GO NZ: golf at Taupo’s luxury Kinloch Manor is a once in a lifetime experience

You do not go to Kinloch to enjoy a nice game of golf. Dotted strategically around the 18 holes of its Jack Nicklaus-designed, championship course are two lakes and 172 bunkers. These lie eagerly in wait, ready to trap any slightly errant ball.

Focus, a zen mind and strong play however, will navigate you successfully to the greens. Which is where your troubles will really begin as you encourage your ball into the hole across often undulating and two-tiered rolls.

“There’s been a few helicopter clubs into lakes. Quite a few sets probably end up on Trade Me. It breaks a lot of people,” Tom Long, the Director of Golf at the Kinloch Club and PGA professional, admits with a wry smile. “But you know they come back. They come back for more.”

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Aside from the rugged splendour of the course, which has quite literally been carved and sculptured out of the surrounding hillside, and the inspiring view of Lake Taupō in the background, Long says the challenge of the course is its appeal. It’s a true championship course that’s both mentally and physically demanding.

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