Updated: 4 July 2019
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. We know that golf is a huge attraction for both overseas visitors and Kiwis and one of the big benefits of playing winter golf is the cost – from 1 May, most of these exclusive courses reduce their green fees meaning you get to play some of New Zealand’s best golf courses at a fraction of the price – pretty good hey?
Winter golfing weather
2019 has been a rather spectacular year for golfers, especially in and around Auckland. A glorious summer which brought day after day of dry weather was followed by a particularly lovely autumn and as we head into the middle of the 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 thinking of heading further afield and want to play some winter golf in the North Island, we have one place that never fails to keep us coming back – it’s not cheap but it is worth it if you’re a true golfing nut!
This is one of New Zealand’s premier golf courses, regularly topping the list of top 100 courses in New Zealand and recently coming in 49th in the World’s Best Golf Courses ranked by Golf Digest. A pretty impressive resume and the course and club does not disappoint. From the moment you drive through the gates, you are given the 5* treatment as your buggy awaits you. If you’re lucky enough to visit, take your time. You could happily spend a few hours on the driving range with stunning views out over the Bay of Islands but the real delight is out on the course with practically every hole enjoying views out over the ocean. The course was host to the 2008 and 2009 Kiwi Challenge, a PGA Tour event featuring some of the world’s top PGA tour players who also played at sister course Cape Kidnappers in the Hawke’s Bay.
International green fees are $330 during the off season from 1 May – 30 September. This is actually a huge saving from the usual rate of $565. NZ residents can play for $187 during the off season.
To find out more about the course and the green fees, please visit the Kauri Cliffs website.
Golf is one of New Zealand’s biggest participation sports as well as being a huge draw for international visitors. If you’re heading to Auckland this winter, make sure you pack your clubs – there are some great bargains to be had!