overshadowed by the ultra-luxurious (and ultra-private) Tara Iti, the Mangawhai Golf Club
is consistently regarded as one of the country's best local courses to play for seaside golf. It does not have the budget of Tara Iti, but that is not really fair to compare the two. Located less than a km from the ocean, Mangawhai was fully completed in the 90's to 18 holes and boasts undulating fairways that make their way to the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park.
What Mangawhai lacks in length to modern tracks it makes up in difficulty. Low scores do not stem from power as much as a need for striking ability and finesse. Fairways range from generous to narrow and the course has nice views of coast, countryside and wetlands. Original architect Harry Dale built on top of a sand base so the grounds do well drying after rain- no matter the time of year.
Until the massive capital which has poured into the modern day super-luxury courses Mangawhai GC was renown throughout the country as a tough track... and it still is! This is evident immediately within a round as players take to the box on the second hole. The 423 yard par-4 2nd hole is the most difficult as it doglegs to the right and is flanked by both marshland (on the left) and dunes (on the right). The reward of an accurate tee shot is short-lived as the approach is to an elevated green. Whether that the flag is in the front or more hidden toward the back will determine club selection. Many fail to remain aggressive to this green and suffer as a result.
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