Jack’s Point - Dramatic Surroundings
There a few courses in the world with more dramatic surroundings than Jacks Point. Set between Lake Wakatipu and the majestic Remarkables mountains there are stunning views in every direction. Towering mountains to the east, an azure blue lake to the west and below, stands of the native (and prickly) matagouri bush and outcrops of schist rock make the entire Jacks Point aesthetic experience a striking one. Anyone who doesn’t find the backdrops stunning is very hard to please!
The course was designed by landscape architect and golf course designer John Darby. From a routing perspective the site presents an interesting challenge. The clubhouse and associated facilities sit in a shallow valley between the mountains and lake and necessitate a relatively steep 60m climb to the main plateau on which the majority of the holes are located. This plateau provides some excellent golfing terrain and stunning vistas of both the mountains along one side and the lake (some 100m below) on the other.
The holes that climb to (2, 3 and 4) and descend from (16) the main plateau are played directly up and down the fall line and represent a bit of an Achilles heel (making the course a fairly demanding walk). They also effectively remove the opportunity for returning nines which, for most, is no great inconvenience.
We are much fonder of many of the holes that criss-cross the plateau and there are several of these that are amongst the best in Queenstown. All in all the minor weakness in routing probably only manifests itself to those who play the course more regularly. To the visitor the turf quality and grandeur of the setting far outweigh the compromises made and make Jacks Point a must play for the golfing visitor.
The short par four 6th hole offers both spectacular vistas across the lake and a strategic dilemma on if and where to lay up or whether to go for the heroic drive at the green. 9 – 13 are a really good stretch of par 4’s and 3’s and the 15th is a favourite tee shot (with great use of a diagonal stone wall).
First class in every way.
Unquestionably a must play if you are in Queenstown. If you’re not locked into a specific day check the local weather as if southerly winds are forecast you’re better off on the courses near Arrowtown (Millbrook, The Hills or Arrowtown) than at Jacks. And given the nature of the climb early in the round we would recommend a cart for all of those other than the fit.