There are in New Zealand only one MacKenzie course, and one Russell course. As a member of the one Russell course, Paraparaumu Beach, I was lucky enough to be invited to play the MacKenzie / Russell shield between the two clubs at Titiarangi. Let me say straight up, Titiarangi is not in the same class as the MacKenzie inspired courses in Melbourne. However, this does not detract from what a fine track it is. The club has faithfully restored the MacKenzie routing and philosophy, with lots of well placed bunkers, sloping greens and mostly wide fairways that require precision to find the best angle of attack. The par 3s are the standouts, all four pointing to different points of the compass and offering 4 very different challenges, up hill, down hill, over gullies and sloping tiered greens. On the other hand, the par fives are all par 4 and 1/2s, the sort the Augusta is famous for. Go for the green for the birdie, but miss and bogey is a good score.
This is an excellent members course, in the true MacKenzie fashion. You can knock the ball close to the green all day, chip and two putt, and be happy, but if you are looking for birdie you need to be on the correct angle of attack. If you get a chance to play it, and understand good golf architecture, you will have a great day out.
Date: December 30, 2019