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Top 50 Golf Courses of New Zealand 2015

11 February, 2015

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.

Even further towards the northern tip of New Zealand, the fairways of Kaitaia’s 90 Mile Beach Golf Links fan out along the southern shores of a long sandy coastline. Local architect Goldie Wardell designed the links in 1964 and it climbs from 48 to 39 in our updated listings.

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?

Matt Richardson
New Zealand Correspondent

Rank Move Course
1 No change Cape Kidnappers
2 No change Kauri Cliffs
3 No change Paraparaumu Beach
4 No change Kinloch
5 No change Jack's Point
6 No change The Hills
7 No change Titirangi
8 No change Wairakei
9 Up 4 Royal Wellington
10 Down 1 Millbrook
11 Down 1 Gulf Harbour
12 Down 1 Southland
13 Down 1 Royal Auckland
14 Up 5 Arrowtown
15 No change Clearwater
16 No change Terrace Downs
17 Down 3 Christchurch
18 Down 1 New Plymouth
19 Down 1 Carrington
20 No change Muriwai
21 No change Pegasus
22 No change Otago
23 Up 3 Manawatu
24 No change Hamilton
25 Down 2 Hastings
26 Up 1 Chisholm Park
27 Up 2 Wanganui
28 Up 2 Poverty Bay
29 Down 1 Queenstown
30 Down 5 Lakes
31 Up 4 Mount Maunganui
32 Up 9 Cromwell
33 Down 2 Mangawhai
34 Down 2 Russley
35 Up 8 Harewood (Woodlands)
36 Up 10 Waipu
37 Down 3 Invercargill
38 Down 5 Rotorua (Arikikapakapa)
39 Up 9 Kaitaia
40 Up 4 Taupo (Centennial)
41 Down 5 St Clair
42 Up 3 Boulcott's Farm (South)
43 Down 5 Formosa
44 Down 5 Napier
45 Down 8 Grange
46 Down 6 Wanaka
47 Up 2 Nelson
48 Down 6 Remuera
49 Down 2 Manukau
50 No Change Waitangi

To see the Top 50 Golf Courses of New Zealand click the link.


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