Course Rater Confidential: Asia-Pacific courses we can’t wait to open

Te Arai South (pictured) will team with the Tom Doak-designed Te Arai North, which is scheduled to open in late 2023.

Gary Lisbon

GOLF’s Top 100 course panelists are among the most respected and well-traveled course evaluators in the game. They’re also keen to share their opinions. In this series, we’ll unlock their unvarnished views on all questions course-related. Check out GOLF’s latest Top 100 Courses in the U.S.Top 100 Courses in the WorldTop 100 Courses You Can PlayBest Municipal Courses in the U.S., 100 Best Short Courses and 100 Best Courses in U.K. and Ireland. Meet all of our Top 100 panelists here.

GOLF’s inaugural ranking of the Top 100 Courses in Asia-Pacific is out, and we’re here to break it all down. Are there any courses in the works in that region that you can’t wait to see open? What about them excites you?

Masa Nishijima (panelist since 1991): Te Arai North in New Zealand. Seven Mile Beach and Five Mile Beach in Tasmania.

John Cornish (panelist since 2017): I’m looking forward to returning to New Zealand to visit the new courses at Te Arai. For Te Arai (South) to debut in the top 10 is an amazing achievement, having opened only six months ago. I played Hirono before Martin Ebert completed his renovation and those changes have obviously been well received. I’m eager to see that work. There has been a worldwide push for short courses and Kingston Heath recently opened a course at around 1,200 yards that is bedding in nicely. I need to get there, too.

Thomas Brown (panelist since 2015): Vietnam continues to be the most active country in Asia for new-course construction. But, indulging my interest in visiting new places: Nick Faldo is at work on Thatluang Golf Village, in Vientiane, Laos. The site is an urban location adjacent to a nominated UNESCO World Heritage site. I’m intrigued.

Te Arai (South) in Tomarata, New Zealand.
GOLF’s first-ever Top 100 Courses in Asia-Pacific ranking will expand your bucket list
By: Ran Morrissett

Gary Lisbon (panelist since 2011): The island state of Tasmania, in Australia, certainly punches above its weight in land size. It was first put on the world golfing map with Barnbougle Dunes and then also Cape Wickham. I believe the imminent opening of Seven Mile Beach (and then Five Mile Beach down the line) will further highlight great golf in this part of the world. A deep sand base with varying topography and a creative design that takes full advantage of both the land and the water vistas is what excites me most about the Seven-Mile Beach. Oh, and a six-minute drive to a major airport (Hobart) is pretty convenient, too.

Michael Goldstein (panelist since 2019): I can’t wait to see Te Arai North, Kangaroo Cliffs and Seven Mile Beach. Three links courses all on dream sites with three different architects. Will be interesting to see how they all finish up.

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