Waitangi is the location of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, however, on the hilltop, above this famous site is situated one of NZ’s great northern golfing destinations.
A leisurely four hour drive north of Auckland’s hustle bustle you may be soaking up some of NZ’s most tranquil environments. Again, the spectacularly scenic aspects of our sojourn through the Shaky Isles emerge here. The Waitangi GC boasts some of the finest panoramic views of any course in the country.
Notwithstanding being located a smidgin outside the top 30, WGC is a worthy inclusion in this narrative. Top 100 Golf Courses of the World rate it as 31st in the North Island and 50th nationally.
This club exudes a convivial ambience of relaxed hospitality, epitomised by the warm welcome from Alex [Bonno] Bonnington, resident head professional for almost a quarter of a century. To quote Bonno; “A round here is like having a therapeutic stress-relieving massage”. As’pro – Josh Allen, set us up and we hit off early, hopefully to finish prior to his predicted 3.00 pm arrival of the forecast heavy rain.
Par at Waitangi is 70 hits and the course plays every bit of its 6000 odd metres. The front nine wends its way through native bushland in a classic parkland setting. Highlights on the front are the par five 3rd and the wonderful setting of the par three 6th.
48 hours earlier, we battled around Kauri Cliffs, in a 40 kph gale. Today, in conditions much more conducive to a reasonable round, I was only a couple over after nine and still playing my original ball. What a difference a day makes.......
The sea breeze in your face heralds arrival at the 10th. The back nine is very much a contrast. Quite undulating, and open to the vagaries of the elements. It meanders out and back along the cliff tops in spectacular fashion and is by far the most challenging and picturesque portion of the course. 10 through 14 are rightly considered by locals to be their ‘amen corner’. Complete this series of holes around par you are set to submit a good card. The recently remodelled 11th is a downhill cracker, which terminates literally above the water’s edge.
The run home then wends its way back along the cliffs and concludes with a testing par four below the clubhouse.
Waitangi is a special place to play and I commend it to all seeking round on a spectacular, good track. Green fees are very reasonable. WGC offers excellent value for money, a most pleasant contrast as many of the top courses are quite ‘xey’. AND – definitely don’t miss a convivial après round coldie or two with the locals. “A most cordial crew....” PS – Josh’s prediction of a 3.00 o’clock downpour was spot on. We were unloading our gear in the car park at a couple of minutes to three when it bucketed down. PPS – Nett 70 and finished with the ball I started with. A good round is always a bonus.....
Date: December 03, 2015