Kura Golf Course Design’s latest project, a $160 million golf academy and resort, Christchurch Golf Resort, in Christchurch, New Zealand, has been given the go-ahead eight years after it was first planned by South Korean businessman Young Hwan (Thomas) Na. While resource consents are still required, the team hopes to start work on the 160-hectare site within a few months.
The resort will include international academy facilities, 86 villas, 141 sections, accommodation, lakes and an 18 hole golf course as well as other recreational facilities.
Kristine Kerr, Principal Architect of Kura Design says the design of the course will feature a combination of dunes, wetlands and native trees, typifying the pre-agricultural landscape, creating a natural, ecologically sound, attractive and harmonious landscape. Adjacent is a 41ha riverside conservation strip that will be given to the local council as a contribution to its vision for a riverside walkway.
Environmentally the course aims to maintain water quality and conserve water resources, attract wildlife, including native birds, by creating suitable wildlife habitats and provide for the preparation of a long term environmental management plan for the golf course.
Individual hole design will emphasise subtlety and strategy over and provide a variety of golf shot-making and strategy to provide challenge and enjoyment.
The comprehensive Golf Academy is targeted at students of golf and golf administration, from Australasia, Asia, North America and Scandinavia. Extensive practice facilities are specifically designed to encourage a wide customer base, from entry level golfers, existing golfers and those in the pursuit of excellence. We will be working in association with a multiple Major championship winner, who cannot be named at this stage for contractual reasons.
For Kerr, who has designed golf courses internationally for leaders in the field, the high profile project follows her acclaimed Christchurch project, the Pegasus Golf and Sports Club. Pegasus, opened in December 2009 and has since hosted the 2010 and 2011 Pegasus NZ Ladies Opens co-sanctioned with the LET and ALPG.
Na said Kerr was his natural choice of golf architect, she is known for quality and creativity in course architecture, and she shares his immense enthusiasm and vision to create a stunning project, unique in the region.
Groups including the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand have supported the project. The resort is expected to employ about 120 fulltime staff. It is expected the project will bring a “substantial” boost in employment and tourism.
It is also “an important message to the world that Christchurch is back on its feet and not only starting the rebuilding process, but also embarking on exciting new developments”, Na said.
Along with other high quality courses in the region it will help cement Canterbury’s reputation as an international golfing destination.
Kura Golf Course Design www.kuragolfcoursedesign.com