Titirangi Golf Club

A true point of pride for New Zealand golf this Alister MacKenzie designed gem remains a great course to play today

Designed by the legendary Dr. Allister MacKenzie when he was visited the country in the mid-1920's, Titirangi is one of the older clubs in New Zealand. It's design came prior to Royal Melbourne and Augusta, and although the course has undergone some modernization in recent years the spirit of MacKenzie's signature bunkering and his use of the terrain still makes this course one of the best to play.

Technology post-WW2 resulted in golf courses which were shaped rather than needing to be designed taking into account the undulations of the natural terrain. The genius of MacKenzie was his 'naturalism' and it lends both charm to the design of Titirangi and players will appreciate this course as a living art form.

Located a short distance from downtown Auckland this is a true shot maker's course. Striking the ball cleanly is key, as this often described “brutally strategic” course has greens that are well-protected.

In 1997 Chris Pitman undertook a major restoration to help of bring back the original character of the course. MacKenzie's original design had very few mature trees and the bounce of turf at the time of his summer visit would have been accounted for in its design. A farmer's road that cut through the land was deemed too expensive to purchase at the time and has since become a larger thoroughfare. However the general layout is close to that originally envisioned and additional work continues- mostly relating to adjusting size and spacing of bunkers for power provided via modern equipment.

Chris Pitman, architect for redesign: “Like MacKenzie, I believe a golf course should be a rendezvous with nature. If possible, you leave the land just the way it is and build holes as nature intended.” The results speak for themselves as this course demands strategy and striking ability rather than brute force and length.

Play Info and Signature Holes

Those who revere MacKenzie designs will mark to the par-3s at Titirangi as those to pay most attention to when appreciating his genius. However, the back-to-back par-5 thirteenth and par-3 fourteenth together are an example of the accuracy demanded to master this course.

13th: Imagine having a great front 9 and thoughts which creep into your mind that you may close out the round on a tear. As you approach the 13th tee box you then notice the name of the hole is "The Wrecker".

The Wrecker!? Still feeling as confident?

This second par-5 plays only 488 yards but nevertheless can intimidate even the best players. "The Wrecker" begins with a partially blind drive to an elevated landing zone. The ball must carry a gully of native bush. As mentioned above, this hole is a perfect example of why power is less important than accuracy at Titirangi. A powerful drive will relegate big-hitters to laying up with a short iron, as a tree in the middle of the fairway obstructs lower-trajectory to the green. However, a drive with the correct distance will set up a player for a long-iron, over said tree, to the green. 

Traps exist to the sides and front of a long green which slopes back-to-front. Using them in your favor may help avoid the dense native bush which surrounds the putting surface.


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Tip: 

Black Tee Open Days: Held on the last Friday of most months. These days offer the more accomplished player an opportunity to play from the Championship Tees atnd reduced greens fees.

MacKenzie Challenge: In your round, pay special attention to the four of the par-3s on this course. If you are able to obtain par on all of them you will receive a lapel for the accomplishment.

Carts: This is a walking course and there are only 8 motorized carts available. Making a reservation is recommended.

Customer reviews

Highlights Of The Trip: Getting off the plane in Queenstown – overwhelmed with the beauty. The boat ride in Queenstown to experience the expansiveness.

The drive from Queenstown to Franz Joseph - the mountains and glacier lakes that went on forever. Our lunch spot that day at a campsite on a lake. Abel Tasman: this is where I want to return and spend a week to hike the entire trail. Spent the day biking in Napier to wineries.

—Mary Jean Seyda, Chapel Hill, NC

We have returned from our trip to New Zealand, which went very well. I want to thank you for your expert help in planning the trip according to our interests. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time and loved the beauty of the South Island.... many thank you's for your able assistance in tailoring the perfect trip for us.

—Karen F., Moraga, CA