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Golf Australia Express : May 2014
True to Doak’s form, the 13th tee sits just behind the green to protect any wayward approaches. You’d never know it from 150 metres out. Bunkers are also prominent at Cape Kidnappers but rarely do they have any impact on your golf. On the 13th and 15th holes the greenside bunkers are actually placed on the edge of the cliffs — more of a backstop than pin protection. My favourite hole at this gem is the 16th. From the clifftop tee the prevailing northerly winds rise up from the ocean below and create an updraft against the cliff. Most golfers tee a ball off into the ocean here just to watch the 11 seconds freefall. You’ll also need to watch out for the world famous Cape Kidnappers gannets hovering on the breeze above your head. Amazing birds indeed. The fairways at Cape Kidnappers are unbelievably pure — almost carpet-like — although finding themonawindydayismoreofa challenge than a given. If you manage to drag yourself away from the golf course during your stay, there is a lot more to do at Cape Kidnappers. You can stay at the Luxury Lodge with a food and wine experience to die for. Or pamper yourself in the Day Spa. If you are feeling more adventurous, have a crack at the Kiwi walk, where you get to track, find and hold the endangered Kiwi birds on the property. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can even hop on a quad bike and take a tour of the property, checking out the world’s largest land based Gannet colony, go sightseeing at Black Reef or ride the 8-kilometre inland river bed, past traditional Maori Pa (burial) sites and discover 5 million year old fossils along the way. The only downside of this experience for me was I played it on my own. Cape Kidnappers is a bucket list golf course, one of the best in the world. It seemed a real shame not to experience it with another golf lover. OTG “IF CAPE KIDNAPPERS WERE A BOOK IT WOULD BE DESCRIBED AS AN EPIC.” - TOM DOAK, DESIGNER Andrew McCombe is the host of Golf Getaway which airs 4.30pm on Sundays on ONE.