Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club

Recognized as a New Zealand golfing treasure this fabled statesmen is a top course thanks to its challenging and thoughtful true links layout

“I loved it instantly. We had nothing like it in Australia, which must have struck Alex Russell, who did the layout. Course designing approaches an art form, especially done in a perfect modelling medium like volcanic sand. Russell must have been ecstatic.
What was left after his departure was a gem of enjoyment, a monument to the game and a gift to the future. When we all turn to dust, “Paraparaumu” the golf, should be still lying there as it was when the first golfers came by, with Kapiti an off-shore island standing guard to see that no one steals it away. And the winds will ever blow to test the golfer’s will and integrity. Paraparaumu will be famed for a century yet.

- Peter Thomson (5 Time British Open Champion)

Perhaps the spiritual home of New Zealand golf since its inception in the early 1950s, The Paraparaumu Beach GC ("Parapar'm" or "Pram" to the locals) is located on the Kapiti coast about 40 miles north of Wellington. This is one of the finest links courses in the world and one of the last from the sport's Golden Age of design.

Designed by Sir Alex Russell, Australian partner to Alister MacKenzie and architect of Royal Melbourne East, Parapara'm has been rated one of the top 100 courses in the world by Golf Magazine for the same qualities of the legendary Scottish courses. Links in style and complete with rolling greens, pot bunkers, and greens cut directly into dunes, the actual location of the course is set back from the beach a few hundred feet. However wind remains a factor in club selection and will ensure players think prior to attacking the pin.

The course plays at 6577 yards and carries a 72.4 rating and a slope of 125. This course is beautiful, challenging and thought provoking.

You will not find a more kind or welcoming club membership. From the club professional Leo Barber to his staff and local members who play the course from around New Zealand- a visit here is special for both the shared love of golf and these special grounds.

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Signature Holes:

5th: Par-3 with an approach to an island green with sides so severe it looks like it floats above the nearby undulations.

11th: Par-4 with a daunting approach shot to the green for shot shaping. A pull to the left relegates the ball to out of bounds while a single bunker to the right hardly serves as a bailout.

13th: Par-4 with a great background of the Tararua mountains range (the name of the hole as well). ‘Russell’s Ravine’ should be avoided at all costs. Short approaches will be swallowed and, although the hole does not have a single bunker, getting up and down from that area is nearly impossible.

17th: This par-4 features a split fairway that demands accuracy not only off the tee but on the approach as well, thanks to dual bunkers which guard the green.

18th: At 547 yards this hole is not a long par-5, however with water on the right side and a myriad of bunkers, it is not easy. It's pretty fun to look at the green complex from the plaque which designates where Grant Waite scored a double-eagle in 1992 via a 2-iron.

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While tall dunes make for postcard holes, random humps and bumps in the two to five foot range are what make for great golf- and that's what Paraparaumu enjoys in spades.

- Vol. 5, The Confidential Guide to Golf

Customer reviews

It was a trip of a lifetime with truly unique beauty not found anywhere else. A New Zealand trip requires a specialist who knows the lay of the land the unique challenges of traveling and sight-seeing there.

The country looks a lot smaller than it really is, and travel times are longer than one can assume.

The route chosen by Cristina helped us maximize our time there. I’m usually a do it yourself traveler, but for this trip I’m sure glad I had Cristina at Best of New Zealand.

—Dawn P., Highland Ranch, CO

I thank you for our wonderful trip to NZ. You and Bill are special people, and we look forward to keeping you as extended family! You are certainly welcome back anytime, and we will look forward to seeing your wonderful family if/when we get out to LA-- maybe Clippers in the playoffs? Blessings to your family.

I will get with Debi, and see which pictures make us look the youngest! If you need any "references or testimonials" that I could share, just let me know how I can help.

—Carlan and Deb Y., Oklahoma City