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Titirangi Golf Club

20 minutes West of Auckland's CBD lies Dr. Alistair Mackenzie's single Kiwi masterpiece. A collection of signature hole layouts and green complexes make for intriguing and unforgettable day of golf!

The Round Up

 

Location: 20mins west of the Auckland CBD

Website: https://www.titirangigolf.co.nz/

Green Fees: NZ Resident- $130, Overseas Visitor- $200

Kiwi Caddy’s First Tee Advice: Take a mid-iron down the left side, there’s more room out there than you think!

The Takeaways: Perfect condition, Strong ‘thinking golf’ layout, Exceptional par 3s, Creative green structures and trademark Mackenzie bunkering!

Signature Hole: 14th Hole

Insider Knowledge: Leave the ball below the hole at all costs!

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  Feature Holes    

  • The par 3 14th plays straight over a gully into a sloping green guarded by trademark Mackenzie bunkers

  • The 6th is a par 4 featuring an uphill blind tee shot with a steep gully ready to catch your tee shot. A good drive leaves an approach shot into a severely elevated green

  • Par 4 15th is a short dogleg left. Aptly named ‘Temptation’, the tee shot is over a ravine and provides the perfect example of the risk-reward of the golf course.

“The ideal hole is surely one that affords the greatest pleasure to the greatest number, gives the fullest advantage for accurate play, stimulates players to improve their game, and never becomes monotonous” - Dr. Alistair MacKenzie. In his design of Titirangi Golf Club, Dr. MacKenzie has surely achieved this in every way, shape and form across the board.

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Titirangi, a 20-minute drive from the Auckland CBD, is as beautiful as it can be brutal. Every shot swept off line, away from the glorious rolling fairways, leaves you in another magical spot on the golf course. Although I spent more time counting my shots than hitting them the day I played, it was as much fun as I’ve had playing a golf course in New Zealand, which is surely the measure of a premium public golf course. This speaks to the exceptional design and condition of the course, which I would play every day given the opportunity.

Titirangi features a number of distinct touches of McKenzie designs around the world -Augusta National, Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath, Cypress Point, Royal St George’s to name a few. He has a knack of making shots look scarier than they should be, particularly evident at Titirangi. He hides targets with ridges and slopes, feeds off blind tee shots, and makes landing areas appear miniscule. He plays chess while you’re playing checkers.  Standing on the tee you’ll wonder how you are going to keep the ball in play, hitting your second shot you’ll wonder how you can keep it on the green, and standing over your putts you’ll see 5 lines before committing to one. These are elements that make the game FUN, something many of us weekend warriors lose sight of in the hunt for a low score.

Titirangi strikes a balance for all abilities, providing opportunities for better players to shape the ball, and higher handicappers to play more conservatively with shorter, straighter shots. Every hole is as interesting and memorable as it is demanding, commanding strategy and ball striking. Due to the tree-lining, each hole feels like a standalone challenge, with limited peaks at holes to come which does wonders for to the intrigue of the course. It's not long, but don’t kid yourself into thinking it can be overpowered.  Once you refrain from hitting driver every hole, aiming at every flag, and being aggressive with every putt, it becomes an examination of creativity and course management, a lost art of many courses across the country.

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Approach shots, even from the best spots on the fairway are tough, with greens expertly guarded by bunkers, water, false fronts and drop off zones. Once finally on the greens, you will be met by some of the most challenging complexes in the country. There aren’t many courses where the greens are the most memorable feature, however Titirangi tests this theory with its undulating, multi-tiered greens. Leave the ball above the hole at your peril, a lesson it took me too many holes to learn!

Mackenzie worked his magic on the Par 3s, crafting four fun holes facing different extremes of the compass, ensuring a variety of strategies and approaches to each of the greens.  The par 3 7th, with the tee box surrounded by pines, hitting uphill to a triple-tiered green had me changing clubs three times, while the 14th plays straight over a gully into a sloping green guarded by bunkers. The difficulty of the par 3s is illustrated by the club's 'Mackenzie Challenge', whereby if you par all of the par 3's you receive an exclusive lapel. Don't get your hopes up though!

 

The three par 5’s are your best scoring opportunities, all reachable in two for longer hitters with the right wind. However, in my experience, ‘scoring opportunities’ on these holes can quickly become blow outs if you miss in the wrong spot.

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Titirangi is exceptionally well maintained, greens are fast and true, fairways are short and fair, and the rough is lush without being overly punishing. If you’re looking for New Zealand’s answer to Augusta National, this is it. At $130 a round it remains a premium option by New Zealand standards, however in my opinion it’s worth every dollar. This was comfortably the most fun Net 82 I have had the pleasure of signing off, and should be included in any North Island trip.

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The Card

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Booking a Tee Time

 

Titirangi falls on the semi-private side of golf courses in New Zealand. According to them, "Because Titirangi is a member’s club there are certain times of the week reserved for member-only competitions (on Wednesdays and Saturdays, for example, visitors are not permitted before 1pm)". However, if you book a couple of months in advance, you shouldn't have a problem getting hold of a tee time during visitor times.

Bookings can be made online HERE

Tour Tips

Where to Stay

​It would be wrong of me to recommend staying outside Auckland on a trip to Titirangi Golf Club. New Zealand's largest city is packed full of excellent accommodation, restaurants and things to do!

High End: Hilton Auckland is perched on the end of the Viaduct overlooking the water, with all of the usual Hilton amenities. A smooth 6 iron from all the action!

Mid-Range: Heritage Auckland, located in the CBD (5 minutes walk to the Viaduct) offers comfortable rooms with an excellent rooftop pool

Budget: Travelodge Hotel is perfectly located in the Wynyard Quarter in the Centre of Auckland 

Best Golf Within 45 Minutes:

The wider Auckland area is loaded with good golf, and is an area that is often overlooked by visitors. Within a short drive of Formosa you can play:

- Windross Farm

- Whitford Park

- Remuera Golf Club

- Muriwai Golf Links

What to do in the Area

  • Head to the top of the Sky Tower and take in the expansive views of Auckland

  • Take a short walk up Mount Eden for the best view of the Harbour & City

  • Head over to Holey Moley, a mini golf bar with some of the most outrageous designs you've ever seen!

  • Take the ferry across to Waiheke Island for some proper Island living. Home to some of New Zealand's finest wineries!

  • Keep heading West for 25 minutes from the golf club and explore some of New Zealand's rugged coastline beaches. Some favourites are Piha, Bethells Beach & Muriwai.

  • Eat at New Zealand's number 1 ranked restaurant 'The Grove'