Jack's Point, Queenstown


Jack’s Point Golf marks 10 years

November 2018 marks 10 years since Jack’s Point golf course opened to the public. In this issue we catch up with Simon Forshaw, Golf Course Superintendent at Jack’s Point who has seen it grow, literally from the ground up.

If you missed the October issue, you’ll find a copy here. Subscribe below to get the Post each month free in your mail box.

Jack’s Point Events Calendar

  • Celebrate: Residents’ Christmas Party on Sunday, 16 December – Details to come

  • Save the date: The NZ Open Challenge will be played at Jack’s Point on Saturday, 2 March 2019.

November Issue

  • Major milestone for Jack’s Point

  • Notes from The Clubhouse kitchen

  • Jack’s Point Golf turns 10 with big win

  • Meet Simon Forshaw, Jack’s Point Golf Course Superintendent


Major milestone for Jack’s Point

Celebrating a decade of golf at Jack’s Point


Jack’s Point golf course opened for play 10 years ago this month. Recognised as one of New Zealand’s finest golf courses, it stands in a class of its own.

In its first 10 years, the links-style course has collected numerous design and environmental awards, the latest being the prestigious IAGTO Sustainability Award.

Jack's Point was conceived and has been nurtured for over 15 years by the international master-planning practice, Darby Partners Limited.  Since the golf course opened for play in 2008, it has been the crowning centrepiece of Jack’s Point, shaping the design philosophy that underpins all other development across its 3000 acres.

Darby Partners design principal, John Darby expresses this guardianship as carefully integrating a new community and activities into the land, with no disturbance to its intrinsic values. “This is a vast landscape beneath The Remarkables. There is nowhere to hide from this commitment. Like the handmade walls throughout Jack’s Point, every built element is placed with these considerations at the forefront,” he says.

“The next 10 years will see the Village and our community grow with these deeply ingrained design principles. If anything, we’ve drawn even more design inspiration in working so closely with the land for more than a decade.”


The making of a golf course

a Shared passion and respect for the land


The building of Jack’s Point golf course is the pride and effort of many, many people. Their commitment and craft is evident everywhere you look.

A great team has shaped and nurtured the course over the past decade, with special credit to Simon Forshaw, Course Superintendent and John Griffin, Director of Golf for their outstanding 10 years of course stewardship. 


We pay special tribute to the outstanding contribution of three remarkable individuals, whom we have sadly lost in the past years. Mark Hill was Assistant Course Superintendent. He worked tirelessly alongside Simon Forshaw to sow-out the course. Mark Stevenson was on the original landscape design team, and always hands-on. He played a key role in the realisation of John Darby’s vision for Jack’s Point, one he was passionate about. Dave Comer, whose amazing photography brought to life this landscape, left us with an amazing visual legacy. Ten years on and many of Dave’s stunning photos are still regarded as Jack’s Point signature shots.



Notes from The Clubhouse kitchen

Jimmy Nicholson, Restaurant Manager

 The original Jack’s blend for breakfast, only at The Clubhouse

The original Jack’s blend for breakfast, only at The Clubhouse

With a new season comes new additions, menus and celebrations.

We’re excited to announce the arrival of Ralph, a vintage blue Citroën van that you may have seen cruising around the Clubhouse. Ralph will be taking up residence on the 10th tee, serving up delicious goods to hungry golfers.

Mark your diaries for the annual Residents’ Christmas Party on Sunday, 16 December — more details to come.

To match the fresh mornings, sunny days and new produce we have a fantastic spring menu at the Clubhouse. On the brunch menu you’ll find fresh spring asparagus with 62°C eggs, pancetta, hollandaise and pea shoots, plus old favourites like the breakfast board. For lunch there’s a bounty of great produce to enjoy, like pork collar with celery root, radicchio, fennel and pickled mustard. Plus elevated classics like Te Mana Lamp Rump and Market Fish feature.

Book your table today online here, phone +64 3 450 2050 or email


Jack’s Point Golf turns 10 with big win

Course receives prestigious IAGTO 2019 Sustainability Award for Nature Protection


Jack's Point Golf has been honoured with the prestigious IAGTO 2019 Sustainability Award for Nature Protection presented at an international ceremony on 18 October in Slovenia.

Jack’s Point was selected by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ sustainability partner, the Golf Environment Organization (GEO) to receive the 2019 Nature Award.

Jack’s Point Golf General Manager, John Griffin says the team are thrilled to have been recognised for their long-term commitment to sustainability and nature protection.

“We are delighted to have achieved this international recognition for our ongoing work to preserve our unique natural environment at Jack’s Point,” he says.

Jonathan Smith, GEO Foundation Executive Director says Jack’s Point Golf Course won the 2019 Nature category due to its extraordinary preservation of the breath-taking natural landscape. The winners this year highlight the fact that golf has the potential to improve the land and the lives of people who come into contact with it.

“Completed in 2008, the course construction was so sensitive that only five per cent of the entire 3000-acre site will ever be touched,” he says.

The judges were impressed by the range of natural materials utilised, with recycled on-site materials incorporated, including local wood and stone. The judges highlighted that man-made structures were sited appropriately below sight lines and away from natural bluffs and elevated areas.

The award also recognised that wetland habitats created, while existing ones were regenerated with improved water quality. The course has its own irrigation supply and waste water treatment system.


Featured profile

Simon Forshaw, Jack’s Point Golf Course Superintendent

Simon Forshaw has been instrumental in leading the team’s sustainability and nature protection initiatives since the start of the course build in 2005.


Golf has been a big part of Simon Forshaw’s life for over 35 years. In 1987 he represented New Zealand as a Junior Under-21 player, and since then he has worked on 15 golf courses in four different countries.

Simon has applied his expertise at three British Opens, a US PGA, the Australian Open, the World Cup of Golf at Gulf Harbour, as well as consulting as Golf Course Superintendent at Clearwater NZPGA Tournaments and the NZ Women’s Open.

Simon also worked in design and construction at the Graham Marsh course in Sydney’s Terrey Hills, as Assistant Superintendent for the construction and grow-in at Gulf Harbour, Assistant at Millbrook Resort, and Course Superintendent at the Otago Golf Club where he redesigned all the bunkering. From there, Simon’s resume continued to develop with the grow-in and opening of the Lakes Resort in Pauanui.

With experience longer than a par 6, Simon brought his considerable skills to Jack’s Point with the course construction sow-out and grow-in.


In 2016 Simon was asked by Golf Digest Australia to be one of their judges to rate Top 40 golf courses in New Zealand. 

We talk to Simon about the amazing journey for Jack’s Point Golf Course since it opened for play in 2008.


‘Golf courses are living things, always evolving as the landscape changes’

Q: What is the biggest change you’ve noticed in 10 years?

A: Jack's Point was designed in harmony with the natural environment, weaving through native tussock grasslands, dramatic rock outcrops, steep bluffs and swathes of native bush to the edge of Lake Wakatipu.

We have witnessed the maturing of the golf course over the past 10 years. The ageing process of a golf course is one of ongoing refinement to expand the qualities of the topography and evolution of the playing surfaces to provide the best possible presentation for our visitors and residents.

This is a farm with golf holes running through it which is unique. Native planting throughout includes the thorny Matagouri and grey scrubland, many as old as 500 years. We have created buffer zones around wetlands, and chosen grass varieties for low impact, water management and fertility. We don’t overspray, and don’t waste water – we do hand-watering over summer, so everything is controlled. 


‘Playability is key’


Q: How did you learn your art - or is it more a science?

A: One of my passions is golf course and landscape architecture. I’ve been studying it for years through the University of Guelph (Canada) where I qualified in Golf Course Design and Construction and Turf Management. I’ve visited 78 of the Top 100 World Golf Digest courses which has taken almost 20 years. When I return from visiting some of those great courses I make a special effort the first day I am back to walk the course at Jack’s Point, and I can say we stack right up there with the world’s best, thanks to the foresight of our designer John Darby of Darby Partners.

Playability is one of the arts of a good golf course design. Jack’s Point is a golf course that has some similar traits that you might find on a links-style course, but we are not next to the ocean, sand dunes or sand-based ground. It’s in the mountains. We use fescue grasses to make the course play firm, fast and as smooth as possible allowing the ball to roll along the ground as much as flying through the air.

Golf course management is both an art and a science. You need to understand the technical side – the turf, the drainage, read the situation when turf is going into stress mode due to heat and traffic pressure, and be able to predict the weather forecast as much as possible, know horticulture and be mechanically minded too. You need an excellent eye for detail – the devil’s always in the detail. And you need to be an excellent communicator. Our team understands the need to communicate closely. We encourage all our staff to play when it’s possible, noting down anything of interest, anything we should pay attention to from the golfer’s perspective that’s very important to us. It also gives me a chance to walk the course as a player, with a fresh eye, and see things the way players do.  


‘We work with nature, not against it’

Q: How do the seasons affect Jack’s Point?

A: Of all the factors influencing our course, the biggest challenge is frost which is guaranteed every winter in the Central Otago and Southern Lakes regions. 

Jack’s Point is playable all year round apart from a short few weeks of the year between the second week of June to the third week of August we close for winter maintenance. The growth of the turf normally doesn’t start until  September and starts slowing down pretty quickly after Easter.


‘It’s a team effort’


‘The ongoing journey’

Q: Tell us about the Jack’s Point team

A: I worked out that between Jack’s Point designer John Darby, our General Manager of Golf, John Griffin and myself we have over 110 years’ experience.

Now we have a crew of 16 staff – 10 full time plus six seasonal workers mostly from Europe but also India and the United States. They come over here during their winter time, so it works out really well. We attract some of the best people from top courses in the UK, Europe USA and Australia, their experience includes working on such golf courses as the Old Course St Andrews, Royal County Down, Golf National, Augusta National, Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, Kingston Heath and Royal Melbourne just to name a few.

We promote personal development for our crew, so they can experience what it takes to present golf courses to the top end of professional golf. They have worked at The Players at Sawgrass, the TPC at Scottsdale, and soon The Australian Open at The Lakes in Sydney.

Two of the people who assisted right from the start have both sadly passed away.  Mark Hills who was my Assistant Course Superintendent and helped me sow-out the golf course was a great contributor to the original evolution of Jack’s Point, as was Mark Stevenson who was closely involved in the landscape design and planting. We never forget them or their efforts to make this course one of the world’s best.

I feel very fortunate to work here at Jack’s Point its been such a privilege to work at such an amazing place I do sometimes really have to pinch myself that I am involved here.

I’ve always appreciated too that I have been very lucky to have worked with some incredible people who have great drive, passion and are some of the best around in all they do.

To win such an award as the prestigious IAGTO Sustainability Award, be Certified Environmental GEO and Voted #2 Best Golf Course 2016 in New Zealand are all testimony to the great team that are involved.

Knowing that our caretaking of this very environment here makes it all very special. The team and I are all very excited for what the future holds.



Previous Issue – October 2018

  • Inside the Village design

  • Golf – Spring update

  • Notes from The Clubhouse kitchen

  • Property market update


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