For many countries, the winter months mean time to pack away your golf clubs and take a break from the beautiful game but not here in New Zealand and especially on the North Island. The mild winter months mean that golf is possible all year round and Auckland’s best golf courses are kept in immaculate condition.
Auckland is one of the best destinations in the Southern Hemisphere for golfers and one of the best things for many casual golfers is the cost – from 1 May, most of the clubs in and around the city introduce their winter green fee rates meaning you can play more for less. Whether you’re a local or you’re flying into Auckland for a weekend getaway, make sure you pack your clubs and get out and enjoy some amazing winter golf. We’ve got some fantastic deals available from our Auckland Airport Car Rental branch as well as our Auckland City Hire Car branch so make sure you check them out if you are planning a trip.
Winter golfing weather
The winter golfing weather so far this year has been pretty kind. After a dry summer, we have not had too many torrential downpours in and around the city of sails so many of Auckland’s golf courses are still relatively dry.
A glorious summer which brought day after day of dry weather was followed by a particularly lovely autumn and as we head into winter, golf courses around Auckland are still feeling the benefits of all the dry weather with many courses still enjoying summer-like conditions. In recent weeks, we have seen some courses start to make the move to carts being restricted to cart paths and the courses are definitely playing a lot longer, with very little run, however, there are still some great courses in Auckland where you will feel like you are playing summer golf on a nice sunny day.
Here are our top 5 golf courses in Auckland to play this winter – let us know what you think and if we’ve missed any off the list:
Titirangi Golf Club
This is a definite jewel in Auckland’s golfing crown and is the only Alister McKenzie-designed course in New Zealand which is sure to get the golfing purists drooling (McKenzie was also the designer of the world-famous Augusta Course, home to the US Masters). Despite being one of New Zealand’s best courses, it is also one of the most welcoming with visitors from across the world welcomed as if they were playing their home course.
Find out more about the course and details on green fees on the Titirangi Golf Club website.
Windross Farm is one of Auckland’s newest golf courses, completed back in 2017. Designed by Brett Thompson, with assistance from former New Zealand golf professional Phil Tataurangi, the course is located in Ardmore, about half an hour south of the CBD. Whilst it’s an inland course, it very much has the feel of a traditional links golf course and provides a great challenge for golfers of all levels. Windross Farm was the host of the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open back in 2017 which also doubled as an official LPGA event and attracted world-class golfers from around the globe including our very own Lydia Ko (world number one at the time).
For more information about the courses and green fees, visit the Windross Farm website.
Gulf Harbour Country Club
Situated under an hour’s drive north of downtown Auckland, this little gem is one not to be missed on any trip to Auckland. It’s well worth hiring a car from Auckland Airport if you’re only flying into Auckland to do some golfing as this place is one of the most spectacular courses in Auckland. The front nine meanders through fairly open native grasslands before the final three holes on the nine are played around a stunning lake with the short par 4 7th offering up a risk and reward opportunity for golfers to drive the green or contribute another ball to the lake. The back nine is where the course comes to life. Reaching the 12th tee, you are afforded spectacular views back towards the city skyline before hitting the final three holes which hog the cliff tops with 360° panoramic views including Shakespear Regional Park. Off-season green fees of just $65 for non-affiliates make this a must-play course on any trip to Auckland. Recent changes to the golf course, which involved removing a lot of pine trees, have really opened up the spectacular views on the back nine so if it has been a while since you last ventured up to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, this is a great time to play Gulf Harbour.
For more information and details about green fees, visit the Gulf Harbour Country Club website.
Muriwai Golf Club
If you are looking to mix it up a bit and fancy a bit of links golf on your trip to Auckland then Muriwai is the place to head. The course remains dry throughout the winter months making it an attractive option for visitors and those who may be suffering from a wet course in Auckland. The course offers up breathtaking views of Auckland’s rugged west coast and the view on the course doesn’t disappoint either. With super-fast greens and the pot bunkers which make links courses so distinguishable, this is a challenge for any golfer, especially when the wind gets up! Muriwai is a great option for some winter golf.
For more information about the course and green fees, visit the Muriwai Golf Club website.
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Another of Auckland’s newest courses, Wainui is a must-play in the winter months. Designed by Puddicombe Golf and opened in 2016, Wainui is an 18-hole championship course that provides a stern test for golfers of all abilities. Cut through rolling hills with natural waterways and framed by giant pines, this is a stunning course which offers up to five different teeing options, catering for all golfers. After a gentle opening hole, the second hole presents an early risk/reward option where the bigger hitters can go for the green. The par threes are all extremely challenging and as you enter the back nine, the back-to-back par fives, holes 13 and 14, provide a true test to all golfers. The closing hole is another stunning layout with water all down the right and some cunning bunkering making it a tough finish and rewarding for all who manage a par.
For more information about the course and green fees, please visit the Wainui website.
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We have made updates to our “Bonus Course” every year and in the past, this has featured some of New Zealand’s best including Kauri Cliffs, Cape Kidnappers and Jacks Point. Obviously, these are not Auckland-based golf courses, however, we know Auckland golfers are also looking for a winter golf fix and this sometimes means getting away for the weekend. Whilst all three of those courses are attractive options once again this winter, we want to look ahead to early Spring and the opening of a brand new golf course in New Zealand – Te Arai Links.
Te Arai Links
Set to be another jewel in New Zealand’s golfing crown, Te Arai Links will encompass two pure links golf courses. The South Course is due to open in October 2022 and has been designed by world-renowned golf course architects, Coore and Crenshaw. The North Course is due to open in late 2023 and is currently under construction and has been designed by Tom Doak, whose skill and craftsmanship have been integral to the success of Tara Iti Golf Club, North of Te Arai Links.
Tara Iti is currently New Zealand’s number one ranked golf course and according to Golf Digest, it is the number two ranked golf course outside of the USA. For golfers, however, it is a very private golf club for members only and is very difficult to get the opportunity to play. The two new courses at Te Arai Links will be public golf courses, making them extremely accessible to Kiwis and international visitors alike.
Despite an opening date of October 2022, membership at Te Arai is already full and enquiries have been flooding in from golfers around the world looking for the opportunity to play a golf course that is likely to be ranked in the top 100 in the world.
Whilst there has been no information about the green fees at the course, for golf lovers, it is worth keeping an eye on the website for updates and news of the dates for the public to start playing this prestigious golf course.
Golf is one of New Zealand’s biggest participation sports and whilst we usually welcome thousands of international visitors every year to play golf, now is the time to get out and enjoy your own backyard and some of the world-class golf courses we are lucky to have here in New Zealand. If you’re heading to Auckland this winter, make sure you pack your clubs – there are some great bargains to be had!
Updated: 28 June 2022