hard to do at Cape Kidnappers, because the site is not like anywhere else in golf. If it were any bigger or any more dramatic, it would probably be cordoned off as a national park. It's an overwhelming experience to stand up on the cliffs, 140 meters above sea level, and look out across the waves far below in Hawke's Bay.

Cape Kidnappers is not true links terrain, with the wrinkles of sand dunes; instead the land tilts toward the sea as a series of ridges jutting out toward the edge of the cliffs. Yet, the play is seaside golf at its finest. The surface is firm and fast, the conditions can be windy, and the player who can control his trajectory will be master of the course. You'll hit shots over the tops of the tea trees, and play along the edges of deep ravines. If you stray on your approaches, you'll actually hope to get caught up in bunkers hanging off the green's edge, some of them deeper than you've ever seen before".

Address and Contact Details

Cape Kidnappers Golf Course
448 Clifton Road
Te Awanga, Hawke's Bay, North Island,
New Zealand
Tel: +64-6-875-1900
Pro: +64-6-873-1018
Fax: +64-6-875-1901

Location Map

Course Location Map  Driving Directions

Course Playing Tips

Hole 1, Par 4 (402 m)
A difficult opening hole is a prelude of things to come. The right half of the fairway offers a better angle into the green, but don't try to cut the corner of the dogleg where a deep gully lies in wait. Short hitters must beware the gully on their second shots, but once over it, there is plenty of room to the right of the flag.

Hole 2, Par 5 (494 m)
You must avoid two sets of fairway bunkers here, or you won't reach this green in regulation. Play the drive safely to the left, and lay up short of the cross bunkers if you're not sure you can carry them with your second shot. The green is open on the left, but it tilts sharply to the right so it's difficult to get down in two from the left edge.

Hole 3, Par 3 (187 m)
The green is partially hidden by the front bunkers, but it's one of the largest on the course. Aim fifteen feet to the right of the hole to take the left side out of play. Pay extra attention in reading this green as there are a lot of small breaks.

Hole 4, Par 5 (497 m)
A solid tee shot just inside the fairway bunker sets you up for a big decision with the second. The safe play is to lay up just short of the deep fairway bunker, but better players will be tempted to aim out to the left of the green and fade the ball home. The green has a high tier in the back, play your approach long and left to give yourself the easiest two-putt.

Hole 5, Par 4 (384 m)
A huge fairway is divided by two deep fairway bunkers. Most players are better off aiming down the right side, but long hitters might choose to go left so they don't run out of room. Going for a flag on the left side of this green requires a great deal of nerve.

Hole 6, Par 3 (206 m)
An epic par-3 across a deep gully. Miss to the left and you can kiss your ball goodbye, but the green does bank sharply from right to left to steer balls back toward the hole -- if you can reach the green, that is!

Hole 7, Par 4 (414 m)
An important tee shot, because a strong drive will carry the crest of the fairway and leave a considerably shorter approach; aim to the right center of this fairway. The downhill second shot is one of the most exhilirating on the course, but the green is a narrow target from the top of the hill.

Hole 8, Par 3 (166 m)
This short hole plays over a gully filled with ti trees. It's all carry to the green, and uphill to boot, so take an extra club (or even two). There is some hidden fairway to the right of the green, which is the only safe place to miss.

Hole 9, Par 4 (369 m)
Always take the high road here; from the forward tees it's better to hit a 3-wood or iron to keep your ball in view. Take dead aim for the center of the green on your approach; there is a bit of fairway short and right, but the contours of the green make it very difficult to save par from there.

Hole 10, Par 4 (430 m)
Another critical tee shot, which should favor the right half of the fairway. The second shot sets up for a running approach which will feed to the hole from right to left, but you have to get the weight just right, as bunkers lurk short left and over the back.

Hole 11, Par 3 (205 m)
A difficult par-3 which plays longer than it looks. The green is sharply tilted from back to front, so the front hole locations are the toughest -- it's a much wider target in the back.

Hole 12, Par 4 (421 m)
This is the most wide-open driving hole on the course, and a great place to let it rip, because you want the shortest second shot you can get. The green is set at the end of a narrow ridge, profiled against Hawke's Bay. Play for the front right quadrant to keep the left side out of play.

Hole 13, Par 3 (119 m)
The shortest hole on the course, but big numbers lurk all around this green, which is easy to reach but hard to stay on. Always play for the back right quadrant, since seemingly good shots can run off the front left of the green into the bunkers below.

Hole 14, Par 4 (318 m)
The shortest par-4 on the course is quite possibly the hardest of them all. The green is dominated by a deep pot bunker at the left front and a steep drop at the back, so the safest play is to the far left. Be especially careful around this green, as the pot bunker has a gravitational pull far greater than its size.

Hole 15, Par 5 (594 m)
The key to a long par five is staying in the short grass, especially when there is a 140-metre cliff on the left and a 20-metre drop on the right. Don't even go look over the left edge of the fairway if you are afraid of heights. Four short and straight shots will win the hole more often than not.

Hole 16, Par 5 (457 m)
The tee, guarded by seagulls, is the only place on the course with a view to Black Reef. If you're not a candidate to reach this green in two, it's better to lay back to the widest part of the fairway from the tee, then stay right with your second for the best view of the green.

Hole 17, Par 4 (423 m)
No laying back here: you'll need to hit your two best shots to get home in regulation on this uphill par four. Those uncertain of carrying the greenside bunkers can play safely to the right; if you drive in the rough it might be better to play straight ahead on the second and then pitch your third over the bunkers.

Hole 18, Par 4 (439 m)
A counter-intuitive finishing hole, with its green offset to the right of the fairway. The punchbowl green setting will lure many players into aiming left for safety and hoping for a lucky bounce down onto the green. Be careful on this green, as putts from behind the hole can easily get away from you.

Course Dress Regulations

  • Generally accepted golf clothing on course;
  • Golf attire acceptable in clubhouse;
  • No denim, sneakers, or shirts without collars;
  • Mobile phones in locker room or car park only;
  • Non-metal spikes are mandatory.
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