Located 25 miles to the north of Auckland on the Whangaparaoa (“Bay of Whales”) Peninsula lies Gulf Harbour Country Club. The course is the focal point of a development that incorporates a residential community, hotel and marina. The Pacific Ocean location is truly stunning with the Hauraki Gulf as the aquamarine backcloth.
Gulf Harbour is the only golf course in New Zealand designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr and the layout is routed round a rolling hillside where the changes in elevation make for exciting and challenging golf with the added bonus of free panoramic views. For such a young course there’s a surprisingly natural feel to the layout and this 6,400-metre course is a serious test. Host venue to the 1998 World Cup of Golf, Gulf Harbour witnessed England’s one and only World Cup win thanks to the pairing of Nick Faldo and David Carter. In 2005, Niclas Fasth lifted the New Zealand Open title at Gulf Harbour and the following year the event was won by Australia's Nathan Green.
Despite its championship pedigree, Gulf Harbour Country Club has four sets of tees and the course is thoroughly enjoyable for handicap golfers. With varied holes, exciting risk and reward choices and a stunning closing sequence of holes, Gulf Harbour should be placed on every serious golfers must-play list.
Perhaps the most remarkable hole at Gulf Harbour is the 7th, the shortest par four on the course which doglegs right alongside a menacing lake that runs all the way from the tee to the small green which is also well protected by bunkers to the left. Gladly take a par here at “Te Tahuna” and move on the to 8th tee with your card still intact. Another great hole is the 405-metre 16th (“Ta Moko”), a dramatic par four set on top of the cliffs. The tee shot is played over a ravine to a fairway that doglegs to the right – those attempting to fly the corner in order to shorten their approach may find they are at least a ball short when teeing up on the next hole!
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Course ArchitectView All
As a teenager, RTJ2 worked for his father, learning how to run a bulldozer. His dad paid him the union rate for the job and he used the money for flying lessons, obtaining his pilot’s license aged sixteen.