The 18-hole layout at Marton Golf Club lies to the west of the small town of Marton in the Rangitikei district of Manawatu-Wanganui, less than ten kilometres from the sandy shoreline of South Taranaki Bight.
The club is more than a hundred years old, having been founded in 1914, but it’s moved location a couple of times since then, finally settling in its current position in 1957.
Tom Doak visited Marton during preparations for Volume 5 of his co-authored book The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses and he had this to say about the course:
“Routed through a series of low dune ridges about three miles from the sea, Marton is one of the few country courses that does have fairway irrigation, so it’s always in good shape.
There are a bunch of good tee shots played diagonally over the dune ridges, especially the par-4 5th and 8th, and there is good movement in the fairways elsewhere so you seldom have a level lie.
Large pines planted in between the holes are a forestry project to help support the course: they make some holes much too narrow, but as the club thins out the trees and takes their profit, the golf should continue to improve.”
I wouldn't go out of my way to play here, but that's not to say it's a bad course. Many of the holes aren't that unique and could be found on any country course in NZ. In fact, many bare resemblance to Rangitikei which is an equally good NZ country course just down the road. But Marton does have a handful of great holes which makes it worth playing if you're nearby.
There are a few holes where I agree that the pine trees encroach too far. There also a couple of flat straight holes that could be on any country course in NZ. However, there are also some cracking holes that make full use of the natural sand dune topography. Sand based turf means it was in amazing condition (played late September) and greens were surprisingly quick and true.