Miramar Links Golf Club
Mounding, Bunkers & an Airport
The Round Up
Green Fees: $70
Kiwi Caddy’s First Tee Advice: Play to the right side of the fairway to avoid a blind approach
The Takeaways: Some decent strategic mounding in places, Strong use of the little natural land features,
The 1st is the toughest hole on the course, requiring a drive up the right and a semi-blind approach to an elevated green
The 12th is a short, uphill par 4 with heavy bunkering up the right hand side. Approach to an elevated green with a false front.
The 5th is a strategic par 5 which expertly utilises mounding and elevation changes, as well as a range of bunkering to provide challenge
Mirimar could never be described as quant, nor peaceful. Laid out in a tight pocket of land just a two minute walk from the Wellington Airport terminal, its convenience also brings with it an abundance of whirring engines and bustling traffic. Is there a golf course closer to an airport around the world? Not a clue, but over the course of your round, you’ll see and hear every plane which lands in and departs Wellington.
From the clubhouse, the initial overview of the golf course raises plenty of questions. The most striking is the countless number of clearly manmade mounds across the layout, which from a distance appear to be restricted to containment mounding surrounding flat fairways. The second is that the property appears extremely tight for an 18 hole golf course- the layout and routing intrigued me from the outset.
The first hole at Mirimar may well be the best across the course. A tee shot to a wide fairway which requires you to be as far right as possible to avoid a blind approach, with anything left shielded by a large mound and the right side of the green guarded by a decent run-off. Moving deeper into the routing, it became clear that not all of the mounding was containment style, but there were some which certainly impacted the approach to holes, creating opportunities to play the ground game, as well as potential vertical hazards producing blind shots.
As a short par 70, measuring 5,500 metres from the back tees, the scorecard looks extremely scoreable. However, it should be noted that the course plays longer than it reads, and many holes are lengthened by demanding less than driver off the tee, as well as the famous Wellington wind!
Links style pot-bunkers are littered throughout the golf course (102 to be exact) with varying degrees of strategic value, but they certainly make you think, and in conjunction with the mounding and some interesting drop offs around the greens, there is sufficient defense to make you think closely about your angles and approaches to different hole locations.
The most captivating stretch of golf holes is out the back of the property on the back 9, where the natural land movement is most drastic and the contouring and elevation changes are most conducive to creative architecture. The short par 4 12th is an excellent example, implementing some decent links-style fairway bunkering up the hill, with the approach playing up the hill to a green with a false front. The 15th offers a downhill par 5, making use of the elevation and angles on the edge of the property well to create a solid risk-reward hole.
Miramar is a fun little track which offers sufficient intrigue in its layout, as well as requiring a variety of different shots to get around. There is plenty to like about the overall land movements (both subtle and drastic) and if nothing else, most tee shots will make you think about the best way to get around. Miramar provides a solid escape from tree-lined fairways and deep rough, and to me that’s enough to make it a commendable course in the New Zealand landscape and well worth a visit if you find yourself in the area!
Booking a Tee Time
Easiest way to book a tee time is to send them an email at email@example.com and request one. Probably avoid Saturdays which tends to be club day, but outside of that, a week's notice should be plenty!
Best Golf Nearby
- Paraparaumu Beach Golf Links
- Royal Wellington