Wellington Golf Club (as it was known until it gained “Royal” status in 2004) dates back to 1895, when a group of like-minded golfers formalised their sporting pursuit when they established a golfing society.
A decade after its foundation the club moved to a 120-acre site (Silverstream Farm) that was purchased from the Barton family. Once members had drained a few areas of marsh on the property, a course was ready for play.
This layout remained largely unchanged until the club purchased some additional land, and in 1972 a new championship course was completed, with a 9-hole academy course adjoining. This new layout hosted the New Zealand Open four times over the next 23 years, adding to the three occasions that the previous incarnation had hosted the event between 1912 and 1954.
Despite the prestige associated with hosting multiple national opens, there was an acknowledgement within the club that their course was a little ordinary for a club of their standing. Michael Clayton, the ex-European Tour pro and co-designer of Barnbougle Dunes, was originally commissioned to create a masterplan in 2006. The club was initially going to use this design, but the decision was overturned in 2010, when Greg Turner and Scott Macpherson (Close House, Millbrook) presented alternative ideas to the club. Click here to read the full story.
Their Heretaunga course (named after the local suburb) was completed in 2013, and is largely a brand new layout, as opposed to a renovation. As far as we are aware, only three holes occupy the same land as their predecessors, with other holes following the reverse direction along the same tree-lined corridors, and some brand new holes constructed after the felling of a pine forest near the Hutt river.
Royal Wellington Golf Club hosted the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in 2017.
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