Mt Maunganui Golf Club
An idyllic parkland course winding through the heart of New Zealand's premium beach destination
The Round Up
Location: Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
Green Fees: NZ Resident- $65, Overseas Visitor- $95
Kiwi Caddy’s First Tee Advice: Aim up the right hand side of the fairway, contours will feed it back to the middle
The Takeaways: Great conditioning, Creative green structures, Layout promotes risk-reward & playability, Three forgettable par 5’s and a couple of weaker holes through the middle hold the course back a touch
Signature Hole: 18th Hole
- The Par 4 7th features a sharp dogleg right with a fairway bunker up the left making for a tight tee shot, and an approach into a heavily sloped green.
- The 13th is a dogleg left requiring either a quick draw, or a short layup off the tee. The approach is made into the most undulated green on the course guarded by deep bunkers.
- The Par 4 18th closes the round out with a short dogleg right. The fairway funnels you toward the clubhouse overlooking the green.
Mount Maunganui Golf Club is located in the heart of New Zealand’s premium beach holiday spot, sharing its name with the extinct volcano positioned on the shores of the town’s coastline. The classical parkland layout was designed and built in 1935 by renowned Kiwi architect Charles Redhead, as a personal favour to the club’s first nominated captain Fraser Baddeley.
Mount Maunganui is globally celebrated as a chilled out, laidback surfers town, where locals and international visitors flock to recharge their batteries and do a whole lot of nothing. This attitude and vibe perfectly translates across town to the golf club, where all guests are welcomed with a smile and a classic Kiwi ‘yarn’. In a place like this, it’s hard to be stressed, you’re lulled into a sense of calm and free-spirit and it’s the recipe for a perfect golfing environment.
Pulling into the carpark flocks of seagulls soar high above, taking in the birds-eye view of the course, and within a split second of arriving you understand why. Rolling fairways lined with towering trees- an Augusta shade of green, and perfect white bunkers dotted across the course are ready to greet you. MMGC has the look of a private golf club and is coupled with the feel of a laid back beach resort, a match made in golfing heaven.
Sharp doglegs, encouraging shot shaping and rolling contoured fairways contribute to an excellent layout, however the stars of the show are the greens. Creative green complexes with a wide variety of slopes, tiers, angles and run-offs force the players’ hand into proper positioning and make for plenty of exciting putts over the course of a round. These green complexes, guarded by well positioned bunkers are the flag’s main defense mechanism against approaches.
The overall layout of MMGC is excellent. Shorter holes boast narrower landing areas paired with smaller greens, and the longer holes have more room for error- textbook course design. The golf course screams options for all players and a strong risk-reward balance promotes decision making. This is what golf course design is all about – the ability to play the hole in a number of ways based on ability and score well if properly executed. The variety in holes makes for a memorable round. The closing hole is a short par 4 with a left to right dogleg, funneling you straight towards the clubhouse which towers over the green. Truly one of the most picturesque homecomings in New Zealand golf. A perfect way to close out a highly enjoyable round.
As if you needed another reason to visit Mount Maunganui, the course sets the standard for what a premium parkland golf course looks like – perfect conditioning of expertly routed holes, creating an environment for fun and memorable golf shots at a highly affordable rate. This is the definition of the course you can happily play every day and not get bored. If the opportunity arises, play Mount Maunganui Golf Club, you won’t regret it!
Booking a Tee Time
Mount Maunganui is the epitome of a local public golf course, and could not be more welcoming of guests. In fact, during the holidays, the number of guests will match the number of members. Bookings are easily arranged a week in advance and if you call them in the morning they will likely be able to arrange you a tee time that day!
Where to Stay
Staying in Mount Maunganui is a rite of passage for New Zealanders and a holiday nirvana for locals and visitors alike. There may be no better place to kick up your feet for a few days and watch the world pass by.
In the peak of Summer you won't find any cheap accommodation options floating around, as demand soars over the holiday months. My personal recommendations would be:
Pavilion Beachfront Apartments are perfectly placed, a lob wedge from the beach and a 3 wood from the base of Mount Maunganui. Offering fully self-serviced apartments with 1-3 bedrooms 8 minutes from the course, a perfect offering for a few days away.
The Reef Beachfront Apartments are similarly located, with stunning views over the golden sands of the beach. Also offering fully equipped rooms, the Reef makes for an excellent stay short or long.
Be sure to book in advance!
Best Golf Within 45 Minutes:
Mount Maunganui lies in the Western Bay of Plenty region, where there truly are plenty of options for some decent golf:
- Omanu Golf Club
- Te Puke Golf Club
- Tauranga Golf Club
- Summerhill Golf Club
What to do in the Area
Mount Maunganui is more about how little you can do and how long you can do it for. Make it your challenge to do as little as possible for a couple of days and re-charge your batteries after a day on the golf course. Park up for a day and do a whole lot of nothing at Mount Maunganui Beach. There's no better way to do not a lot!
One thing I will recommend dragging yourself up for is taking the short hike up Mauao Summit. Incredible sweeping views of the coastline and town await you. Do it at sunrise for the full experience!