Have to admit I played this course after a big night out the previous day so the first few holes were not well received, especially as there was a gale blowing and they were all into the wind. However, by hole 4 the fog had lifted and this course really charmed me. It is not overly long - even the par 4s into the wind were reachable with two solid shots. Having said that, the lines off the tee are not at all obvious so playing with a local the first time would be advantageous. This was especially true of 8, 9 and 17. Around the greens this course requires all the shots, from true links bump and runs to lob shots of incredible delicacy. Even then, some shots are nigh on impossible; I defy anyone to get up and down from the left or right of 16, and the 17th green is either hit it or take a bogey. And don't be short at 13, as a two yard short shot could leave you 50 yards as the ball rolls back down the hill. Like all good courses, Paraparaumu writes a bogey on your card even when you have play good enough golf for a par. And any birdie, even on the short par 5s, is worth writing home about. The four par 3s are amazing, none more than the aforementioned 16th, which, while less than 150 yards and has no bunkers, ranks with the great second at Royal Dornoch. Put simply, hit the green for a par or take a bogey, or usually, much, much worse. And as it is a long, narrow green with dramatic drop offs left, right, front and back, this is no easy target. Play this course, you will love it.
Date: October 18, 2015