Commander John Harris, Peter Thomson
Australians and New Zealanders can rub each other the wrong way, but the management of Wairakei set sibling rivalry aside and enlisted Peter Thomson, victor in five Open Championships, and his colleague Mike Wolveridge to create the course for their club in the Seventies. Many designers try to recreate the feel of English, Irish and Scottish links, and Thomson is probably the best at imbuing courses around the world with that special ambience. A keen student of the early masters of course architecture, Thomson knows a Colt-style pot bunker from one of MacKenzie's bold splashes of sand. He is particularly good in recapturing Colt's mastery of short holes, so the par 3s are the real gems at Wairakei, varying in length where most contemporary designs would push them all over two hundred yards and it would be all woods all the time. The shorter holes also have tighter, more challenging greens.