Titirangi Golf Club

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

In the making of a golf course, man and nature work in distinctive harmony. The freshness and freedom of the countryside remain but the land is also tamed by grooming, and mysteriously hanged by the aura of the game. Titirangi- the fringe of heaven- was always a glorious endowment to golf. And then, at just the right moment, it found itself stroked by a magician's wand.

Golf in New Zealand - A Centennial History, GM Kelly

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 GC 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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Customer reviews

We had a spectacular time on our trip after leaving Port Douglas and all the arrangements that you made for us came off without a hitch. All flights and transportation that you arranged were on time and we were well taken care of at all the places we went to.

The Boatshed was incredible. We met Johnathan and had a small dinner with him on our second night. We were the only guests at the hotel and he and his staff just made us feel right at home. Jack and Jen, Johnathan’s staff, took us out to a couple of wineries and we had lunch together. When we got back Johnathan treated us to dinner prepared by his own self. Fantastic.

Next up was Napier/Hastings and the Craggy Range cottage. Excellent choice for us. We were close enough to Havelock North to be able to easily drive into the town and wander around. We went and played Cape Kidnapers as well. The course was wet so no carts were allowed out. Craggy Range winery was great to us and we had dinner at Terroire. Great staff and good eats to be sure. On to Queenstown.

What a wonderfully European feel Queenstown had. Small intimate streets and people all over the place. The Spire was perfect for us. Florence greeted us and was superlative in her suggestions and ideas for us to do. We did take a plane ride out to Milford Sound and the cruise. We went wine tasting and went to Amisfield for lunch where there was a spectacular sunset. It was so good that the staff came outside to take pictures. Simply wonderful. We took the gondola ride up the hill and enjoyed a glass of champagne while we took in the view. That was our last day and really enjoyable. We left the next day and flew back home.

Again, all the arrangements you made of us came off without a hitch. I even drove on the left side of the road without incident. It’s not so bad once you figure out the roundabouts. Thanks to you and your team for setting this up. Will highly recommend this service to our friends should they need to journey down under.

—​Bob E & Sharyn B, San Francisco

Our trip was incredible. I don't think there is anything I would change- other than having even more time in New Zealand!!!

—J. McCaleb, Chicago