Tara Iti owner plans to develop two public courses near the Doak gem
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Tara Iti owner plans to develop two public courses near the Doak gem


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Tara Iti in New Zealand is widely regarded as one of the best golf courses on the planet.

For the average golfer, however, Tara Iti poses a couple of problems. The foremost problem is it’s private. The second problem is it’s in remote New Zealand.

The first problem can be solved with a letter of recommendation from your private golf club, if you have one. However, to get someone to play golf in remote New Zealand can be a challenge for most any budget, particularly for a once-in-a-lifetime round.

Soon, that’s all about to change.

Tara Iti owner, American billionaire Ric Kayne, seeks to invest some $50 million in developing a pair of publicly accessible golf courses near the site of his private club. Kayne is looking to develop the courses working with the Coore and Crenshaw team, as well bringing Doak’s Renaissance Golf Design back for another course.

According to the New Zealand Herald, Kayne will have to acquire a land lease from the Ngāti Manuhiri iwi tribe’s land trust to build the courses. Kayne hopes to acquire a 100-year term, gifting approximately 495 acres to the Auckland Council for continued land preservation, as he was required to do with Tara Iti, which he spent $100 million to develop.

Kayne would develop a common clubhouse, 60 luxury home sites and campground land, working with renowned landscape architect John Darby on the concept.

Kayne will need to get approval from the Kiwi Overseas Investment Office for the lease approval and the Auckland Council to develop the acreage for their plan. Conservationists are concerned Kayne will be unable to have a reasonable water source for all three courses, but Kayne says he will use new catchment ponds and bores to irrigate.


“We intend to create a treasure unlike any other place in the world,” Kayne said to the New Zealand Herald. “This is the best land in the world for golf courses. We have the land to do this and it’s a deep passion. I want to do something for New Zealand, Auckland, Mangawhai and Auckland golfers.”

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder of Golf News Net and GolfTripX. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer. Sometimes he just wants to talk about where he wants to play golf today.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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