Golf in New Zealand has a storied history, and if we refer to sport in an industry sense, one that is fast growing on the back of Kiwi golfers strutting their stuff on the big stage. Michael Campbell’s win at the 2005 US Open certainly revived interest in the sport, and one that has just kept spinning over a decade later.
As such, there are around 390 golf courses dotting the Land of the Long White Cloud, each with their own unique characteristics and natural beauty. Four of these, situated around Auckland, represent the highest pinnacle of each aspect. In this article, we’ve gone through the ins and outs of each of these four courses, part of our 7 day Auckland tour.
Titirangi Golf Club
The Titirangi Golf Club took the old adage “risk and reward” and ran with it, and this Alister MacKenzie designed course presents a challenge at every turn. Formidable tree lines follow almost every hole along the course, and the bunkers are designed to hurt anyone that strays off path. Don’t let that scare you off, though, this is a driver’s course, and will be a fun and enjoyable day out for anyone.
Formosa Auckland Country Club
Designed by Bob Charles – the first Kiwi and left hander to win a major tournament – The Formosa rewards those that either just enjoy the recreational side of golf, or those that are pinpoint accurate. Strategically placed bunkers and hazards place demand on players to get it right each time, and the sights of the plains on the horizon and Waiheke Island are as picture perfect as you will find anywhere else.
Gulf Harbour Country Club
A long, winding course situated on the shoreline of the Hauraki Gulf, this course moves over gentle hills and slopes, presenting a beautiful, if not demanding challenge to behold. Treelines can be vicious in on some holes, whilst others present uncompromising rough as the main hazard, offering great diversity throughout the course. The approach down the 18th is perhaps the most spectacular – a slightly downhill, long hole that leads up to the grand clubhouse.
The Grange Golf Club
Deceptively open and free flowing, whilst featuring numerous slopes and hills, the eight time host of the New Zealand Open is a challenge for even the most seasoned of golfers. The course is immaculate and perfectly sculpted through every hole, and is an iconic sight of golf in New Zealand. A few tricky par 3’s break up the series of doglegs and driving holes found throughout the 18, with quite a large number of the greens well protected by some strategically placed bunkers.