Top 50 Golf Courses of New Zealand 2015
11th February 2015
We’re pleased to announce our latest 2015 Top 50 rankings for New Zealand’s golf courses. Once again we’ve done our homework and the result has produced a list that shows very little movement at the top half of the table, but lower down the table there’s a fair level of change. For the first time since we’ve been ranking New Zealand’s courses there are no new entries.
This year, the big moves happen towards the lower half of our Top 50. The two highest climbers are both raw links layouts in the Northland region, Waipu and Kaitaia. Up from 46 to 36, Waipu is only a short drive away from the near-completed Tom Doak course at Tara Iti, which will undoubtedly leap into our Top 10 when we next re-rank. Waipu’s routing rolls over a landscape of sand dunes, wattles, gorse, and mature pines, with the odd bony ridge of sandstone thrown in for good measure.
Cromwell and Harewood are two other big climbers and this pair have recently undergone considerable redevelopment by Greg Turner and Scott Macpherson, predominantly with new, highly undulating greens and some tree removal. It seems that golfers are warming to the changes, which bring strategic thought and the ground game to two previously unremarkable club courses.
Speaking of Turner and MacPherson, our Kiwi Top 10 has a new entry for the first time in three years. The Royal Wellington Golf Club commissioned the pair to re-design the entire course in 2010, and it opened in 2013 to almost universal acclaim. Turner and MacPherson’s trademark greens are again in evidence, and whilst several holes retain the same playing corridors as the original course (although sometimes playing in the reverse direction), there are a number of stunning brand new holes which incorporate an existing stream. The new development sees a rise up to number 9 in our new rankings, with Gulf Harbour being the course edged out of the Top 10.
At the sharp end of the rankings, our Top 8 remains unchanged, which means that Cape Kidnappers again retains the number 1 slot for another year. It is a course of subtlety and grand drama, originality and beauty, and any avid collector of golf experiences should reach into their pockets and make the trip to the North Island to play here.
As for the next couple of years, the main buzz surrounds Tara Iti. We’ve spoken to a couple of people who have been lucky enough to play a few holes in their raw state, and both were highly impressed by their experience. Manukau Golf Club in South Auckland has also decided to sell its current course, and have opted to build a short distance inland, hiring Brett Thomson to lead the project (head course designer at Darby Partners – think Jack’s Point and The Hills), with Phil Tataurangi consulting on the project. Construction is well underway, and the course should open in 2016. A new Nick Faldo course in Christchurch, called Whisper Creek, is also planned, and Russley Golf Club (also in Christchurch) is nearing the final stages of their redevelopment, with Turner and MacPherson again looking to rejuvenate another parkland layout.
Once again, our unique Kiwi ranking list involved gathering, analysing and processing data from a multitude of sources. So, until a definitive description as to what constitutes a great golf course has been determined, we believe that nobody does it better than Top 100 Golf Courses. We genuinely welcome feedback, in fact we actively encourage it, so please let us know what you think about our latest list of New Zealand’s Top 50 Golf Courses. If you’ve played any of our featured Kiwi courses, we’d be delighted to know what you think so why not contribute and post a course review or two?
To see the Top 50 Golf Courses of New Zealand click the link.
11 February 2015 Respond to this article