How Te Arai (South) cracked our newest Top 100 Courses in the World list

Te Arai (South) in Te Arai, New Zealand, ranks 85th on our Top 100 Courses in the World list.

Courtesy Te Arai

GOLF released its latest ranking of the Top 100 Courses in the World (2023-24), and while Pine Valley again took the top spot, there were eight newcomers that found their way into the ranking. Here, we’ll introduce you to them.

Newcomer spotlight: Te Arai (South) / Rank: 85th

Location: Te Arai, New Zealand
Play: Resort
Architect: Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw, 2022

Why it made our list, according to a rater:

Rarely does a course marry awesome architecture with such astounding natural beauty. Built as the second of three courses along an arresting coastline, Te Arai has not diminished the reputation of its nearby cousin, Tara Iti. Just like Tara Iti, the ocean and islands off the coast are visible from a great number of holes. Only the new course brings the water closer as the round ends. As expected of a Coore and Crenshaw design, Te Arai takes full advantage of both the views and the natural topography to create multiple options for the golfer. Run it in. Fly it high. With the exception of a few holes, the ground game is always an option. But plenty of movement on the greens makes three-putting an ever-present danger. This is true links golf, only in warmer weather — a must-see course in a must-see country for golfers. — Luke Reese

You can view Te Arai (South)’s Top 100 Course page here.

Courtesy Te Arai
Courtesy Te Arai
Courtesy Te Arai

More about Te Arai (South)

Panelist Michael Goldstein writes, “Te Arai South, designed by Bill Coore, is soon to form half of the Te Arai resort alongside the Tom Doak designed Te Arai North opening in late 2023. Collectively with their cousin just along the coast (Tara Iti), this section of coastline north of Auckland is soon to be a challenger for the king of the world’s dream golf destinations. Playing Te Arai South is a beautiful experience where the linksland rises perfectly from the beach, mesmerizing the golfer with white sand below, the Pacific Ocean beyond and the islands in the distance. Whilst the early holes dance in and out of the woods, from the 5th hole onwards, Te Arai South unfolds into a mind-bendingly fun stretch of coastal golf featuring thrilling short holes, an array of fun short fours and some bold, diverse, restrained and zany greens punctuated by the Sitwell inspired sixteenth. No commentary on the South course at Te Arai is complete without a nod to the wee 17th which, no matter how hard the wind is blowing, is one of the greatest 100 yard holes in world golf.” — Ran Morrissett

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