Auckland Golf Club was founded in February 1894 and a course laid out in Greenlane.
As was the custom in the day the holes had names rather than numbers.
But it was not to last!
When it became known that Auckland Electric Tramway Co. intended to run a track through the course, the club sold the land and the Auckland Golf Club had to find a new home.
Initially the Auckland Golf Club was a men's golf club, so the Auckland Ladies Golf Club was formed to cater for the women players.
The ladies club used the same golf course as the men's club but remained a separate entity until they amalgamated in 1994.
Auckland Golf Club move to a site at One Tree Hill in 1901, but the stay was again shortlived.
In 1910 the club moved to the current site at Middlemore where the club professional Fred Hood designed the course with help from Australian golfer and architect Dan Souter.
In 1924 C.H. Redhead, a golf course architect with considerable experience of course design in England, was called on to redesign the course.
Redhead’s design incorporated bunkers with vertical banks.
1924 was also the year that the Otahuhu GC was established nearby (later to become The Grange GC)
The Club began as a nine hole course on the Otahuhu Trotting Club property in Tennessee Avenue, Mangere East.
In June 1924, a Clubhouse, fondly referred to as the “Old Iron Shed” was built at the Otahuhu Golf Club.
Otahuhu Golf Club then leased 82 acres of land known as “The Grange” on Great South Road, Papatoetoe, later buying the land.
It proved ideal land for a golf course.
Otahuhu GC formally changed it's name to The Grange GC in 1944
In 1947 The Grange GC undertook major course renovations- The new Grange course was opened on 25 March 1950.
Major alterations were also undertaken on The Royal Auckland GC in the 1970’s, under the guidance of 5 time Open champion Peter Thomson.
His proposed alterations were intended to tighten up the course for the professional player, while having little effect on the average golfer.
New bunkers were built on the 2nd and 3rd holes which encouraged greater accuracy with the longer drive.
On 14 September 2010, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II advised that henceforth the Club should be known as Royal Auckland Golf Club Incorporated.
In 2015 Royal Auckland & The Grange Golf Clubs entered into an amalgamation agreement.
The Club subsequently changed its name to Royal Auckland and Grange Golf Club Incorporated.
The overarching objective of the Amalgamation was to develop and establish the club for the long term as the premier golf club and golfing facility within the Auckland region, with
a facility comparable with the best metropolitan golf clubs in Australasia.
In achieving these objectives the new club enlisted Jack Nicklaus design to construct a 27 hole course utilising land from both the Middlemore and Grange properties.
Nicklaus Design commenced work in 2017, completing all 27 holes in 2021.
The club also boasts a brand new clubhouse designed by Andrew Patterson
Royal Auckland & Grange Golf Clubs have hosted many major events over the years.
Royal Auckland hosted the New Zealand Open nine times- 1909, 1914, 1924, 1955, 1965, 1977, 1983, 1997, 2003.
The Grange hosted The Open four times- 1970, 1986, 1995, & 2004.
There are three distinct nines at Royal Auckland & Grange Golf Club.
We played the Tamaki and Middlemore nines.
Both were beautifully manicured from tee to green, but were set in distinctly different terrains.
The Tamaki Nine
The Tamaki nine frames a number of holes with deep rough, mangroves, and impressive bunkering.
The green complexes exhibit a nice amount of movement without being excessive.
There are some great pin positions!
Notable holes include:
- hole 6, a 'rough diamond' of a par 3 over a deep watery gully, and heavy undergrowth- to a green protected by some wild bunkers
- hole 7, a brilliant par 4 where you need to choose your line of play and execute- both tee shot and approach need to carry trouble
- hole 9, a tree lined par 5 which tests accuracy- 3 strong shots need to avoid trees, bunkers and water to reach a slick green that will test your flat stick.
The Middlemore Nine
The Middlemore nine occupies a very different site.
It is flatter and tree lined.
With less elevation change on the site, the bunkering is more important and the holes are more obviously strategic.
Notable holes include:
- hole 2, is a nice par with brilliant bunkering in the foreground, and the old clubhouse at the rear. (see pic top of page)
- hole 4 is a pretty straight forward par 4 except that the green is largely obscured by a large tree left. An accurate drive down the right side of the fairway may allow a small window for the approach past the tree
- hole 5, a longer par 4 with a blind water hazard short of the green. It has a nice green complex.
- hole 7, a pretty, short par 4 with water running across the front of the angled green- which is also protected by a deep bunker positioned to catch any mishits short and right of the pin.
- hole 9, a really interesting driveable short par 4. The last 100 metres or so of the fairway are framed by a succession of bunkers both sides narrowing the gap as they approach the green. You need to be long and straight- but a birdie oportunity awaits!
Our group of travelling golfers have significant experience playing the better courses around the world.
They overwhelmingly give Royal Auckland and Grange Golf Club a big thumbs up.
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to New Zealand to suit your group.
For itinerary suggestions please see Destinations: New Zealand
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