Mangawhai Heads, Northland
18 holes. Tree-lined & open parkland. Undulating terrain - a few slopes to climb.
Rural countryside and woodland.
55 km S of Whangarei
From Auckland Harbour Bridge travel north on Hwy 1 for approx 82 km (i.e. 7 km north of Wellsford). Turn right off Hwy 1 direction Mangawhai. After 20 km turn right at T-junction direction Mangawhai Heads. After 150 metres turn left into Molesworth Drive direction Mangawhai Heads / Golf Club. After 4 km golf is on your left.
Mangawhai Golf Club: in the developing seaside resort of Mangawhai Heads, lies one of New Zealand's hidden gems, a golf course which has grown in popularity and stature in recent times. Perhaps having new kids on the golfing block like nearby Tara Iti (private) and Te Arai Links has also given a boost to Mangawhai.
The front and back nines here journey out-and-back from the clubhouse. Both loops contain a marvellous run of four holes that take you into some natural "wilderness" areas. Whereas newer tree-planting occupies much of the course, these wilderness stretches abound with tall pines, sub-tropical vegetation, swamp (to be played across on the wonderful par-4 3rd) and many natural flowers.
The layout is always interesting, constantly undulating (but never tiringly so). There are strong holes all the way, a good variety of sloping and flatter greens, and all done without too much bunkering (often the case on many New Zealand courses).
Some of the drives are pretty tight (especially at the par-4 5th and 14th holes). Sea views are limited to a brief glimpse at the 12th and 18th back-tees, but the excellent layout, undulations and naturalness of the course are in themselves quite a feast for the eye.
Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.
Worth booking ahead to ensure tee-time availability, especially at weekends.
Walking permitted at all times. Golf carts available for hire.
The small town of Mangawhai ("The Place of Te Whai, where the streams meet") has seen recent expansion as the popularity of its beaches and natural environment have slowly grown. Previously it was used as a small timber port by early settlers. Before that its notoriety came from being the first place where a major battle between Maori tribes was decided through the use of muskets.
New Zealand's 35th best course (Australian Golf Digest, 2023/24).
4 Heather Street, Mangawhai Heads, Northland
+64 (0)9 431 5311Visit website
27 Moir Point, Mangawhai Heads
+64 (0)9 431 4018Visit website
Ryder Cup: Rome plays host to the first ever Ryder Cup to be staged in Italy, with the USA defending golf’s greatest team trophy at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club (Sept 29-Oct 1).
Solheim Cup: also in September, also in southern Europe, the 18th Solheim Cup will be contested at Finca Cortesin on the Costa del Sol, with Europe defending after their surprise win in Toledo, Inverness Club (Ohio) in 2021 (Sept 22-24).
To secure the best rates and ensure availability, it's recommended to book your rental car in advance, especially during peak golfing season.
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Céline Boutier: with many successes as both an amateur and professional golfer, Boutier added a major championship title to her impressive résumé at this year’s Evian Championship.
Alex Cejka: buffeted by rain and high winds, especially on the high-scoring final day, Čejka prevailed over Pádraig Harrington in a playoff at Royal Porthcawl, to scoop the Senior Open Championship title.
Marco Simone Golf & Country Club: With a clubhouse that might befit a Roman Emperor, and a golf course to match, you can be sure of a memorable outing at Rome's most talked about golf facility.
Jim Fazio's original layout was much changed to create a modern Ryder Cup course ... now one of the Eternal City's (and Italy's) most revered.
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