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New Nine Holes Planned For Millbrook Resort

New Nine Holes Planned For Millbrook Resort

Former Kiwi golf pro Greg Turner is working on the finishing touches to a detailed design for nine new holes at internationally-renowned Millbrook resort near Queenstown.

Turner recently formed a partnership with Scottish based Kiwi course architect Scott Macpherson and together they were delighted to liaise with the legendary Sir Bob Charles, to add the new nine and upgrade parts of the existing 18-hole championship course.

The new nine will form part of three 18-hole combinations, where any two out of the three ‘nines’ can be played together, flowing through a new half billion dollar resort homes development on land to the West of the existing resort that was announced last month.

“I spent some time with Sir Bob looking at and discussing the existing layout specifically,” said Turner.

“Fifteen years after the course was originally designed and with the benefit of hindsight, it was really interesting to discuss with him which holes and features had worked better than others.

“As a result we’ve been able to compliment what exists by building on those strengths. It would certainly be fair to say that Sir Bob’s legacy gives us a solid frame of reference and it’s been great to have his input and support.”

Turner said the design would be finalised before Christmas with construction work to start as soon as possible. He described the contours of the land for golf course construction as “brilliant”.

“The exceptional surrounding landscape means that nothing within the course itself needs to be contrived. The ‘land to the West’ probably offers the best golfing environment on the whole site and has made our job relatively straightforward, including re-instating wetlands which will be more ‘true’ to the landscape.

“The historical elements on the site, from its traditional farming background to the gold mining history of Arrowtown, have given us much to work with. The Arrow River irrigation scheme, the historic buildings, and the local schist stonework are all dominant themes that resonate well.”

Four of the holes on the existing par 72 championship course will be reworked as part of the upgrade, including work on the 10th (in conjunction with the current Streamside development), a reversal of the 15th and 16th , and a re-alignment of the 18th.

“One of the things we really wanted to achieve was to breathe a bit more life into Millbrook’s hub, around the Millhouse, the Hole in One bar and the Clubhouse,” said Turner.

“By reversing the current 15th and 16th holes we will ensure that the new nine isn’t divorced from the rest of the course. And I think our little ‘double or quits’ par 3 28th hole, finishing as it does on the little island out in front of the Millhouse, will prove enormously popular.”

Around the new nine holes, Millbrook is planning the first stage of a 200-plus home development, which will consist of 58 elevated and sunny sites, some land only and others house and land packages, all with views to Coronet Peak, the Crown Range or The Remarkables mountain ranges.

The sections and packages are expected to be on the market by spring, with work due to start in autumn 2007.

Millbrook Property and Development Manager Ben O’Malley said existing Millbrook zoning meant the resort could have put another 100 houses into the development, but was working on the “less is more” theory.

“We want the golfers’ experience to be as enjoyable as it is for people living on the golf course,” he said. “We have created a 60m fairway to house line, so the fairways won’t be crowded in by houses.

“We have worked with the existing landscape as much as it humanly possible to maximise use of existing rock formations and landscape contours for homes and the course, aiming for a net zero of cut and fill.”

Greg Turner said it had been particularly rewarding being involved with the whole design team from day one.

“At many resort complexes it’s apparent that each major element (golf, recreation, hotel and residential) has been working independently and, as a result, many potential synergies have been missed.

“Understanding the priorities of each component at Millbrook has really added to the equation.”


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