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

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

Can’t believe we’re on our final day - this was the trip to end all trips... Thanks as always for the help!

—Alan S., California, USA