New Zealand’s natural beauty goes hand in hand with quality and affordable golf course experiences.
And it's never far to go because New Zealand has the second highest number of courses per capita in the world - just behind Scotland, the home of golf.
From small town clubs surrounded by rolling farmland, and dramatic cliff top greens with expansive coastal views, to stunning alpine, lakeside settings like The Hills - New Zealand golf courses are as diverse and dramatic as the landscape itself.
So, if you think teeing off with a backdrop of snow-covered mountains and glistening alpine lakes in Queenstown is distracting, then try focusing your shot with an uninterrupted view of the glistening Pacific ocean in Hawke’s Bay or attempting to putt alongside the bubbling hot pools of the unique geothermal region, Rotorua.
Top golf courses
From the tip of the North Island to the southern-most point of the South Island there are almost 400 golf courses to choose from, each with its own individual charm and attraction.
The international golfing community is already well acquainted with New Zealand’s award-winning golfing destinations including Northland's Kauri Cliffs and Hawke's Bay's Cape Kidnappers, both listed in the top 50 golf courses in the world by Golf Digest.
Other famous New Zealand courses include Queenstown's Millbrook Resort, Jack's Point and The Hills as well as Taupo's Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary - all of which have received a number of top awards and are frequently listed in the world’s top 100 golfing destinations.
With such a wide variety of terrain to provide challenging courses, a climate favourable to outdoor activity and a sport that is easily accessible for all ages and pockets - New Zealand has produced its fair share of world class golfers.
None are more famous than world women's No. 1 Lydia Ko. Ko has been making headlines around the sporting world since she was a child and, and although she is still a teenager, she has already rewritten golfing history.
The former secondary school student from Auckland’s North Shore has been hailed as the greatest young golfer, male or female, to ever have played the game.
Ko’s exceptional combination of physical and mental ability has had international golfing greats shaking their heads in disbelief and marvelling at the maturity of the Kiwi teenager.
Veteran golfer Sir Bob Charles, the first New Zealander to be admitted to the World Golf Hall of Fame, won the Open Championship in 1963. In doing so he became the first ever left-handed golfer to win one of the four golfing majors.
Hospitality on the green
New Zealand’s reputation for warm hospitality - infused with the Maori cultural value of maanakitanga - extends to welcoming visitors at most clubs and generally it is an inexpensive country in which to play golf.
Green fees can be as little as NZ$20 at some courses and many have clubs and equipment for hire.
There’s also plenty to see and do after a game - from total relaxation in a spa at one of the world-renowned luxury lodges, to indulging in New Zealand’s legendary wine and food, or continuing the action with a hike or bike ride, some extreme or soft adventure, or discovering New Zealand’s unique Maori culture - the country is a dream holiday destination for golfers.