When the members of Manukua Golf Club decided to sell their modest course to developers they acquired farming land in Ardmore, half an hour south of Auckland for the purpose of building a replacement course.
Brett Thomson from RBT Design was appointed as golf architect, and with help from former tour pro Phil Taturangi, Thomson took six years to develop what was essentially flat farming land into a championship links style course. Previously Thomson had assisted John Darby Design in the building of The Hills and Jack's Point near Queenstown- so he had an impressive pedigree.
The course opened in September 2016, and hit the ground running- hosting an LPGA event in 2017- the 2017 McKayson NZ Women's Open
Nestled around valleys and hills set on farmland, it was noticble on entry that the land must of been dead flat before the course was built (potentially in flood plains!). But, arriving as we did after 80mm of rain in a month, the course showed no signs of flooding. It reminded me of the flat farmlards in the Yarra Valley surrounded by the hills.
I wasn't able to play the course, but managed to walk around and see most of the holes.
The designer Brett Thomson has done an impressive job to make the course interesting by importing soil to create ragged dunes between each hole, therefore separating them a bit. His green complexes are also a highlight, and his use of ponds, wetlands and burns to augment what is essentially a links style course. Although there are some holes which run parallel, the designer has done well to mask this by variation in the hole design: no hole is alike.
However the lack of movement in the terrain means the dunes can sometimes look a little out of place compared to the surroundings- as there is virtually no movement in the fairways.
It is however a lovely setting, and the course it definelty worth travelling to play.
It is in tip top condition, has well designed holes suitable for all level of golfers and has some unique and memorable holes as well..
Suffice to say that no golfing trip to Auckland would be complete with a game at Windross Farm
Report by Rory Wood
The Travelling Golfer
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to New Zealand to suit your group. For itinerary suggestions please see Destinations: New Zealand
For further information please enquire here: