The Otago Golf Club

A piece of New Zealand golfing history since 1871, this course, referred to as “Balmacewan” is one of the oldest in the Southern hemisphere

The Otago Golf Club was established in 1871 and is hailed by some as New Zealand’s oldest, as well as being one of the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere.

This is partially correct, as the heavy Scottish heritage in this area did establish a club in 1871 only to see membership falter and resurrect one year (1892) after Christchurch had re-established its own club in 1891.

In either case Balmacewen (BALM-a-Que-En... as it is referred to by the locals) is a historic course. Golfing legends like Gene Sarazan, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player have graced its fairways. Markers on the course provide locations where approaches were made and tournaments won and lost. The course has hosted the New Zealand Open seven times- the first in 1908 and the last being in 1971, which was won by the great Peter Thompson.

Bordered on one side by native bush and on the other by Dunedin’s raised suburbs, the club has views of the city, the Otago Peninsula and the hills of Mt Cargill and Flagstaff. It's a unique blend of links and parkland golf in a beautiful setting. With a fantastic staff and welcoming membership golf's shared passion is palatable here!

Customer reviews

Frank and the Best of NZ team were exceptional in their planning support and execution of our trip to NZ North Island. We gave them the parameters - dates and golf courses we wanted to play and the pacing we wanted for the trip in terms of days in each region - and they produced an absolutely amazing trip for us. All of the arrangements were flawlessly executed and we sailed through the trip effortlessly. their expert advice - how much driving vs. in country driving would be ideal for us to maximize our experience, the excursion to Cape Reinga which was amazing, having our dinner prepared the first night after a long day getting to Bay of Islands was perfect and the selection of accommodations in Hawke's Bay was brilliant.

We will never forget the spectacular views from Kauri Cliffs golf course, the jet boat rides in Taupo, cycling through the vineyards in Hawke's bay and ending up sipping chardonnay with lunch at Clearview winery, the splendor of playing golf among the birds and grounds at Wairakei, and ofcourse the spellbinding course at Cape Kidnappers. We could tell Best of NZ have strong relationships in NZ because the people we encountered in NZ as our guides/hosts reflected just that - professional and friendly. NZ was an amazing, epic experience for us and we could not have asked for better support and execution from Best of NZ/Frank and his team. We cant wait to go back, this time to the South Island!!!!

Thanks again Frank, YOU are the Best and the Best of NZ is truly the BEST!!

—Peter & Karen S., San Diego, CA

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