Are you going on a vacation with family but feel disheartened because you’re going to miss out the rounds at the golf course? Well, have no fear because now you can go on a vacation to a place that has everything you’d want out of family time and not miss out on your favorite game as well.
If you’re in New Zealand, finding a golf vacation should be a walk in the park. There are currently 397 golf courses in New Zealand and according to New Zealand Golf, the country’s governing body, almost 500,000 adults play golf each year in New Zealand, making golf the highest participation sport in the country. It is the number 1 sport for men and the number 2 sport for women, just behind netball.
The top 10 courses are:
- Cape Kidnappers (Hawke’s Bay, North Island) – Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, the Cape Kidnappers par 71 golf course measures 7,119 yards (6,510 meters) and will challenge golfers of all skill levels.
- Kauri Cliffs (Matauri Bay, North Island) – The par 72 championship golf course measures 7,119 yards / 6,510 metres and offers five sets of tees to challenge every skill level. Fifteen holes view the Pacific Ocean, six of which are played alongside cliffs which plunge to the sea.
- Paraparaumu Beach (North Island) – The course was designed in 1949 by former Australian Open champion Alex Russell, the highly acclaimed course architect and onetime partner of Dr Alister MacKenzie, the world renowned course architect. The course has been widely acclaimed over the years.
- Kinloch Club (Taupo, North Island) – Golf at the Jack Nicklaus designed The Kinloch Club is often compared to the classic link courses in Scotland and Ireland. However, instead of traditional sea views, this world-class championship Par 72 course is positioned between panoramic views of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest fresh-water lake, and the natural beauty of rugged rural farmland.
- Jack’s Point (Queenstown, South Island) – With a backdrop of 2300 vertical metres of the Remarkables mountain range and an armchair view of an outstanding lake panoramas, Jack’s Point Golf course is one of the most visually spectacular in the world. As an 18 hole par 72 championship course it offers golfers an exciting challenge with five tee positions to choose from, providing all golfers an unforgettable golf experience.
- The Hills (Arrowtown, South Island) – The Hills was designed by Darby Partners and opened in 2007 to host the New Zealand Open. Set over 500 acres of land across a glacial valley the layout highlights the dramatic elevation changes and rocky schist outcrops that are a feature of the area.
- Titirangi (Auckland, North Island) – The par 70 course features elevated tees, rolling fairways, challenging bunkers and greens with pronounced undulations. Its par 3’s face the four points of the compass so no matter what the weather conditions, you experience a different test on each hole.
- Wairakei (Taupo, North Island) – Many find sanctuary on a golf course but it is rare to find a golf course that is a sanctuary, New Zealand’s Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary is thought to have scored a world first! The ecological restoration is the first of its kind in New Zealand and was prompted by golf course owner Gary Lane’s desire to create a unique environment where golf and the natural habitat work in harmony.
- Royal Wellington (Wellington, North Island) – A newly designed (2013), Turner MacPherson championship course in a stunning parkland setting, arguably one of the finest club courses and club house in New Zealand. The Heretaunga course is, arguably, New Zealand’s finest private members parkland course and certainly one of its most beautiful.
- Millbrook Resort (Arrowtown, South Island) – Set in a natural alpine amphitheatre against the backdrop of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this 27 hole golf course exploits the dramatic terrain fully, delivering world-class golf.