In our series looking at some of the best places to play golf if you are staying at one of our seven hotels around New Zealand, we move to Rotorua. Rotorua is not as well known for its golf courses as it is for the geothermal attractions and adventures activities in the city but who says you can’t combine the two?! Rotorua has a range of golf courses to suit all levels from the Rotorua Golf Club which is ranked as one of the top courses in the North Island to a number of 9 hole courses which are great for beginners or those looking for a shorter round than the 4-5 hours it can take to play 18 holes. For our review, we wanted to include the very best 18 hole golf courses in Rotorua and around and so our top five also features two courses from nearby Taupo which is around an hour’s drive from Rotorua – we think the drive is worth it if you are a keen golfer looking to play the best of New Zealand’s courses.
These are our top 5 golf courses in Rotorua and around.
1. Rotorua Golf Club (Arikikapakapa)
Come and play on one of New Zealand’s leading golf courses situated in picturesque Whakarewarewa, Rotorua. Arikikapakapa is a full 18 hole, par 70 course providing variety and challenge with many holes played over and around both dormant and active thermal areas. This is an all-weather links-style course with easy walking and an excellent golfing layout. This is a unique experience and the opportunity to play golf in New Zealand’s premier visitor destination. Combine a geothermal experience with a great round of golf.
Visitors are welcome at the Rotorua Golf Club and the club has excellent facilities for members and guests.
Find out more: http://rotoruagolfclub.kiwi.nz/
2. Springfield Golf Club
Springfield is a course with a reputation for rewarding enterprising play and a club where everyone is welcome. Set in park-like surroundings, there are many tree-lined fairways with strategically placed greens that offer golfers of all abilities the opportunity to roll in their personal best score. Springfield is the course where former world amateur number one Danny Lee developed the game which now has him playing on the US PGA Tour alongside golfers like Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy.
The course has played host to some of New Zealand biggest tournaments over the years including the NZGA Men’s Amateur Championship, NZ Junior Boys, NZ Maori Tournament, NZ Ladies Amateur plus The Tower Inter-provincials. It is a great challenge for any golfer and highly recommended.
Find out more: http://www.springfieldgolf.co.nz/
3. Lakeview Golf Club
This unique 18 hole par 72 course is just a short drive from the Rotorua CBD, 3 minutes’ drive North of the Agrodome. The course has undulating fairways and challenging greens. Lakeview is 1,000 feet above sea level which provides spectacular views overlooking Lake Rotorua, Mokoia Island and the surrounding hills. Hazards include bunkers and bush clad gorges. The peace and tranquillity of Lakeview and the sounds and antics of native birds such as the Tui, Bellbird, Fantail and Kereru add to make this a unique golf course.
Another of Rotorua’s golf clubs that welcome visitors, this is a beautiful parkland golf course that is a good challenge for all levels.
Find out more: http://lakeviewgolf.co.nz/
4. Wairakei International Golf Course + Sanctuary
Many find sanctuary on a golf course but it is rare to find a golf course that is a sanctuary, New Zealand’s Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary is thought to have scored a world first! The ecological restoration is the first of its kind in New Zealand and was prompted by golf course owner Gary Lane’s desire to create a unique environment where golf and the natural habitat work in harmony.
Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary is situated in the Wairakei Tourist Park which is an extraordinary geothermal area just north of Taupo township. Cultural experiences, bubbling mud and hot pools are a major attraction for visitors to the Taupo region, and Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary is one of the most popular golfing destinations in New Zealand.
Add to this the fact that Wairakei consistently ranks in the top 5 golf courses in New Zealand and this makes it an awesome place to come and well worth the hour long drive from Rotorua.
Find out more: http://www.wairakeigolfcourse.co.nz/
5. The Kinloch Club
Golf at the Jack Nicklaus designed The Kinloch Club is often compared to the classic link courses in Scotland and Ireland. However, instead of traditional sea views, this world-class championship Par 72 course is positioned between panoramic views of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest fresh-water lake, and the natural beauty of rugged rural farmland. Ranked as New Zealand’s number one golf course in 2014 by a select team of New Zealand Golf Professionals the Kinloch Club is also rated 76th of the top 100 golf courses outside of America by Golf Digest Magazine.
The only Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course to be built in New Zealand, Kinloch showcases a design philosophy that aims to enhance the natural environment – allowing the surroundings of the stunning Taupo region to shape each hole.
This is one of New Zealand’s best, if not the best golf courses and well worth the drive from Rotorua for golf enthusiasts.
Find out more: http://www.thekinlochclub.com/
So that’s our top 5 golf courses in Rotorua and around. If you want to keep things local, there are three high quality courses on your doorstep but if you don’t mind the drive (which is a stunner) then there are two world class golf courses within an hour of Rotorua giving you plenty of options for your next golf weekend away.