Gulf Harbour Country Club, on the Whangaparāoa Peninsula, is a 40-minute drive north of Auckland city.
The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr, son of one of golf’s most distinguished architects, Robert Trent Jones Snr. Jones Jnr has designed more than 240 courses around the world, including Chambers Bay, host of the 2015 US Open.
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Opened in 1997, Gulf Harbour has many outstanding sea views and a links-style feel.
Cattle once grazed on the course site, and it has been kept mostly open to the elements, meaning the Hauraki Gulf can bring a variety of climatic challenges to the golfer. The design features classic, traditional golfing values, ocean views, rolling terrain and a natural feel. The front nine is more open, with the last three holes playing around an inland lake. The back nine wanders back to the ocean.
The signature hole, number sixteen, has been named ‘Ta Moko.’ A risk-reward par four, it allows for a heroic tee shot to a difficult landing area. A single bunker protects the green, which sits at the point of a narrow peninsula with 270-degree ocean views.
A year after opening, Gulf Harbour Country Club hosted the 1998 World Cup of Golf, with many international stars like Sir Nick Faldo and John Daly taking on the course. In 2005, and again in 2006, Gulf Harbour Country Club hosted the New Zealand Open.
The par 72 course offers five sets of tees ranging from 4,712 – 6,351 metres and can provide players with rental clubs, golf carts and push carts. The proshop is staffed by PGA Professionals who can help with instruction on their driving range.