Sweet Spot. The centre of the club. A pure strike. But also the perfect spot to play. The place where landscape, design and natural beauty intersect to create a sweet spot for golf.
Sweet Spot is the work of golf writers Michael Donaldson and Phil Hamilton. In 2021 we will publish “Sweet Spot” a guide to New Zealand’s best golf courses based on design, location, landscape and the pleasure associated with hitting that sweet spot.
The chief object of every golf architect or greenkeeper worth his salt is to imitate the beauties of nature so closely as to make his work indistinguishable from nature itself.
— Alister Mackenzie
Our top courses
The golf courses that will make up Sweet Spot will take in the length and breadth of the country.
We are looking for courses that are uniquely Aotearoa. Courses that sing New Zealand. Courses that you need to put on your bucket list. Courses you want to play over and over again. What makes them the best? Design. Landscape. Natural beauty. Charm. All of the above. A great course is not the most expensive. Nor will we adhere strictly to the so-called top-rated courses where prestige, views and facilities rule.
Look out for further information on how you can pre-order your copy for yourself or your golf club.
Michael Donaldson is a journalist, author and freelance writer.
He was the co-author for caddie Steve Williams’ autobiography Out of the Rough, and the author of Lydia Ko: Portrait of a Teen Golf Sensation, a book that detailed Lydia Ko’s teen years as she rose to greatness.
Michael also published Country Courses, with photographer Niels Schipper, in 2015. The book captured the rustic of magic of some of New Zealand’s most remote and fun golf courses; from the Waitangi in Far North to Ringa Ringa Heights on Stewart Island, from Westport on wild West Coast to Te Puia Springs on East Cape.
His is a former sports editor at the Sunday Star-Times and the publisher of specialist beer magazine Pursuit of Hoppiness.
He lives in Titirangi, Auckland, and is a member of Titirangi.
Phil Hamilton is a veteran sports journalist and golf architecture tragic.
Phil has worked at Stuff, Australian Associated Press, The Press and The Waikato Times. He lives in Christchurch and is a member of Harewood.