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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 260
W HITE sandy beaches, translucent blue water and a pair of exceptional golf courses; no wonder New Caledonia is fast becoming a favourite destination for golfers eyeing off the South Pacific. And for us Australians, this idyllic slice of France can be reached in as little as two hours. New Caledonia is the third largest island in the Pacific Ocean – after Papua New Guinea and New Zealand – and was discovered by Britain in 1774 before being claimed by the French in 1853. And while the mining industry has long driven its economy, tourism is beginning to catch up, thanks in large part to two of its golf clubs – Tina Golf Club and Exclusiv Golf Deva. Tina is just a 10-minute drive from the city of Noumea and boasts an undulating layout that is split into two contrasting nines. The opening set of holes meanders its way through hills and mangroves, while the closing holes play alongside the world’s largest lagoon. The 1st hole at Tina provides an excellent insight into what lies ahead, prior to making the turn. At 296 metres (from the tips), this par-4 plays severely downhill and doglegs slightly right. A well-struck hybrid or long iron will open up the hole and leave a relatively simple approach shot. Alternatively, take out the big stick and challenge the large green that’s hidden by a collection of Columnar Pines; native only to New Caledonia. This was the weapon of choice for most during the recent South Pacific Classic played on the Australian Legends Tour. The topography at Tina allows for panoramic views of the mountainside, lagoon and town, but it also provides a real challenge when it comes to calculating correct distances. ENJOY A FLYOVER OF NEW CALEDONIA'S TINA GOLF CLUB
GA Express 259
GA Express 261