The acclaim for Tara Iti continues to astonish us, even though we are well aware of the charms of New Zealand. The oceanfront location of the project was a great start, but the entire site was covered by a commercial pine forest, so 100% of the golf course had to be revegetated, whether with fine fescue turf or native dune plants like spinifex.
The golf is enchanting, but I’m convinced that much of the reaction is based on the perfect marriage between clubhouse and course. When we arrived upon the final routing, I told our client Ric Kayne that the relationship with the clubhouse could make it or break it, and he invited me to help interview architects for the job. Working closely with N.Z. architect Pip Cheshire, we softened the scale of the building as it sits on a dune ridge, so that the back patio at Tara Iti is the nicest place to hang out in all of golf – whether you play golf or not.