On paper, Cape Kidnappers is one of the Top 100 courses in the world, and folks will carve out an entire day in New Zealand to find it and play it. Kinloch is far less famous, brand new, and in a small town north of Lake Taupo. I didn't know about Kinloch until 2 weeks before my trip when I randomly found that it was 20 minutes from where we were staying. I was looking for an option to play with my son and this seemed to fit the bill. Cape Kidnappers I had researched, planned and "drooled" over playing for well over a year and knew it was too pricey and tough for my son to join.
I must say that neither golf course disappointed, but Cape Kidnappers I played by myself on a dreary day. This ended up being fortunate for my golf score as the normally blustery winds that make scoring so challenging laid low to a light breeze and I was able to squeeze in a round in the 70s. However, the stunning vistas that help make the course so memorable were hampered by a horizon that melted grey sky into grey ocean. So, I knew I was playing a great golf course, which it is, but I can't say I fell in love with it.