New Plymouth (Ngamotu)
Mountain, Coast and Some Serious Golf Holes!
The Round Up
Location: New Plymouth, Taranaki
Green Fees: $45
Kiwi Caddy’s First Tee Advice: Driver with a draw might leave you a putt for eagle, but with a hazard short left it could be a round wrecker....
The Takeaways: Incredible coastal and mountain views throughout, Impeccable conditioning, Outstanding collection of Par 3s, Some greens are left exposed without any protection taking away from approach shots
The 1st might be the best opener in the country. Short par 4 down the hill with a hazard short left, and bunker short right
The par 3 6th is the iconic downhill par 3 looking straight out towards Mt Egmont. A lake sits short of the green ready to catch anything not properly struck.
The 14th is a short par 3 playing straight towards the water at an infinity green protected by pot bunkers. STUNNING!
Pulling into the carpark at New Plymouth Golf Club (Ngamotu Links), with the snowy peak of Mount Egmont looming in the background, it becomes abundantly clear that this isn’t going to be your everyday Kiwi parkland experience. Wedged in an expansive piece of property between Mount Egmont and the Tasman Sea on the North Island’s West Coast, the variety in its gorgeous landscape is what separates Ngamotu Links from many of its compatriots.
Ngamotu’s first tee tells you plenty. An extremely elevated tee box provides expansive views of the tree-lined fairways to come, and the wild coastline in the distance. The first hole sets the tone from a design standpoint too- a reachable downhill par 4 with a hazard short left and a bunker short right protecting the green. Straight away you are forced to make a decision, with an opportunity to make a statement or play it safe. Risk-reward from the outset.
To call the land which Ngamotu Links is routed across ‘rolling’ would be a disservice. A significant number of holes involve severe changes in elevation tee to green, contributing to the diversity and intrigue of the layout. The intense slopes also invite a wide range of blind tee and approach shots, making some holes a bit of a guessing game for first timers, but who doesn’t love climbing up over a mound to reveal whether their shot was any good?
Conditioning wise, the course is as good as anything you’ll see across the country, and neither the rough nor the fairway should offer you a problematic lie. The fairways are as pure as any, and the greens run true. Speaking of the greens, Ngamotu features some MASSIVE greens- particularly the elevated 8th and 18th measuring around 35m long, sloping back to front.
The par 3 sixth is the star of the front nine and deservedly Ngamotu’s signature hole. Playing 150 metres from an elevated tee with trees framing Mount Egmont towering over the green guarded by a lake ready to swallow any shot short of the green. The view from the tee box may be gorgeous, but it’s a shot as daunting as any.
The tipping point for what makes Ngamotu special is the stretch of holes from 13-15 which plays directly alongside the Tasman Sea, riding the rugged black sandy beach. The short par 3 13th is a gem of a hole, playing straight out towards the ocean. Black sanded pot bunkers guard the front, while anything long will see a steep drop-off onto the coastal walkway. The views tee to green would rival any of the great seaside courses around the world, providing a linksy departure from the inland holes.
Ngamotu isn’t overly long, and the generous fairways and greens make it exceptionally playable for all. Frankly, it’s a course that could happily be played every day of the week, speaking to its variety and intrigue.
A collection of 18 holes with their own unique points of interest, routed across a well-conditioned course boasting some of the most gripping views around is a recipe for success and Ngamotu has nailed it. A pleasure to play.
On the whole, the course is routed with elite levels of diversity, both in their hole layouts and environments. Doglegs swing both left and right, short holes mixed with long, and a collection of par threes good enough to rival any in the country.
Holes winding through tree-lined fairways are met by the rugged, unkept coastline on the edges of the course and with the sea breeze blowing, it’s like being transported to a completely different golf course.
Booking a Tee Time
Easiest way to book a tee time is to send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and request one. Probably avoid Saturdays which tends to be club day, but outside of that, a week's notice should be plenty!
Where to Stay
New Plymouth, around 15 minutes South of Waitara is the pick of the cities and towns in the area, offering plenty of accommodation for all budgets. There are also options to stay along the coast too.
Best Golf Within 45 Minutes:
Taranaki has a few decent options for golf at especially affordable rates.
- Fitzroy Golf Club
- Hawera Golf Club
What to do in the Area
- Hike in the incredible Mount Egmont National Park
- Explore Taranaki's rugged West Coast beaches
- Walk or ride New Plymouth's Coastal Walkway