Fabulous Golf in New Zealand

Terri and I have just returned from an incredible two weeks in New Zealand. I must say that when we departed on the trip I was expecting the golf to be good, but not much more. How wrong I was! I was truly blown away with not only the quality of the golf courses (design and shot-making), but also the scenery and conditioning.

Coronet at Millbrook

Coronet at Millbrook

We started on the South Island at Millbrook. Here we played the Coronet and Remarkable nines as there are 27 holes available. Conditioning and scenery was superb and the consensus was that everybody preferred the Coronet nine. A good idea here is to tee it up relatively early and then drive 5 minutes up the road for a fantastic lunch at Amisfield Winery.

Our second course on the South Island was Jack's Point. This is the most beautiful golf course I've ever played. Not only is it beautiful, but it's a top notch layout too. A true 360º course - look in any direction, on any hole, and you'll see incredible beauty. Our group literally couldn't get enough of Jack's Point and this was the course of the trip for me. 

Jacks Point

Jacks Point

We then moved to the North Island where the next round we played was at the mighty Kinloch Club. Our weather was perfect and we just about had the course to ourselves. A Jack Nicklaus design with a definite linksy feel to it - Kinloch delivered the goods and more. I loved how the fairways incorporated the humps and bumps and the whole look and feel of the course was interesting. The golf course is fantastic, but the Lodge at Kinloch might even be better. Contemporary accommodations along with world-class cuisine is tough to beat. 

Kinloch Club

Kinloch Club

The day after Kinloch we ventured to Wairakei Golf Club. While the weather was a little dreary during our time there, I was pleased to see how many of the golfers in our group enjoyed the course. Wairakei is a "proper" golf course as I like to say and there was not a single hole out there that I wouldn't want on my home course. I did feel it was a little too big for the ladies as the ladies tees were not forward enough. Fabulous golf course that I could play everyday.

The course our group was most excited to play was definitely Cape Kidnapper's. Unfortunately we had horrible weather for our round there, but we all gained a sense of how much fun this course could be on a pleasant day. We caught glimpses of the stunning scenery and it seemed to whet our appetite to return one day and appreciate all this beautiful site has to offer. Beautifully designed by Tom Doak, Cape Kidnapper's allows for the influence of weather and wind without becoming too challenging. I wrote in the guest book, "A very enjoyable and wise design!" Cannot wait to get back.

The back nine at Cape Kidnappers

The back nine at Cape Kidnappers

Each of the courses we played had exceptional practice and warm-up facilities and the staff were always friendly and accommodating. In fact at Kinloch, our lead group finished early and Paul, one of the pros, invited them to go out and play a few extra holes. This spirit of hospitality was everywhere in New Zealand and as a result we cannot wait to get back. Here are a few details regarding our trip next year...

Click the image above to view

Click the image above to view

For information on our trip to New Zealand in February 2018 please email Terri at terri(at)syncexcursions.com

2015 South Africa Golf & Safari

Each year my wife and I have the pleasure of escorting a group of travelers to my home country of South Africa for an amazing twelve day luxury experience that includes golf, safari, premier wineries and sightseeing. If Africa is on your bucket list you may want to 'Keep Calm and Carry On' reading....

Main Lodge at Makanyane

Main Lodge at Makanyane

Our group departs the USA on January 4th bound for Johannesburg and on to the majestic city of Cape Town.  Here we will stay at the luxurious Cape Grace Hotel located in the heart of the V&A Waterfront.  Rooms all have a view of the harbor and stunning Table Mountain. While in the Cape we will play three rounds of golf at: Arabella Golf Club, Steenberg Golf Club and Pearl Valley. Following golf each day, we will tour and taste at some of South Africa's top wineries: Fairview, Hamilton Russell, Ernie Els and Boekenhoutskloof are all on our list. We will also spend a glorious morning touring Table Mountain, where you will get a panoramic view of one of the world's most beautiful cities. 

Cape Grace Hotel

Cape Grace Hotel

Following our stay in Cape Town we depart for the bush and what has always been the most popular portion of the trip. The upcoming adventure will take you to the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, where you will spend five luxurious nights at the world renowned Makanyane Safari Lodge. Previous travellers have experienced up close and personal encounters with lions on the doorstep of their suite and elephants grazing in the camp! Don't worry though, you are completely safe. Our guests have often had the honor of seeing the complete "Big Five" - Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Cape Buffalo and Rhino. We have even, on a few occasions, seen the "Magnificent Seven" which also includes African Wild Dog and Cheetah.

The setting, local cuisine and attention to detail from the staff are as epic as the game viewing.

Dominant Linyala Male

Dominant Linyala Male

This is certain to be the trip of a lifetime - so much so that we have had numerous couples come on two trips with us and we have even had a couple return for a third visit.

Ernie Els Winery

Ernie Els Winery

If you would like to experience all that luxurious Africa has to offer without multiple location changes then this is the trip not to miss. From stunning Cape Town to the awe inspiring drama of the African bush - you will do it all while only sleeping in two beds. And we have always felt that the downside to travel is the travel itself.

White Rhino and Calf

White Rhino and Calf

The cost for the trip is $9950 per person for golfers and the dates are January 4-17, which include travel days.  We currently have space available for 3 additional couples and are open to customized itineraries for your group to South Africa. Please feel free to visit our website for more details syncexcursions.com.

Here is a video collage from our 2014 trip:

Should you have any questions please contact Andrew at andrew@andrewricegolf.com or Terri at terri@syncevents.com