Clive Mayhew, of Sydney, plays out of the Wolves, during practice day at The Hills yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Sir Michael Hill has unveiled further plans to turn his
exclusive golf course into the Augusta of the South.
On the eve of the $900,000 New Zealand Open's return to
Arrowtown, Sir Michael announced he intended to build a
nine-hole par-3 course at The Hills in the style of the
Augusta National club that hosts the Masters.
He also plans to carry out extensive redevelopment work to
five of the existing holes on the multimillion-dollar 18-hole
course, and add more of the sculptures that have added to the
''We've just got to keep pushing and make this course better
and better,'' he said. The No 2, 3, 6, 12 and 16 holes will
undergo various levels of redevelopment, which will be led by
John Darby, who designed the course.
''We're on the tip of doing something great here,'' Sir
''We want to make this a 100% world-class course.''
The par-3 course will be situated on the south side of the
existing 18th hole. Each of the nine holes will be between
70m and 140m in length.
''Nine holes. That's the magical number. That's what Augusta
has,'' Sir Michael said.
''I haven't done a costing on it. We just want to do it
''It's not as expensive to put in a par-3 hole as it is to
put in a par-4 or a par-5. You don't have fairways of any
The par-3 course was only in the planning stages, he said. It
could be two or three years before it was completed.
As at Augusta, Sir Michael is keen to eventually use the
par-3 course for a ''shootout'' tournament involving former
champions and leading players before the New Zealand Open.
He revealed last night The Hills had reached nearly 200
members and ''the door is about to shut on that''.
Also announced yesterday was the addition of a special group
to the final round of the New Zealand Open on Sunday.
Prime Minister John Key and golf great Sir Bob Charles will
be joined by a third player to be confirmed tomorrow.
One of Otago's great sporting families will be out in force
today. Greg Turner is playing in the Open, and both his
brothers - cricketer Glenn (playing in pro-am) and writer
Brian (caddying) - are involved. Greg's son Jack is caddying
and Glenn's son Shaan is playing in the pro-am.