Far from busy roads and towns, at the end of a short country drive to the end of Wangaloa Domain Rd, Kaitangata Golf Club’s Wangaloa links course is a gem of serenity for sportsmen and women who like to play fast.
‘‘Links’’ indicates a golf course by the sea, and the level, nine-hole Wangaloa course is popular with novice and elderly players, as well as experts out for a speedy, competitive game.
Starting at hole 1, the shortest, ‘‘Bisset’’ (par 3 149m), Wangaloa golfers doubling up to 18 holes will cover a little over 5km of groomed grounds with dips and rises, and the tree-belt angles of a purpose-built golf course.
‘‘My favourite for now is hole 4 (‘‘Roadside’’ par 4 285m),’’ 28-year Kai Golf Club member Bill Clayton-Reed said.
‘‘It tees off from an open space and turns left down through a chute of trees. If your draw works when you need it to, that can be a really rewarding hole.’’
The Wangaloa links finishes with its longest fairway ‘‘Domain’’(par 5 458m), an opportunity for power-drivers to show off — if they can shoot straight.
The recently repainted and fully equipped lounge, kitchen and cash bar of the clubhouse await for refreshments and relaxation out of the sun, while the thunderous surf and motherlode of black-gold nuggets down the slope on Wangaloa Domain beach are a short, spectacular diversion between rounds.
‘‘Guests are always welcome to join us for a social nine-hole hit around on Wednesdays at 1pm for just $2, and Saturday golf for men and women starts at 12.30pm, with cooked food available afterwards,’’ Mr Clayton-Reed said.
Kaitangata Golf Club’s 100th anniversary will take place this Saturday, April 8 with afternoon golf and a 2pm meet and greet at Kaitangata Community Centre for those not on the course.
A celebratory buffet dinner featuring raffles, speeches and the release of Joyce Beck’s new book will be held at the community centre, catered by the Crescent Bar & Grill team at 6.30pm, followed by the club’s annual ‘‘Chicken Run’’ golf tournament on Easter Sunday.
Members will receive printed memorabilia as part of the celebrations, along with raffles, thanks to Murray Nyhon who obtained some wonderful prizes at the NZ Golf Open.
The Kaitangata Golf Club has been encouraged by the numbers enrolling and is looking forward to a great weekend, while casual golfers exploring the back-road secrets of South Otago will find their $10 green fee buys a swift, lively nine holes with unique and surprising Pacific countryside energy. ‘If your slice works when you need it to, No 4 can be a really rewarding hole.