QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand -- Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountains hug Queenstown Golf Club, a stunning course the locals call Kelvin Heights.
The club occupies a hilly peninsula of land jutting into the lake, creating an amphitheater of beauty on New Zealand's rugged South Island.
General Manager John Stephens calls the location the best real estate in New Zealand. "It's magical," he said.
All the eye candy comes with a price. Kelvin Heights plays hard to get on the scorecard. Golfers must avoid the rocks, trees and side-hill lies to score well. The rocky soil also makes growing consistent turf difficult, although that's a minor issue when players are more likely to be looking up than down.
The elevated third tee introduces a grand stretch of golf. It's a spectacular par 4 of 405 meters (roughly 450 yards) that falls off a hill. The par-5 fourth runs along the shoreline. The par-4 fifth hole tempts players to take on the rocky beach, bending left over the seawall before climbing uphill to the green. A drop-shot wedge is all that's required of the 10th hole, a short par 3 of 109 meters.
Just don't let the view distract you.