Queenstown’s rapidly earning a reputation as a “mecca” for golf, according to the men behind cult TV show The Golf Club.
The popular weekly Sky TV programme was in the resort last week for the NZ Open and to film a segment on Millbrook’s new nine-hole course.
Veteran frontman Phillip Leishman – (right) with former Kiwi pro Greg Turner – says Queenstown’s now got “an amazing array of courses” with the development of Jack’s Point and The Hills.
“Arrowtown’s always been a great course, Millbrook’s been the course you can go to if you’ve got the ability to stay there or if you know someone who can take you there,” he says.
“I think the fact with Jack’s Point and Michael Hill’s course – with the profile it’s got with the NZ Open – all of a sudden people are saying these are amazingly good quality.
“And if you can compare that with other areas in NZ, no one can match that, with the quality in one area.
“All of a sudden you’ve got six potentially good courses within a range of 75km.”
The Golf Club producer Peter Thornton adds: “Queenstown’s a mecca of great golf courses now.
“Ten years ago, you had a lot of good golf courses but now there’re lots of great courses.”
The golf-tourism idea isn’t lost on Destination Queenstown – it recently produced a brochure called “Destination Golf” that provides advice and maps of where the courses are in the resort.
New DQ CEO Tony Everitt says: “This is just the beginning of a commitment from DQ to work collectively with the golf courses and golf industry in general to promote the region as an international golfing destination.”
This year’s NZ Open marks the last of three hosted by jewellery magnate Hill at his exclusive course.
NZ Golf and promoters Tuohy Associates say a decision on who’ll host next year’s Open will be made in the next few months. Hawke’s Bay course Cape Kidnappers, an unnamed course and The Hills are all vying for selection. Hill, who has warned he needs the Government’s help to underwrite the event, hosted Prime Minister John Key last Sunday for the final day of the Open.