Kauri Cliffs - 7th - my favorite Par 3...anywhere...!!!
I have to say, what an incredible privilege to have been able to visit and stay at Kauri Cliffs last week. The lodge, undeniably is one of the finest in the world. The food was outstanding and the service is superior - yet un-pretentious, and the whole ambience of the full Kauri Cliffs experience allowed me to relax more than I have for a very long time.
And then there is the golf course. I have played at Kauri on three occassions prior to this visit, with the last some 3 years ago. Since then, a new design of the 5th hole had taken place in 2014. Rees Jones was brought in to simplify the hole, with an angle change, reduction in length, new green and shifting of bunkers. And I have to say one thing. Never before could I have believed that a change to one hole would so knowingly make such a difference to a full round of golf.
You see, prior to the change, the 5th was very similar to the 7th. Two Par 3's in the 170-200 yard range, playing in a northerly direction. Having battled the 5th, you'd recover on the delightful 6th, only to approach the 7th tee, finding yourself pulling out the same club as you did on 5, and experiencing groundhog day all over again.
But now at a gentle 130-150 yards, with a fantastic full green view, the 5th is a delightful and enjoyable Par 3, which is not what it was before. The major bonus now though, and more importantly - the redesign of 5 has resulted in the 7th to now become the standout hole on the golf course (some would argue the other 17 are standout too, and they are!)....
And in my view, now when you stand on the 7th tee without experiencing the same pains that you felt from two holes prior, it has elevated itself to be my finest Par 3 in the world. As you can see from the video, I put that on the record.... Enough said.....