Jandles, judder bars and Jack’s Point: golf course review

Golf course review of Jack’s Point Golf Course, Queenstown, New Zealand

Jack's Point Golf

I made two big mistakes before teeing off at Jack’s Point golf course in New Zealand. And I blame the scenery.

This golf course is dwarfed by stunning snow capped peaks and bordered by Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown. Concentrating on simple tasks, let alone play golf is not simple here.

I had heard whispers about this golf course. It was only very new but Jack’s Point had recently been ranked number six in the top golf courses of New Zealand. It seemed like locals want to keep it a secret with only a few knowing much about it.

I was lucky to make it to the pro shop. The spectacular scenery and amazing looking golf course had me veering off the road on numerous occasions. A surprisingly inexpensive round of golf was booked, including cart and clubs (the pram takes precedence these days), and was I told to “tee off whenever you want”.

Jack's Point Golf

My first mistake was to bypass the practice putting green. It verges on insanity not to have a quick practice putt with a strange putter in the bag, but I convinced myself (after three-putting for the third time) that it would be a shame to play well with a foreign putter anyway.

The second mistake hit me like a slap in the face with a pair of John Daly’s pants as I searched the thick rough for my opening drive. I’d only purchased three golf balls for the 18 holes! This decision was pure insanity on a course like Jack’s Point.

Lucky for me, Kiwi’s are lovely people and my playing partners were generous enough to give me an extra ball after I’d negotiated all but two holes with the three I had.

It is intriguing how only having one golf ball increases your accuracy – or determines your risk/reward decisions.

Jack's Point Golf

I like everything about Jack’s Point but as a lover of short par-4s, Jack’s Point has some special ones.

The 280m 6th hole for example has a remarkable number of dangers considering its length, and the use of exposed rock around the course is unique, if not hazardous.

But even the unremarkable is remarkable at Jack’s Point.

You could be forgiven you’ve been given a reprieve from dangerous golf holes when you stand on the tee of the par-3 13th.

It is a flat, bunker-less golf hole nestled in a course full of eye-candy. But a swathe of scrubland extends the whole distance between tee and green, it is extremely exposed to winds from any direction and the huge green does not guarantee two putts anywhere on the dancefloor.

Jack's Point Golf

I hope some of the photographs convey the scope and scenery of Jack’s Point. Catching your breath on each tee is not uncommon and I fair dinkum lost consciousness for a few seconds as I saw the tee shots on the 15th and 16th.

The back tees on the 15th have you facing a tee shot over a field of sheep and stone walls. Carry them and you’ve a shot at the raised green guarded by huge bunkers and another stone wall to the rear.

It feels all very Scottish and a nip of whisky would not go astray. The par-4 16th tee is perched on the highest point on the course. The fairway trails off well below you with great rocks and scrub splitting the fairway in two.

Jack's Point Golf

It is an unforgiving golf course and I would recommend taking more than three golf balls no matter what your ability.

It doesn’t seem to matter though as I could have shot 100 and been the happiest golfer on the South Island. Jack’s Point is a special golf course in a special country that will not be a local secret for much longer.

Each time I visit New Zealand I curse myself for not visiting more. The land of the long white cloud is simply one of the greatest countries in the world and is fast becoming known for some incredible golf courses.

Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs are at the top many golfers’ “must play” golf courses, but with green fees over $300 they are more like once-in-a-lifetime rounds of golf.

Queenstown is known for its extreme sport options. Jack’s Point is as close to a golfing adrenaline rush as you’ll ever have on a golf course.

ou can play for under $100 and is an incredible golf experience that will have you itching to play again as soon as you step off the course. Forget bungy-jumping, play Jack’s Point.

P.S. Jandles are thongs (flip-flops) and judderbars are speed humps in NZ.

Jack's Point Golf

One thought on “Jandles, judder bars and Jack’s Point: golf course review

  • December 17, 2010 at 07:40

    Glad you enjoyed your visit mate.
    If you’re in Qtown again then pay a visit to arrowtown golf club. It’s a beauty. Most of the courses in central otago are.


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