Updated: 14 May 2020
2020 has been a very strange year with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected countries all around the world. One thing that has really felt the impact has been sport. Whether it’s the professional sport we all love to watch on the TV or in the stands or our amateur sport that keeps us healthy and active – it’s been a difficult time for many people who have not been able to get out and play their favourite sports.
As New Zealand moves into Alert Level 2, sport is once again back on the cards and golfers across the country have been rejoicing and heading out in their droves to hit the course once more. New Zealand is home to hundreds of golf courses and you can expect them to be busy over the coming weeks and months as people make up for lost time.
For many countries the winter months means time to pack away your golf clubs and take a break from the beautiful game but not here in New Zealand and especially in 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.
Winter golfing weather
One thing that has been good so far in 2020 is the weather – it’s almost been teasing us!
A glorious summer which brought day after day of dry weather was followed by a particularly lovely autumn and as we head towards winter, golf courses around Auckland are still feeling the benefits of all the dry weather with many courses still enjoying summer-like conditions with carts on fairways and plenty of run.
Here are our top 5 golf course 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 the 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 opportunities 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.
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 course 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 course, 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 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.
If you are planning a post-COVID-19 trip, you might want to add Queenstown to your list if you’re a keen golfer. One of New Zealand’s top courses has an amazing offer before they close down for the winter – read more below.
In the past, we have included the likes of Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers in our ‘Bonus Course’ feature, however this year we’re going to take you down to the South Island. Despite the colder weather down in Queenstown in May and June, golf is still playable before the winter snows arrive and as a way of getting people back down to Queenstown, Jacks Point has an amazing offer for New Zealand golfers.
From 18 May until the end of the season, 7 June 2020 anyone can book a free round at Jack’s Point.
That’s right. A round at this world-class course, completely free of charge. An amazing gesture from these guys and a great way of getting people back to Queenstown and enjoying this fantastic facility. Green fees are usually $250 a round so this is quite an offer. If you play another round during your stay, that will cost you just $95 so don’t miss out – book before 7 June and enjoy two rounds at this amazing club for just $95.
You can find out more on their website – https://www.jackspoint.com/
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!