Golfing in New Zealand: Lydia Ko’s favourite fairways

NEW ZEALAND has a growing reputation as an international golfing destination and with some renowned established courses – as well as a new entrant on the world Top 100 courses list – is well worth considering for your next golfing holiday.

Top Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko was back in her hometown Auckland this week for the country’s first ever LPGA event, the New Zealand Women’s Open, and took the opportunity to film a video spruiking some of her favourite fairways.

Ko says her top golf hole in Auckland is the 16th at Gulf Harbour, a par 4 that is “a testing dogleg” and “has got to be my absolute favourite”.

The NZ Open, which attracted seven major winners, is being held at the Windross Farm Golf Course, where Ko also has a favourite.

“Hole 18 at Windross Farm is amazing. I love a par 5 finishing hole,” says Ko.

Pupuke Golf Course, on Auckland’s North Shore, is also close to Ko’s heart – and not surprising, since she first played the course when she was just five years old and became a life member of the club at the age of 18.

Ko says: “Hole 17 at Pupuke has got to be up there. It’s short but it’s always been challenging.”

The wider Auckland region is home to over 30 golf courses which makes the game accessible for anyone visiting the city.

New Zealand is second only to Scotland for the most golf courses per capita, meaning the country is home to an abundance of courses that are never crowded and easily accessible from main centres.

About the courses:

Pupuke Golf Course, North Shore

Pupuke Golf Course is set beside the beautiful Lake Pupuke on Auckland’s North Shore and is dubbed “the course that creates champions” because it is home to Lydia Ko and one of New Zealand’s best male golfers Michael Hendry. Located just 10 minutes’ drive from the central city, the club boasts spectacular views and a challenging course.

Windross Farm Golf Course, Auckland

Located only 30 minutes from the city, Windross Farm is an inland links-style course which offers a mix of flat and undulating ground, man-made lakes and dramatic and strategically placed bunkers. The course was designed to make the most of the site’s natural environment to provide a golf experience like no other. The clubhouse and facilities have been designed with a minimalistic and understated philosophy and they truly complement the unique golf course.

Gulf Harbour Country Club, Whangaparaoa

The Whangaparaoa Peninsula, 40 minutes north of downtown Auckland, is home to Gulf Harbour Country Club. The course offers outstanding sea views and is open to the elements, so when the wind blows Gulf Harbour is a true test of golf. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, the course opened in 1998 and has since hosted the New Zealand Open and the World Cup of Golf.

New Kiwi Golf Course rated 29th best in the world

Ninety minutes north of Auckland is the new Tom Doak designed course Tara Iti, which US GOLF Magazine recently rated as No.29 on its World Top 100 Courses list

GOLF commented that: “Tara Iti jumps onto our World list as one of our highest debuting courses ever. The barely two-year-old course is already acknowledged as the Southern Hemisphere’s premier links. Its enviable location in the dunes along the Pacific Ocean, along with superior fine-fescue fairways and swirls of natural grass and sand, have some reviewers saying it could host an Open tomorrow—if only it were 11,000 miles farther northwest.”

The two year old Tara Iti golf course 90 minutes north of Auckland has been described as the Southern Hemisphere’s premier links. Photo: Joann Dost

For more information on golf in New Zealand, visit www.newzealand.com/int/golf

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Brian is a former Sydney journalist who didn’t have a skerrick of interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded Australian Senior Golfer in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association.

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