Queenstown’s five-star Millbrook Resort has opened a new covered driving range facility to complement its championship golf course and enhance its golf experience.
The new driving range is housed in a restored original high country woolshed.
Millbrook Director of Golf Brian Spicer said he was thrilled to open a totally unique facility for golf enthusiasts that offered a place to learn, practice and improve in a stunning environment.
“It enables us to provide year-round world class coaching, fulfilling Millbrook’s long-term desire to establish a centre of excellence, and offer a complete golfing holiday experience.
“Where else can you stay in absolute luxury, play golf on a variety of uniquely Central Otago courses and improve your game, all washed down with some of the world’s best Pinots and cuisine?” he said.
Located at the entrance of the resort, the facility is one of only two covered driving ranges in the region.
“As far as we know, it’s the only reincarnated woolshed driving range in the world,” said Mr Spicer.
The layout of the driving range building is a very close copy of the interior of the original shed. The five catching pens and wool room are now the hitting bays, while the ‘board’ where the sheep were shorn is the access corridor. Two attached ‘huts’ have been added to house ball dispensing and washing operations, and a coaching clinic classroom for Millbrook’s new golf academy.
With technological teaching equipment that includes a Vector Launch Monitor, SAM Putt Lab, video analysis equipment, automated ball dispenser and infrared heaters, the new facility is the perfect match of old and new.
The coaching clinic classroom is being supervised by Millbrook’s new Head Golf Professional Allan McKay, one of New Zealand’s most recognised and experienced golf professionals.
“Allan has led golf programmes at some of New Zealand’s most well known courses. His experience and superior teaching skills will enhance the learning experience for aspiring golfers,” said Mr Spicer.
The driving range facility has been constructed mainly out of materials from the old woolshed, which used to sit on land formerly owned by Mt Soho Station, and adds to the many original agriculture buildings dotted around the grounds of Millbrook.
Materials recovered for the $180,000 building included windows, beech flooring, rimu framing, sheep grating, timber gates and doors, corrugated iron, and original features such as a set of wool scales and a shearing machine.
On the uprights by the catching pen gates visitors can see the grooves made by shearers burring the sharp edges from their combs, and written on the old window frame and sliding entry door are the old names of shearers, pressers and sheep tallies.
Millbrook Sales and Marketing Director Kim Carpenter said the new facility was part of a continued investment programme at the resort to ensure it maintained its reputation as a world-class destination.
“We’re continually investing in the ‘Millbrook experience’ – the welcoming, relaxed and unique feel, stunning scenery, world-class golf course and spa facilities, superior range of onsite activities, friendly service, and the sense of history which reflects the unique character of the region,” he said.