Saturday, April 7, 2012

Golfing way down under

Ringa Ringa Heights on Stewart Island, New Zealand is one of the furthest south golf courses in the world. At six holes it is also one of the few that requires three rounds to play a full round.
We rent clubs at the post office/air terminal/bus depot/tourist shop in town and then hike through the forest and over the ridge to the course. Dramatically located on a narrow spit there are great views of mountains and ocean in every direction.
There are few local rules and green fees are modest.
We mistakenly start on the sixth hole, but it is so cool with an amazing drop to the green just over 130 metres away.
Its beaches and cliffs along the third and fourth fairways bring winds that counter what ever skill we might have. Erin bought two dozen golf balls at the flea market before the trip. A number made it into the thick jungle surrounding the course. I was gob smacked when we actually found at least half of what we fired into the impenetrable forest.
None of us had golfed for awhile so we tried a variety of stances and approaches to the ball.
Andrew surprises us, four whiffs, a suggestion about keeping an eye on the ball and after that he's hitting the ball at least 150 yards in an absolutely straight line.
Stephan and Andrew check out the scenery on the way down to the fourth green.
Ringa Ringa Heights Golf Course celebrates my brother Dick's birthday on the Spring solstice. Hope you had a fine day and a good start on the new year..

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