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With 7 golf courses, several of national and international championship standard, it’s really no surprise the Great Lake Taupo region has gained a reputation for itself as a prime golfing destination.
Most golf enthusiasts can think of nothing better than taking a break away in a location that offers a whole host of different courses to visit and new golfing challenges to tackle. The Taupo region is just this, with a great range of 9 and 18 hole courses to explore. Clubs such as Taupo, Turangi, Taumarunui and Mangakino have wonderful courses in some of the most attractive surroundings you’ll find, and Wairakei International Golf Course and Sanctuary and the Kinloch Club Jack Nicklaus course add a unique dimension to the range of golf courses available in the Taupo region.
Situated 10km north of Taupo township, Wairakei International Golf Course and Sanctuary offers a truly special golfing experience with a world class course blended into a unique sanctuary environment. Voted New Zealand’s number one golf course by the local industry and one of the top 100 courses in the world outside of the US, the course is set amongst 450 acres within Wairakei Geothermal Park. Those who have played at Wairakei say you really have to experience it to understand why it is the best place to play golf in New Zealand.
The natural contours of the volcanic landscape have been used to sculpt fairways and elevate tees and greens, creating a challenging course where every hole is different. The environment is stunning and tranquil, and the predator proof fence surrounding the golf course and sanctuary has allowed protected wildlife to thrive in the pristine environment. The sanctuary project has been so successful that brown kiwi chicks were recently released into the sanctuary. Many pro golfers who have played all over the world say Wairakei will always be their favourite place to play.
Wairakei International Golf Course and Sanctuary has a bar and café with lovely decks overlooking the course, a function area, practice areas and a fully stocked golf shop. Clubs, shoes, trundlers and golf carts are available for hire, and tuition from two NZPGA professionals is available on site. Tee times and hire equipment should be reserved in advance to avoid disappointment.
Perhaps the most popular courses with everyday golfers are Taupo Golf Club’s Centennial and Tauhara courses. Both 18 hole courses are situated close to Taupo township on Centennial Drive, amongst mature park-like settings and interesting geothermal activity. Taupō Golf Club is the only golf club in New Zealand to have a 36 hole course (made up of the two 18 hole courses) and this means one course can still be used by players when a competition is underway. The Tauhara course is a moderate course, being shorter with smaller greens, and the Centennial course is more challenging with longer, undulating greens and more bunkers to contend with.
Taupo Golf Club welcomes visitors and frequently has promotions on offer for golfers. The club house is a great place to meet after a game for a drink or meal and it can cater for functions. A Pro Shop is on site and clubs, shoes, trundlers and golf carts can be hired. One on one or group coaching is available and staff include an NZPGA Professional. Large or corporate group bookings can be made. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (07) 378 6933.
Wairakei Resort’s 9 hole golf course is another popular course and is touted as the perfect warm-up for a round at the famed Wairakei International Golf Course and Sanctuary. Wairakei is an easy-walking course set amongst pretty scenery, and the resort offers golf and accommodation packages. For further information contact Wairakei Resort Hotel on phone 07 374 8021 or visit their website for an email contact form.
Now boasting two golf courses, Kinloch is well worth the 20 minute drive from Taupo for a day’s golfing. The Kinloch Golf Club 10 hole country course is a small, tight tree-lined course with a small clubhouse. The Kinloch Club Jack Nicklaus golf course was completed in 2008 and now ranks in Golf Digest’s Top 100 golf courses in the world outside the US. The undulating volcanic landscape has been used to create a challenging Championship-layout course with views of Lake Taupo from the back 9 holes.
The Kinloch Club has a fully stocked pro shop, a restaurant and bar, and functions can be catered for. Accommodation is available on site in one of two stunning holiday homes (Dunalistair House and No.2, The Fairways) overlooking the golf course. Accommodation can be booked by phoning 07 377 8577. Tee times must be booked in advance by phoning 07 377 8484.
Visiting one of the regional golf courses in the smaller towns of the district will give you a unique golfing experience in a country setting. At the southern end of Lake Taupo, Turangi Golf Club lies beneath Mt Pihanga at the entrance to Tongariro National Park, a World Heritage area. The course is an attractive and reasonably flat 18 hole course with water features and good tree coverage. The friendly club welcomes visitors, and the club house is perfect for meeting local players and others visiting the region to enjoy its many attractions. Club, trundler and golf cart hire is available and the office stocks a range of tees, balls, gloves, hats, drinks and snacks. Turangi Golf Club can be contacted on email@example.com or phone (07) 386 8724.
Other regional golf courses include Mangakino Golf Club, situated on Konini Terrace in Mangakino, phone 07 882 8075; and Taumarunui Golf Club, an attractive all-weather course situated on Golf Road, Taumarunui, phone 07 896 7257.
For more information on the Great Lake Taupo region visit http://www.GreatLakeTaupo.com