GOLF IN NEW ZEALAND
While a number of countries may lay claim to being "a golfer's paradise", none can match the variety, accessibility, and scenery of New Zealand's golf courses. Since the Otago Golf Club was founded in 1871, golf courses have been developed in all cities and most rural communities throughout the country.
With a population of less than 4 million, New Zealand has a course for every 10,000 people. Except for the larger city clubs, it's possible to walk onto most golf courses and play without booking in advance (we do advise you ring and book though, just in case!). Green fees for overseas visitors vary from as little as NZ$5 for 9-hole rural courses to NZ$200 for the top resort courses with an average cost of about $30 a round. Golf carts and hire clubs are usually available at the larger clubs. With seasoned professional golfers such as Bob Charles, Frank Nobilo, Grant Waite, Greg Turner, Marnie McGuire, and "young guns" like Craig Perks, Michael Long, Michael Campbell, Phillip Tautarangi, and Steve Alker, to name but a few, New Zealand has an enviable reputation for producing golfing talent.
The reasons are abundantly clear - our courses and conditions test all facets of a golfer's ability. Play well here and you can hold your head up anywhere the game of golf is played. Good grass growth means lush rough - undulations are often hills - sand is freely available - and prevailing winds occasionally reach gale force.
But most of the time golf in New Zealand is delightful. The weather is warm and calm, the fairways smooth and flat, the greens soft and true, and above all else the views are magnificent.