Golfers venturing to the lower latitudes of the North Island will no doubt head for the highly rated Kauri Cliffs course on the eastern seaboard but Kaitaia Golf Club’s homely little setup across country makes it an 18-hole layout well worth visiting.
Located close to the small town of Ahipara, the fairways of Kaitaia’s 90 Mile Beach Golf Links fan out along the southern shores of a long, sandy coastline, offering golfers some wonderful panoramic views across to Shipwreck Bay and the Tasman Sea beyond.
The eighteen holes were designed by Goldie Wardell from Whangarei, who routed the fairways through a rather inhospitable and uninviting area of sand dunes covered in lupins and scrub. After several months of feverish activity shaping the holes, the inaugural golf shot was played from the 1st tee in 1964.
The signature hole at Kaitaia is undoubtedly “The Drop,” the 125-yard par three 6th, which plays from an elevated tee position to a green that’s guarded at the front by three deep bunkers. Open to the elements, this hole might require a three wood off the tee, rather than a customary wedge, when the prevailing southwesterly wind gets up.Thanks to Dave Squire for information relating to this article.
What an unexpected pleasure this course was...the only difference between here and a high quality links course is the grass on the fairways..more bermuda than fescue,but it had all the qualities of a proper Links course..rumpled fairways,ever present wind,superb green sites,penalising bunkers..I'd go as far to say that were it not for the palm trees located in the tree line,you could easily believe you were at Littlestone,Hayling Island or other links of that quality...
A true gem,in the far North of NZ..and a 4-1/2 ball rating would be better..