New Zealand's newest and most upmarket golf course opening on October 1 is being picked to be one of the world's best.

Jim Rohrstaff and Michael Pleciak of Auckland-based Legacy Partners, which is in charge of Tara Iti, north of Auckland between Pakiri and Mangawhai, said the course had cost "tens of millions to build" and predicted it would be in the top 50 to top 100 internationally.

And the country's top golf official agrees: "I have seen Tara Iti. It will be one of the very best courses in the world when opens," said Dean Murphy, New Zealand Golf chief executive.

Now, 46 houses will be built in the area, 11 are on the course edge and one unusual design has already emerged from Cheshire Architects: a highly futuristic structure, with glazed walls and two internal pod structures, thought to be the holiday home of an international client.

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The golf course was designed by Americans Tom Doak and Brian Slawnik.
The golf course was designed by Americans Tom Doak and Brian Slawnik.

Mr Rohrstaff said the course was unique because players would be able to see and hear the sea wherever they were on the course.

Membership fees are not being disclosed and one Auckland golfer predicted it might cost $10,000 to $20,000/year.

The course is opening at a time when Auckland Council reviews its ownership of 13 courses worth $200 million-plus.

Tara Iti is 75 minutes' drive or 100km north of Auckland and the Tom Doak-designed golf links course includes a new clubhouse.

"It's by invitation. We won't say how much it costs," Mr Rohrstaff said.

Tara Iti is 75 minutes' drive or 100km north of Auckland.
Tara Iti is 75 minutes' drive or 100km north of Auckland.

The property was developed by American Ric Kayne working with New Zealand resort specialist John Darby.

"Ric doesn't look at this and say 'we're going to measure people's pocketbook and see if they qualify'. It's not just about the money. It's about the quality of people's character. Ric wants good people, that's what we're trying to do. This has not been for profit but out of passion," Rohrstaff said.

Legacy is now marketing the 46 1.6ha-2.8ha residential lots of which 11 are sited around the golf course edge.

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"The golf course sites will sell from $2.8 million to $4 million and the beachfront sites from $2 million to $3 million-plus," Rohrstaff predicted.

One of the 11 properties to be built on the course edge.
One of the 11 properties to be built on the course edge.

Golf Digest

's September issue described Tara Iti as "dreamy, a new coastal gem, inspired by Cypress Point, Royal Dornoch and Royal St George's, built on what has been a pine-covered Sahara by the sea. After removing acres of trees from the locale on the eastern coast of the country's North Island, Doak and associate Brian Slawnik spent more than two years gently contouring the sandy soil, forming hummocks, punchbowls and sand dunes that look like they were formed by wind and vegetated by nature".

Legacy is headquartered in one of Auckland's most unusual offices: the two-level Floating Pavilion, towed from the Viaduct Basin to Westhaven.

Tee-ing off at Tara Iti

Membership fees of the exclusive Tara Iti might cost $10,000-20,000/year.
Membership fees of the exclusive Tara Iti might cost $10,000-20,000/year.

• New golf course 75 minutes' drive north of Auckland
• Cost "tens of millions" to build
• Expected to be in top 50 to 100 courses globally
• Runs length of coast above white sand beach
• 11 multimillion dollar houses planned for edge
• All up, 46 houses planned at Te Arai
• Developed by American Ric Kayne and kiwi John Darby
• Exclusive membership club opens October 1
• New golf course predicted to be in world's top 50 to 100 courses


See a Google Map image of the location here: