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Affluent golf fanatics looking for a new challenge may want to pack their bags for New Zealand.
Over The Top - The Helicopter Company, an operator based in Queenstown, New Zealand, offers duffers a chance to tee off at an elevation of 4,500 feet on a par-3 hole — that can only be accessed by helicopter.
Perched on Cecil Peak in the Southern Alps, the hole overlooks Lake Wakatipu and the not-too-distant city of Queenstown. It simultaneously offers jaw-dropping views of the region’s assembly of photogenic mountain ranges, including a few locations used in filming “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” movies.
During a recent visit to Queenstown, I joined an Over The Top expedition up to the hole where I subsequently lost several of the company’s environmentally friendly balls in a stiff breeze. And while it was certainly a thrill to tee off and play in such a breathtaking setting, the helicopter trip up and the views onboard made the entire outing an unforgettable experience.
The hole’s distinctive appeal and dramatic downslope setting also drew a visit from New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key, who played the par 3 a few times during the grand opening of the Cecil Peak hole in spring 2014.
Golfers can also book a round of golf at some of Queenstown’s in-demand courses, including The Hills, Jacks Point and Millbrook Resort, then add the Cecil Peak par-3 hole either before or after their round. Over The Top will pick up or drop off golfers for their round at the clubhouse.
The Over The Top golf experience at Cecil Peak lasts around 90 minutes and costs $475 a person.
Over The Top - The Helicopter Companywww.flynz.co.nz
Over The Top Golf www.overthetopgolf.nz