Worldgolf Travel

A New Zealand Golf Experience

New Zealand Golf Packages >>

It's a basic axiom - New Zealanders play golf. It's not anymore complicated than that when it comes to explaining the fact that there are nearly 400 golf courses in a country of only three and a half million people.

To be sure, the Scots brought the game to New Zealand. Whiskey merchant Charles Howden formed the first golf club at Dunedin on the southeast coast of New Zealand. In 1871, Howden and some friends began the Dunedin Golf Club on a piece of links land near Caversham. The next club was formed in Christchurch. In the 1880's, the game really took off, and now, 110 years or so later, New Zealand remains one of the unspoiled golf meccas of the world.

Virtually every community, right down to the most rural farming village, sports a golf course of some kind. From the stately Wellington Golf Club and the links on the black sand beach of Muriwai, to the hand hewn courses at Waipu or Arrowtown, the golf courses of New Zealand are a source of pride to the communities and their members.
For this reason you'll find most are open to non-members, and they are warm and hospitable places where you can enjoy the game and make new friends.

A golfer might begin his tour at Muriwai, a true links course located on the west coast, where the country turns its face to the testy Tasman Sea. The black sand beaches provide stark contrast to the rich green color of the links. On the shores of the Bay of Islands, the Waitangi Golf Club takes you on a tour of the cliffs and hills that overlook the harbor and the site of the Waitangi Treaty between the British and the Maori people.

Around Auckland, you can play the Alister MacKenzie masterpiece at Titirangi. This is a classic course in lush wooded surroundings and was once called by Al Geiberger, "the longest short course" he has ever played.

At Rotorua, you can play Arikikapakapa (Rotorua Golf Club, if you have trouble pronouncing the Maori name). Here, you play around hissing steam vents and boiling mud pots in the heart of New Zealand's geyser region.

Wairakei, the best inland course in the country, has been rated by Golf Digest in the top 100 in the world. A Commander John Harris design, it provides everything one could wish for in a golf course.
The signature hole is the 615 yard Par 5 14th, aptly named "The Rogue, a very demanding hole. Not far from Wairakei is Lake Taupo, one of the great trout lakes of the world, where you can take an evening cruise on a luxury motor yacht, or catch your own entree for an on-board feast.

At Wellington, golfers take their most severe test when they tee up at the Parapaparaumu Beach Golf Club. The winds of the Tasman tease every shot, and the big links course offers length and tight fairways to make it even tougher to score here.

On South Island, Arrowtown is home to the exciting new Millbrook Country Club and a course designed by Senior PGA Tour star Bob Charles. The resort and course are now open, and have become one of the "must" stops on any New Zealand tour.

Built on a wooded peninsula protruding into Lake Wakitipu, Kelvin Heights is known as one of the world's most scenic courses. Both a photographers and golfers dream, it demands accurate driving and true iron shots. The hardest part however is to concentrate on golf rather than the beauty of the surrounding countryside and the snow clad peaks of the Remarkables.