Golf Course Architecture - Issue 56: April 2019

20 The Hills opens ‘elastic’ par three course The Hills Golf Club in Arrowtown, New Zealand, has opened The Farm, a new nine-hole par three course designed by golf consultant and writer Darius Oliver. Oliver describes the course as “an elastic, ‘choose your own adventure’ style” layout, with a flexible design that allows golfers to choose from multiple tee locations, distances and angles of approach. “I told Sir Michael Hill when we first met that I didn’t think a par three course would add much to the appeal of the club for the serious golfer – sure they might bring kids and beginners there for the odd game but would be unlikely to want to play it themselves regularly,” said Oliver. “Then I walked the site and immediately changed my mind. What I didn’t expect to see were nine ready- made and incredible par threes sitting there already on the ground – but that was the case. The routing really only took a couple of hours to figure out, and once I’d walked the property, I called Sir Michael and the club’s general manager and superintendent Brendan Allen for a look, and they almost immediately bought into the concept. “The site is really the star attraction – and in particular the views and the Arrow Irrigation water race, which runs through the property and is used numerous times in design,” said Oliver. “Five holes – the first, second, seventh, eighth and ninth – tee off either alongside or on top of the race and three – the first, seventh and eighth – play across the water. All nine holes are outstanding and unique in their own way. I love hitting all nine tee shots, and love hitting from at least two ‘areas’ on each of the holes. There are four great angles/shots into the second hole alone.” THE B IG P I CTURE TEE BOX Photo: AirSwing Media