Taupo - Centennial
Taupo's Sneaky Good Third Option!
The Round Up
Location: Taupo, Bay of Plenty
Green Fees: Affiliate - $65, Non-Affiliate- $85
Kiwi Caddy’s First Tee Advice: Risk or reward! Either try your hand at getting one up by the green or take an iron up the right hand side.
The Takeaways: Some pockets of excellent land movement, Solid conditioning, A few mundane holes throughout the flatter land
The 9th is a par 4 dogleg left with a large dune and wasteland to the left, approaching an elevated tabletop green.
The Par 4 16th, is the hardest hole on the course. A dogleg left with a large gully between fairway and green with volcanic badland waste to the left.
The 18th is a long par 3 across a huge gully, an excellent test to finish the round where a 3 will more than likely win the hole!
Centennial is the championship course at Taupo Golf Club which is inevitably overlooked by visitors in favour of the highly rated courses at Wairakei and Kinloch. Taupo is firmly a locals club and is a hive of activity every weekend as people enjoy the gifts of the two courses. I had absolutely no expectations going into the round and it’s fair to say I was pleasantly surprised by what was laid out in front of me on the first tee.
Centennial opens the round with an inviting short par 4 from an elevated tee which doglegs to the left. It’s a relatively tight tee shot but offers the option to hit a shorter club or bail out to the right-a fantastic start and IT set a strong tone from the outset. From then on, the course navigates through loosely tree-lined fairways, mixing in areas of deeper rough and volcanic badlands making for an interesting variety in problems to navigate.
In places, the land moves dramatically, creating deep ravines, some cavernous drop offs and steep inclines. As I navigated the crevices and squeezed my way through mounds, it become clear that this natural variation provides Centennial with its main point of interest and is the catalyst for the best holes on the course. The 9th hole is a great example of this where wasteland has been used on the left hand side amongst the inland dunes, with a significant dip before the green. There are multiple instances over the course of the round where the natural land formations have crafted a holes of interest which provide some excellent opportunities to craft engaging and creative shots!
There is definitely a variety of holes and shots across the course which exceeds the large majority of country courses in New Zealand which makes it an enjoyable day. The course played surprisingly firm and despite a decent amount of rain the day before, my ball bounded across the turf which really brought the land features into play- a rare trait in New Zealand golf! The course features wide fairways and is imminently playable, across well-conditioned fairways, tees and greens.
I wouldn’t call the layout of Centennial gripping or architecturally excellent, there are certainly some more plain holes across the flatter areas of the property, and a number of flat, unprotected green complexes which don’t exactly inspire creative approach shots. However, it must be said that Centennial ha enough points of difference to separate itself from plenty of courses across the country and is a solid enough course to have an enjoyable day out!
Don’t get it twisted, Wairakei and Kinloch will always be the reason to visit Taupo, however, you could do a lot worse than an afternoon hit around Centennial if you’re looking for more golf. It has plenty to offer and is a great example of local Kiwi golf!
Booking a Tee Time
Taupo is welcoming to guests and you shouldn't have an issue getting a tee time at all (Excluding Saturday Mornings).
The best way to do this would be to drop them a line at email@example.com
Where to Stay
Taupo town is 5 minutes away and is one of New Zealand's tourist hubs with plenty of accommodation options for all budgets!
Best Golf Within 45 Minutes
Taupo is a destination with a few of New Zealand's top courses, and is well worth extending your stay to play them:
What to do in the Area
Taupo is often dubbed the 'Queenstown of the North' for tourism so you will be spoiled for choice. Get stuck into a few adventure activities while you're here:
Try your hand at Taupo's famous 'hole in one challenge' on the lakefront
Take the plunge with NZ's highest bungy jump
Visit the Huka Falls
Hike New Zealand's best day walk, the Tongariro Crossing (Not a walk for the feint-hearted)