Paraparaumu Beach - North Island - New Zealand

Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club,
376 Kapiti Road,
Paraparaumu Beach,
New Zealand


  • +64 (0) 4 902 8200

  • Golf Club Website

  • On Kapiti coast, 60 minutes from Wellington

  • Welcome but book one week in advance

Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club is set on the Kapiti Coast, which is approximately 40 miles to the north of Wellington as the crow flies. Former Australian Open champion Alex Russell designed the course in 1949 and, for many years, Paraparaumu Beach has quite rightly enjoyed the title of the “best links course in New Zealand”.

Host to twelve New Zealand Opens, the first in 1959, Paraparaumu Beach is a New Zealand household name. “But Paraparaumu Beach Links is now also known for being the de facto home course of New Zealand’s wealthiest sportsman, Steve Williams.” Writes James Spence in his book, The Finest Golf Courses of Asia & Australasia. “Tiger Wood’s caddy grew up just along the road at Pukerua Bay and, before he could make a living out of golf, worked in the butcher’s shop in Paraparaumu.”

“Although Paraparaumu Beach is not flush to the shore, it has all the foils of a links course. There are no weak holes and in a fresh breeze, all manner of difficulties present themselves. The staff and members are a very friendly bunch and will want to engage you in conversation about the course as you fortify yourself with a deserving pie and a strong cup of tea.”

The book 500 world’s greatest golf holes by author George Peper and the editors of GOLF magazine features the 442-yard par four 17th at Paraparaumu Beach: “The 17th is a par four of notable length. which, when played into the wind, presents difficulties of distance and, when played downwind, presents difficulties of accuracy. Its demands are made more diabolical by a split fairway. The lower tier is easier to find from the tee and provides a shorter route to the green. However, two bunkers short and right of the green guard its entrance and demand that the approach be put up into the wind and dropped precisely on the putting surface. The upper fairway is more difficult to hit and hold from the tee. In addition to its narrowness, a steep slope falls off the left side and is generally shaved to exaggerate the punishment for inaccuracy.”

The course first came to the attention of many worldwide golfers in 1962 during one of the earliest “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf” challenge matches when Bob Charles played Bob Goalby.

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Description: Host to twelve New Zealand Opens, the first in 1959, Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club is a New Zealand household name. Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Reviews: 16
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grantphelps
Played Paraparaumu Beach last week in what is probably best described as a gale. at least 4 clubs - maybe more. And absolutely loved every minute of it. This is world class links golf in every way. In many ways it is the truest expression of links golf in Australasia - the fairway's arent perfect, and the wind impacts in all sorts of unpredictable ways, but my goodness what a course. No weak holes ( 10 and 11 wouldn't survive in Australia as the houses are so close to the left edge) and a never ending diet of fun, rolly polly fairways and fabulous green sites. The club deserve praise for not flattening their fairways like some clubs have done - genuine links bounces everywhere here.And yes the par 3's are world class - they would all be right at home on the best of British links courses. As close to golfing heaven as a links golf tragic can be in Australasia. Barnbougle Dunes and Lost Farm just beat it as a golf experience but unlike them, I'd happily play PBGC every week.
May 24, 2014
10 / 10
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Matt Richardson
Back again for a second time around, this time in perfect weather. This time accompanied by Leo, the General Manager – undeniably great company for a balmy evening’s twilight round. After a week’s solid sunshine on the Kapiti Coast, conditions were very firm.

Since last time, bunkers have been reshaped with steeply revetted faces, cart paths have been concealed in-between humps and ridges, and the 5th green has been made much more visible from the tee, after taking a few feet from the top of the intervening mounding. And what a green site to reveal – it’s a medium iron to a surface that drops away steeply on three sides, small doses of heroism needed to get up and down here. Actually, it’s the fascinating set of short holes that impressed me most of all – I remembered 5 and 16 to be classics, but 2 and especially 14 had escaped my attentions last time for some reason. What a treat to play a set of par 3’s that all ask stern questions, but only once stray above 150m.

Generally speaking, I felt much better about the place second time around, partly because of the changes to the set-up , but mainly due to an increasing understanding of what the design is all about – where to drive it to get 20m extra run, and where the fast and firm conditioning will leave you needing to land on a sixpence or pay the price of you’re coming in from the wrong angle (amongst others, I’m thinking about 8 here – a real wolf in sheep’s clothing).

I’ll be honest – I’m unusual, in that I’m someone who spends considerable (too much?) time, effort and money travelling around in search of the best golf, but I don’t find myself prizing links golf over other forms of the game, in the way that other enthusiasts and connoisseurs seem to. No point pretending otherwise. So whilst I undoubtedly had a very rewarding playing experience, Paraparaumu doesn’t stir my soul as much as it seems to for many others - I see things like the unremarkable stretch up the coast side of the property (10-12), and I can’t hand on heart say that I think there are any particularly memorable par 5’s. But on the flip side, there are some truly outstanding, highly original par 4’s (especially 8, 13, 15, 17), and the short holes are sublime. I feel a similar way about most of the famous British links courses I’ve played (barring my large soft spot for Royal St George’s), so I’m guessing that for links enthusiasts, I’d have to strongly recommend a game here, as it seems to stack up very nicely against its highly lauded British cousins. And of the 3 or 4 links worth anything in New Zealand, surely there can’t be any arguments about which one is the cream of the crop? Matt Richardson
February 26, 2013
8 / 10
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james downey
April 03, 2014
I'd generally agree with the review. Having played Paraparaumu many times and while it's generally excellent Iwould take issue with all of the short holes being sublime. 2, 5, and 14 are excellent.However 16, while not easy, is an awkward and unatural creation that fails to recognise the other options that were available. The green is awkwardly cut into the side of a small hill and the tee is unaturally on the side of another hill. The hole has nothing of the "of course - what else" "laid down by god" quality of the great holes and courses. The par 5s are unremarkable and 10 is an odd creation albeit with a curios appeal as did the old 16th at County Down. The 4th is somewhat characterless. The rest, howevever, are a delight. 8 and 17 stand out for me with the challenge of plotting the best alternative from tee to green. 6 is a short and curious par 4 but fun.
Mark Jasayko
This is the only true links course I have encountered outside GB&I. I have played many that claim to be "links" - some are just links style, some come closer. However, Paraparaumu Beach actually has the bouncy turf that is found in GB&I. As a result, it is possible to pitch and run from like on a links course. Balls properly bound down the fairway. Backspin is almost totally removed on the first bounce (this doesn't happen at Bandon, Barnbougle etc), and shots played along the ground do not lose speed quickly and as a result are more reliable. Again, this is the only course outside of GB&I where this happens (I know that some claim that Oreti Sands is true links, but it doesn't play like one as the ground is "deader". I am incredibly jealous of the members of Paraparaumu Beach - to have an actual true linksland layout with the beautiful climate is unmatched!
November 23, 2011
10 / 10
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Barry Passingham
For fans of true links golf, Paraparaumu Beach is a classic, carved from the natural terrain it is as fair a test of golf as you will find anywhere. A backdrop of snow tipped mountains and Kapiti Island lurking offshore make for a spectacular setting and provide a micro climate that means you'll most likely stay dry as the rain falls in the mountains or over the island and the course drains so well it is seldom unplayable when wet. The course has been restored to something near it's pristine glory which has been noted by many professionals and top amateurs alike, who regard it as their favourite New Zealand course. Members will tell you it never plays the same twice. In benign conditions you will need to drive the ball well and the traditional bumps and hollows of a links layout will leave you cursing your luck or counting your blessings in equal amounts, with a hanging side hill, up hill or downhill lie to overcome in approaching firm fast greens with run-offs and hollows, plus beautifully revetted bunkers. Your short game will be severely tested! There are many notable holes; three of the four par three's are a real test of ball striking, if not chipping and the classic par 4 13th is the toughest of the layout. Many, however, regard the 17th as the best hole on the course (Greg Turner rates it the best par 4 in the southern hemisphere). Play the course in the wind and you will appreciate the skills required to play links golf. This course will force you to play finesse shots under the wind, bump and runs and lofted irons to try and gain purchase on firm fast running greens! Simply put, a trip to New Zealand is not complete unless Paraparaumu Beach is on the golfing itinerary!
August 24, 2010
10 / 10
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Mogens
Paraparaumu has surly some great holes and after the lengthening is also has a great finish. many of the holes have big depressions on either side and the bunkers a built up with steep edges. The shortfall of the course is it lack of room and its surroundings. The course desingner could have made use of more land as many of the holes run very close to each other. It is also surrounded by some some average looking buildings and no view of the sea or beach. That surely take a lot of the romance away from this course. Many talk about the 13th hole as the best on the course, but I will rank the 9th, 15th, 16th and 17th as just as good. This is championship golf of a high caliber! The condition of the course is currently not very good and particurlarly the fairways are not in a good condition
February 16, 2009
8 / 10
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Matt Richardson
As far as I’m aware, this is the closest New Zealand has to a traditional British links, and it’s almost worthy of comparison with those on the Open rota. I say almost for two reasons. One is that I suspect that the top pros will have slightly outgrown this track – there’s a few holes (6, 10 and 14) that really are not worth much, and seem to have been shoehorned in to a course that did not have quite enough land for 18 quality holes. The second reason is that it’s surrounded by a fairly ordinary looking suburb which kind of kills the atmosphere of the place a little. I am trying to imagine what it would be like if you transplanted the place right next to a Scottish beach – it would certainly be a much more enjoyable playing experience if that happened. But it’s hard to imagine. But these are just quibbles really. The main thing to report is that this is a solid, solid links course, with lots of character, some memorable holes, and a real varied set of challenges. The first 3 holes constitute a pretty tough start – medium to long irons into plateau greens, with quite brutal drops and hollows hard up to the green’s edge. 13, 15, 16, 17, and 18 all have their own hurdles – 13 has the largest dunes on the course, and needs two straight, long hits to get up. After a blind tee shot, the 15th needs a very accurate approach, using the contours to feed the ball in from the right. 16’s one of those ‘Postage Stamp’ type Par 3’s – a very narrow green requiring the short iron to be as straight as any 200 yarder. And 17 is a classic two-route strategic Par 4, probably plays many different ways depending on the wind. And, having emigrated recently from the UK, I couldn’t believe the green fee – 20 quid a round! What a bargain. It would be 80 or 90 in the UK. Best 20 quid I ever spent on golf (until I played Jack’s Point the other day, that is). Matt Richardson 
January 14, 2009
8 / 10
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