Mem­bers buy into club

The Cut - - FEATURE -

Put sim­ply, Tara Iti runs as an eq­uity mem­ber­ship model. That means mem­bers, or stake­hold­ers, pur­chase a share of the club and if and when they de­cide to leave the

club they get their money back. Eq­uity own­ers also have the right to pass their share on to fu­ture

gen­er­a­tions or to sell. Jim Rohrstaff of Legacy Part­ners

says, “The con­cept has been ex­cep­tion­ally well re­ceived. We have a good mix of in­ter­na­tional

and New Zealand mem­bers.” The to­tal size of the property is 1400 hectares, of which the golf course is built across 121 hectares. South of Te Arai Point is 700 hectares still to be de­vel­oped

and upon which ad­di­tional beach­front prop­er­ties will be built. Cur­rently on the north­ern half of the property are 46 sites,

35 on the beach­front and 11 on the golf course. In ad­di­tion, seven two-bed­room mem­ber cot­tages have al­ready been built. The house sites are be­tween 1-3 hectares, with smaller sites of 1000-1400m ( home and land pack­ages) avail­able near the

mem­ber cot­tages. “Ron Whit­ten from Golf Digest has com­pared Tara Iti to Cypress Point, Royal Dornoch and Royal

St Ge­orge’s, and also Peb­ble Beach which is re­garded as the ul­ti­mate golf course, say­ing that claim is of­fi­cially up for de­bate,” says Rohrstaff. “He’s making some pretty big state­ments about our

course. Tara Iti is there for the en­joy­ment of its mem­bers and guests but it has also got peo­ple talk­ing about golf in New Zealand once again and our hope is it will

bring more peo­ple here.” sub­tle but as sum­mer deep­ens the play­ing sur­faces will be­come more vis­i­ble as fair­way wa­ter­ing is pared back to al­low the fes­cue to turn golden.

Or­ganic too is the de­sign, the par-71 6264m (6900yds from the cham­pi­onship tees) course gen­tly un­du­lat­ing and un­fold­ing across 121 hectares of the 1400 hectare property.

The course is two dis­tinct nines, sep­a­rated by the club­house, de­signed by renowned New Zealand ar­chi­tect Pip Cheshire, and which is as sub­tle and or­ganic as the golf holes sur­round­ing it.

The first hole, a par-4, can cause first-timers to pon­der just how large the land­ing zone is (and it won’t be the last time the same thought will cross your mind as you tra­verse the course) thanks to the rather tricky but clever de­sign that creates a per­cep­tion of a lack of space when in fact the op­po­site is what waits to re­veal it­self.

In­deed, gen­er­ous fair­ways are a fea­ture of the course, along with the fact that of­fi­cial bunkers don’t ex­ist and the ex­panses of sand into which the fair­ways drift are all des­ig­nated waste ground, mean­ing you can ground your club. It means there is no risk of hav­ing a Dustin John­son-like Whistling Strait (re­mem­ber the USPGA Cham­pi­onship of 2010) mo­ment.

From the first tee the view is of course and pine for­est, oc­ca­sional clear­ings mark­ing where houses on the gen­er­ously pro­por­tioned sites will be con­structed. So can you see the sea? Yes you can. It’s be­hind and to your left, a rib­bon of blue be­yond the dunes.

There is only one par-3 on the first nine, the sec­ond hole, and it is fol­lowed by two par-4s, the first of which plays to a punch­bowl green that is largely hid­den

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