Obama at Kauri Cliffs, NZ
Former president Barack Obama touched down in Auckland, New Zealand this morning and today has hit the greens at Kauri Cliffs, Matauri Bay. Former NZ PM Sir John Key is on the course with him.
When asked about the game later, Key said it "came down to the wire". After 18 holes the teams were "all square", then "Team NZ won on the second playoff hole". ("Team NZ" being Key and Craig Heatley.)
Key said it was a great match and that Obama "was relaxed, loved the course and his first glimpse of NZ," and is keen to return.
Obama is set to play another round of golf on a course elsewhere in Northland on Thursday.
Consistently ranked among the top 100 golf courses in the world, Kauri Cliffs is an 18 hole par 72 championship course with incredible ocean views from 15 holes. Six of these are along cliffs that fall away into the Pacific. Cape Brett is in the background, as are the Cavalli Islands. Brandt Snedeker has called it "Pebble Beach on steroids".
Golf architect David Harman spent two years designing and creating the course, which opened in February 2000. A plaque tribute to Harman can be found at the 14th tee. It contains this quote from Harman (from a conversation with Jack Whitaker) :
"A designer can always make a golf course too hard.
He can add more bunkers, more walls, whatever he dreams up.
The true test is whether he can use what Mother Nature gave him
and turn it into something like what you see here."
Below that quote is this comment by Julian Robertson:
"Dave did just that. He took a great piece of land and made an even greater golf course. He made 46 trips from his home in Florida to make this golf course what it is. For this and much more, we dedicate this golf course to David Harman."
The Kauri Cliffs Lodge has 22 suites and three private beaches.
Andrew Daddo introduces the Kauri Cliffs Lodge and Golf Course in the video above.