The Hills was designed by Darby Partners and opened in 2007 to host the New Zealand Open.
Set over 500 acres of land across a glacial valley, The Hills is home to an incredible array of flora including native brown top grasses and wild native mountain tussocks.
Sculptures crafted by New Zealand artists compliment the natural beauty of the course’s lakes, waterways and wetland areas. Winter snow and frost conditions provide the ideal climate for the finest grasses suited to the modern day game of golf.
In my opinion, The Hills is the best golf course in New Zealand.
'Why?’, you might ask? Well, it is a championship course of over 7000 yards from the tips. There are no parallel fairways and no two holes are alike. Most tees are elevated, giving not only excellent visuals of the challenge ahead, but a 360 degree panorama of spectacular snow capped mountain scenery all year round.
There are reachable par-5's and a drivable par-4 for the possibility of an exciting eagle or two. For the lesser golfer there is an impressive assortment of tees for enjoyment.
My personal favourite would be the 17th hole, a par-5 through a canyon of rock to a semi blind green. Of course, there is the inevitable controversy of the 16th, a par-3 with a kidney shaped green, a stream on the right edge, a huge grass bunker on the left and another semi-blind back half.
The Hills is there for the taking - but golfers beware! Its scenic charm can lull one into a false sense of security, destroying the very concentration needed to avoid disaster. The course is an incredible challenge for the great - and incredibly enjoyable for the not so great!
Sir Bob Charles