New Zealand is a country of awe inspiring landscapes, lush forests, glacial mountains, amazing wildlife and a rather pleasant climate, which makes NZ a haven for vigorous outdoor activities… and also a great place to chill out. Kiwis are frank and honest folk and that’s one of the great delights and strengths of this stunning country. The other great delight is that the Kiwis have utilised this awesome land to the full and built some world-class golf courses.
There are currently 384 golf courses in NZ and according to Golf New Zealand, the country’s governing body, almost 250,000 adults play golf each year in NZ, making golf the highest participation sport in the country. It’s the No.1 one sport for men and the No.2 sport for women just behind netball. We are surprised, given the popularity of golf in New Zealand, that nobody has yet produced a New Zealand Top 100, but we went half way towards such a national listing by creating a Top 50 in 2015.
In the Golf New Zealand Annual Report for the year ending 31st December 2020, the Chairman and Chief Executive of the ruling body were able to notify members of a quite remarkable twelve months of golfing activity, despite all the problems encountered with the global pandemic – of course, it helped matters no end to have a strong government that decided very early on to close the country off to the outside world and prevent the possible importation of the deadly virus.
The figures quoted were rather impressive: club membership up from 105,976 in 2019 to 115,835 (+9.3%), with identified casual golfer numbers also rising from 117,510 to 135,609 (+15.5%). Not only that, the number of rounds of golf played in the second half of the year grew by 26% when compared to the corresponding period a year earlier.
And with a wide range of participation programmes in place – such as Flexiclub, She Loves Golf and Casual Golf – the immediate future looks bright for Kiwi golf.
Our New Zealand golf course rankings were last updated in May 2021, click the link to read the story.