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Top 50 Golf Courses of New Zealand – 2013

24 January, 2013

Top 50 Golf Courses of New Zealand 2013

24th January 2013

Top 100 Golf Courses (, the most informed and dedicated ranking website, presents its 2013 golf course rankings for New Zealand.

We have assembled New Zealand's top golf courses based on detailed research, which utilises our unique process (see our About Us page for more details). The result, we think, has culminated in the most authoritative list of New Zealand's greatest golf courses.

This year, we have extended our rankings to a Top 50, which means 10 new entries. Leading the way amongst these are Napier, Cromwell and Harewood. Interestingly, the latter two courses have both recently undergone considerable redevelopment, with both projects led by Greg Turner and Scott Macpherson. The common theme between the two are the new greens, which are much more undulating than at most traditional Kiwi parkland layouts, although not unusual when held up against most internationally renowned courses. They may challenge some New Zealanders' conceptions of how golf courses should play, but the majority of people who have a passion for course architecture would wholeheartedly approve.

The biggest climber in our 2013 rankings is Pegasus, moving from a modest 38th last year to a more accurate ranking of 21. This Kristine Kerr design has already hosted the New Zealand's Women's Open on multiple occasions, and is one that is playable by golfers of all levels. The course itself is on relatively level ground, with the challenge being provided by lakes (in play on 10 holes) and areas of natural wetland, surrounded by waterways and native grasses. Strategic thinking is emphasised throughout, with alternate routes to the green, and many putting surfaces angled to better receive an approach from a favoured side of the fairway.

Poverty Bay also makes a significant move, climbing 9 spots to number 30. This links is built over an old system of sand dunes near the ocean, with most of the holes running parallel to the nearby beach, following the troughs of former dunes. Areas of uncontrolled rough border the undulating fairways and the putting surfaces are large, fast, and very well bunkered.

Whilst the redesigned Southland, or Oreti Sands as it is better known (another Turner and Macpherson triumph), threatens to enter our Top 10, it falls just short at present (up 4 to number 11). Our premier ten stay exactly the same this year, despite the injection of many new opinions into our rankings. This means that Cape Kidnappers retains the number 1 slot for another year. This Tom Doak design has received worldwide acclaim since opening in 2004. Doak has created a course of great drama, interest, 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.

The future also looks bright, due to the approval gained for two new exciting projects during the last 12 months. Most exciting of all is the news that Tom Doak will design a genuine links course, named Tara-iti, on land purchased by US financier Ric Kayne amongst the dunes south of Mangawhai. And the long battle regarding the project at Glendhu Bay in Wanaka has been resolved in favour of developing the Parkins Bay golf course, and will be designed by John Darby and Bob Charles.

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 defined, 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 Top 50 list of New Zealand Golf Courses. We won't ever claim to be "definitive" but we are the most "informed" golf course rankings in the business. If you've played any of our featured Kiwi courses, we'd be delighted to know what you think, so why not 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 No change Millbrook
10 No change Gulf Harbour
11 Up 4 Southland
12 Down 1 Royal Auckland
13 No change Royal Wellington
14 Down 2 Christchurch
15 Down 1 Clearwater
16 No change Terrace Downs
17 No change New Plymouth
18 No change Carrington
19 Up 1 Arrowtown
20 Down 1 Muriwai
21 Up 17 Pegasus
22 No change Otago
23 Down 2 Hastings
24 Up 5 Hamilton
25 Down 2 Lakes
26 Down 2 Manawatu
27 Down 1 Chisholm Park
28 Down 1 Queenstown
29 Up 2 Wanganui
30 Up 9 Poverty Bay
31 Down 1 Mangawhai
32 Down 7 Russley
33 No change Rotorua (Arikikapakapa)
34 Down 2 Invercargill
35 No change Mount Maunganui
36 Down 2 St Clair
37 Up 3 Grange
38 Down 2 Formosa
39 New entry Napier
40 Down 3 Wanaka
41 New entry Cromwell
42 Down 14 Remuera
43 New entry Harewood (Old)
44 New entry Taupo (Centennial)
45 New entry Boulcott's Farm (South)
46 New entry Waipu
47 New entry Manukau
48 New entry Kaitaia
49 New entry Nelson
50 New entry Waitangi

Click here to see the detailed New Zealand list.


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