NZPGA Golf Professional, Andrew Whiley, has updated his New Zealand Golf Course Rankings for 2013. Whiley, from Dunedin, believes this, his third ranking, is the most extensive ranking of New Zealand golf courses ever undertaken. With fifty respondents from NZPGA Golf Professionals, Tour Professionals (including Greg Turner, Michael Hendry, Grant Moorhead, Richard Lee, Fraser Wilkin and Mahal Pearce), leading Golf Club Professionals, top golf course Superintendents and one of New Zealand's leading Golf Course Architects, this is a true overall ranking of New Zealand golf courses from New Zealand industry leaders.
Whiley asked each ranker to rank their top 25 golf courses and from this the "Top 15" North Island and "Top 15" South Island golf courses are now being recognised.
The top courses in the North Island were: Kauri Cliffs (21.72), Kinloch (21.66), Paraparaumu (21.34) Wairakei (20.66) and Cape Kidnappers (19.62). In the South Island, Jacks Point (19.32) topped the list, followed by The Hills (17.5) and Millbrook (10.94).
New Zealand's top five golf courses are extremely well-regarded and the tight rankings show how good the golf courses are with Kauri Cliffs retaining top spot and Kinloch moving from number three to number two. Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club moved up from number five to number three. Less than 2.10 points separate the top five golf courses. Kinloch received the most number one votes with 16, eight second place votes and eight third place votes. Paraparaumu Beach received ten number one votes while Kauri Cliffs had nine number one votes, eight number two votes and nine number three votes. In the South Island, Jacks Point received three number one votes and The Hills received two number first place responses. Adding up the top five rankings, Kauri Cliffs received 38 votes, Kinloch had 37 votes, Cape Kidnappers had 32 votes, Paraparaumu Beach and Jacks Point Golf Course each had 30 votes.
The big mover in this year's ranking was Royal Wellington, moving from number twelve up to number seven. Many of the rankers commented on the quality of the upgrade in which Greg Turner has been heavily involved. Gulf Harbour also moved up from number thirteen to number nine. Mangawhai Golf Club and the Carrington Resort in the far north snuck into the "Top 15". The top ten golf courses in the South Island remained very similar with Queenstown and Wanaka dropping out of the "Top 15" and Invercargill and Harewood (thanks to the Greg Turner renovation) and Nelson Golf Club moving up.
Each course received 25 points for being ranked 1st, 24 points for being ranked 2nd and so on, down to 1 point for being ranked 25th. To validate the golf course rankings, every golf course had to be ranked by at least five rankers. It was stipulated that all rankers needed to have either played or walked over the golf courses they were ranking. Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club was the only golf course to be ranked by all 50 rankers, Wairakei and Kauri Cliffs was ranked by 48 rankers and Kinloch by 46 rankers. In the South Island Jacks Point and The Hills were both ranked by 47 responders.
Whiley clearly sees that the New Zealand golf fraternity were actively getting around to play a broad range of golf courses. Golf courses with the biggest budgets also produced the best results as the resort courses clearly topped the lists. This year, Whiley intends to do a follow-up ranking, featuring regional "club member" courses. He will be asking club golfers from throughout New Zealand for feedback to assist these rankings.
The next full golf course rankings will be conducted in 2015 as Whiley believes these rankings are an important tool for New Zealand Golf tourism. Many golfers travelling New Zealand wonder where they are going to play golf and which are the best golf courses? Previous rankings had always been conducted by international publications with only a small group of "rankers" and really only covered the Top 10 courses. Whiley also hopes the rankings will stimulate New Zealand golfers to travel and play golf courses at home. He believes that New Zealand has some world class courses that need to be experienced before one has to travel overseas!
c/- Chisholm Park Golf Club
2013 Score North Island Golf Course 2011 Ranking
Rank 1 21.72 Kauri Cliffs Golf Course #1
Rank 2 21.66 Kinloch Golf Club #3
Rank 3 21.34 Paraparaumu Golf Club #5
Rank 4 20.66 Wairakei Golf Course #2
Rank 5 19.62 Cape Kidnappers #4
Rank 6 13.58 Titirangi Golf Club #6
Rank 7 12.84 Royal Wellington Golf Club #12
Rank 8 12.78 Royal Auckland Golf Club #7
Rank 9 10.3 Gulf Harbour Golf Club #13
Rank 10 9.28 Hastings Golf Club #9
Rank 11 9.12 New Plymouth Golf Club #10
Rank 12 6.94 Muriwai Golf Club #8
Rank 13 5.72 Mangawhai Golf Club
Rank 14 5.7 Carrington Resort
Rank 15 5.54 The Lakes Resort #11
2013 Score South Island Golf Course 2011 Ranking
Rank 1 19.32 Jacks Point Golf Course #1
Rank 2 17.5 The Hills #2
Rank 3 10.94 Millbrook Golf Club #3
Rank 4 10.54 Christchurch Golf Club #5
Rank 5 7.16 Oreti Sands Golf Club #8
Rank 6 7.12 Clearwater Golf Resort #4
Rank 7 6.24 Terrace Downs Golf Club #6
Rank 8 5.32 Chisholm Park Golf Club #9
Rank 9 3.7 Pegasus Golf Resort #7
Rank 10 3.38 Otago Golf Club #13
Rank 11 3.34 Arrowtown Golf Club #10
Rank 12 2.6 Invercargill Golf Club
Rank 13 2.04 Harewood Golf Club
Rank 14 2.04 Nelson Golf Club
Rank 15 1.84 Russley Golf Club #15
Each ranker was asked to rank their top golf courses 1st to 25th. Each course received 25 points for being ranked 1st, 24 points for being ranked 2nd, down to 1 point for being ranked 25th. The total score each golf course received was the total then divided by 50.
Each course had to have been ranked by a minimum of ten rankers to be considered.
Golf Courses were divided between the North Island and South Island as many of the rankers were from the North Island and had not played many of the South Island golf courses under consideration for ranking.
For more information please visit: www.golfrankings.co.nz
c/- Chisholm Park Golf Club