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Tara Iti, half a world away from Ireland...


Patrick Andrews

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After finishing up my internship at Adare Manor in Ireland, I started my new adventure at Tara Iti Golf Club in Mangawhai, New Zealand a week ago. It still amazes me that I was in Ireland a week and a half ago, and now I'm now a half a world away in New Zealand. Since Adare Manor is a parkland course, Tara Iti is the first links course I have ever worked at. there are many new things for me that I will introduce through the upcoming blogs.

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Tara Iti is the first links course I've ever worked at. Renaissance Golf photo.

The travel experience from the United States to New Zealand was straightforward. I flew out of LAX at 8 pm and arrived in New Zealand at 5 am. The 6500 mile flight totaled 12 hours, and I had two meals. I enjoyed the night flight because it allowed me to be well-rested before arriving in New Zealand, and it was also nice because both the LAX terminal and Auckland terminals were quiet. Going through customs and biosecurity in New Zealand was very simple and fast since we were one of the first flights arriving that morning.

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The 6500 mile flight from LAX to Auckland took 12 hours.

Brian Palmer, superintendent of Tara Iti, has been the superintendent here since 2018. Prior to that he was the superintendent of Shoreacres near Chicago. Brian picked me up from the airport, and we made our way north to the club. On the way, we stopped at Honey Bones cafe, a local favorite that serves a delicious meal called a halloumi bowl. We also stopped at The Real Bread Project, where they make homemade bread and pies filled with brisket. Overall the drive up north was very scenic, making the hour and a half go fast.

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The halloumi bowl at Honey Bones, a new experience for me.

I am housed on-site in an area called Podsville ,just a few steps from the maintenance facility. As the name suggests, Podsville is made up of a bunch of housing pods. I share a kitchen and laundry room with ten others. but I have my own bedroom and bathroom.

The course is seeded with hard and slender fescue, the first for me to work with fescue on greens. It has 2 hectares of greens, 2.5 hectares of surrounds, 27 hectares of fairways, and 3.5 hectares of ranges. One hectare is equal to about 2.5 acres.

Just being here for a week, I have many pictures of the course and the native species. I am excited to learn and share more about Tara Iti as time goes on.

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