Kauri Cliffs is easily one of the most scenic courses in the world. Numerous holes hug the coastline, with only a handful lacking sea views. Pictures barely do the David Harman design – and the intimate, luxury resort built overlooking the layout – justice. It’s an hour flight north of Auckland.
Cape Kidnappers is a Tom Doak design located just south of Napier (a town full of Art Deco-era architecture) on the east coast in the wine region of Hawkes Bay. Like the property itself, the course is sprawling in scope, with a handful of holes on clifftops high above the sea especially memorable. Elegant accommodations and gourmet dining match its counterpart at Kauri Cliffs.
In the center of the North Island, The Kinloch Club is a Jack Nicklaus design as tough as it is scenic, with strongly contoured fairways and numerous elevated greens.
But nearby Lake Taupo, the largest of its kind in the country, offers a distracting backdrop, notably on the back nine. Villas overlooking the entire course are more than comfortable.
Located in the Auckland suburb of Ardmore, Windross Farm is a straightforward but fun links-style layout built in 2016 on a farmer potato farm. In 2017 it hosted the internationally televised McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open, the first LPGA or PGA-sanctioned tournament ever held in the country. Set just 25 minutes south of Auckland’s International airport makes it a perfect first or last round on a New Zealand golf trip.
Just north of the country’s capital city of Wellington are Paraparaumu Beach–a true links that would not look out of place in Scotland–and Royal Wellington, a parkland beauty with a rich history and superb layout.