You are here

STUNNING: Cape Kidnappers is situated on pristine land with amazing views of Hawkes Bay.
STUNNING: Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club is regarded as one of the greatest links courses in the southern hemisphere.
STUNNING: The Hills, an exclusive private club, hosted the New Zealand Open this year.

Kiwi golf courses offer unique scapes

Value-for-money, award-winning courses abound on both North and South Islands.
Jun 18, 2016 5:50 AM

WITH almost 400 courses spread out over New Zealand's North and South Islands, there's no need to travel too far to have a round of golf. The country offers beauty, diversity and value for money for the golfing enthusiast and some of the more unusual golfing landscapes in the world - either surrounded by rolling farmland, dramatic cliff top greens with expansive coastal views or stunning alpine, lakeside settings. Below are six award-winning layouts.

North Island

In addition to acclaimed courses such as the Wairakei International Golf Course (Lake Taupo), Royal Wellington Golf Club, Titirangi Golf Club, Royal Auckland and Gulf Harbour Country Club there are a number of others to try out.

Cape Kidnappers

Tel: +64 6873 1018

This superb 6,510-metre award-winning course was designed by Tom Doak and completed in 2004. Situated on pristine land between a sheep and cattle station and the Cape's cliffs, the back nine extends along land which is separated by deep gullies and dip down into the sea and has amazing views of Hawkes Bay. The sister property of Kauri Cliffs overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is dramatic, beautiful and original. It's currently low season (until end September) and a round of 18 for international guests costs about S$300 which includes GST. If you're staying in their accommodation you receive a further discount.

Facilities include five-star accommodation (the Farm at Cape Kidnappers and suites), spa, infinity pool, jacuzzi, clubhouse and gymnasium.

Kauri Cliffs

Tel: +64 9407 0060

Designed and built by US golf architect David Harman, this award-winning par-72 6,510-metre championship course recently underwent a redesign by Rees Jones. A total of 15 holes have a view of the Pacific Ocean, with six of them hugging the coastline on cliffs which plunge into the sea. The beautiful inland holes wind through marsh, forest and farmland. It's located almost four hours' drive from Auckland, but if you don't feel like a scenic drive you can fly into the local Kerikeri airport. Current low season rates (until end September) for a round of 18 for international guests costs about S$300 which includes GST. If you're staying in their accommodation you receive a further discount.

Facilities include a lodge and suites, tennis courts, fitness centre, infinity swimming pool, clubhouse, pro shop, practice range, putting and chipping greens.

The Kinloch Club

Tel: +64 7377 8482

This was ranked as New Zealand's number one golf course in 2014 by a select team of New Zealand golf professionals. Situated in the Taupo region, this is the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course to be built in the country and measures 6,734 metres from the tournament tees. His design philosophy has been to enhance the natural environment - allowing the surroundings of the stunning Taupo region to shape each hole. This really is a spectacular course both in terms of playability and aesthetic value. Low season rates (until Oct 31) for a round of 18 for international guests costs around S$224 which includes GST.

Facilities include accommodation (villas and suites), clubhouse, pro-shop and practice facilities.

Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club

Tel: +64 4902 8200

Set on the Kapiti Coast, a 45-minute drive from the north of Wellington, this course was designed by former Australian Open champion Alex Russell in 1949. Host to 12 New Zealand Opens, this is regarded as one of the greatest links courses in the southern hemisphere. A real challenge for all levels of golfers, the greens are firm and true, the fairways provide welcome respite from the natural dunes, and every shot demands thought and careful execution. There are a range of membership fees which can be paid in instalments or in a lump sum. Check out the website for more details.

Facilities include accommodation (Greenmantle Estate is five minutes' drive away and there are many other options nearby), clubhouse, restaurant and bar.

South Island

There are many superb golf courses situated on South Island, however if you're wanting one place where it's easy to get around and indulge in a number of post-round pursuits then fly into Queenstown. There are a handful of spectacular world-class layouts here such as The Hills, Jack's Point and Millbrook Resort.

The Hills Golf Club

Tel: +64 3409 8290

This exclusive private club with only a few thousand members opened in 2007. It does welcome visitors to play a round on its 500-acre property which hosted the New Zealand Open this year. Avid golfer and owner Sir Michael Hill, a New Zealand jeweller, entrepreneur and philanthropist, originally built a house on the land and arranged for a par-4 hole to be built near his property as a practice facility. Then a second was built by designers Darby Partners - the par-4 fifth - before he commissioned a further 16 holes. The outcome is simply stunning and it's well worth forking out the S$525 fee for a round.

Jack's Point

Tel: +64 3450 2050

This course wraps around part of Lake Wakatipu and is quite breathtaking. Designed with minimal excavation, the course measures 6,388 metres from the championship tees and is built on the most spectacular of Jack's Point terrain, weaving through tussock grasslands, dramatic rock outcrops, steep bluffs and swathes of native bush. Take plenty of balls and a camera when playing here - it's very easy to get distracted by the view. Facilities include a clubhouse, pro shop and an excellent restaurant. Closed from now until August due to maintenance, but visitor rates are around S$150 a round.

Get ready for 2016 BT Corporate Golf League

THE 2016 Business Times Corporate Golf League will tee off in less than two weeks and this year sees a total of 22 teams taking part in the seventh edition of the competition. The first round will take place on Tanah Merah Country Club’s Tampines Course on Thursday, June 30.

Participating teams:

  • Audi
  • Boustead
  • Centurion
  • Edge Golf
  • Emerio
  • Fullerton Healthcare
  • Gayatri
  • Tat Hong
  • Citibank
  • KPMG
  • OCBC (Bank of Singapore)
  • Singapore Pools
  • SPH Editorial (Swinging Scribes)
  • SunMoon Food
  • Banyan Tree
  • Lian Beng
  • SAS Institute
  • PWC
  • SPH Marketing (SPH Eagles)
  • SPH Radio
  • Seah Construction