Home to 12 New Zealand Opens, Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club is located 45 minutes’ drive north of Wellington. 

This links course is regarded by many as one of the southern hemisphere’s best links courses with its undulating dunes, pot bunkers and unforgiving grass tussocks.

 

Paraparaumu Beach GC 1

Great links course bunkers

The course was designed in 1949 by former Australian Open champion Alex Russell, the highly acclaimed course architect and onetime partner of Dr Alister MacKenzie.  The 2001 edition of Golf World rated Paraparaumu Beach 95th in the world and in 2014 it was rated 63 in the Planet Golf World Top 100.  I don’t think the course was quite as good as that - it is a great course but the condition of the fairways was not up to world class standard.  I had just come from playing Kinloch and visited Cape Kidnappers which both had fabulous fairways.

The backdrop of the majestic mountains makes many of the holes very pretty and when snow-capped in winter would be special.  The 16th hole par 3 has been mentioned as closely related to the famous Postage Stamp at Royal Troon but I found very little resemblance.  The split fairway par 4, 404 metre 17th, gives you the conundrum whether to play the shorter route and hit the second 'cross green' and over bunkers - or to take the high road for the safer second shot.

 

Paraparaumu Beach GC 2

Undulating terrain with majestic mountain backdrop

Paraparaumu has a course length of 6,014 metres off the black tees and 5,916 metres off the blue tees.  Both black and blue have a par of 71 and a slope rating of 125, indicating that the course is not too difficult.  The white, yellow and red tees have pars of 71, 73, 71 and distances (and slopes) of 5,485m (120), 5,188m (116) and 4,714m (112).

 

Paraparaumu Beach GC 3

Unforgiving grass in the rough although most is not too bad!

 

The social golfer should not be intimidated by the course’s reputation!

With sensible play and nice iron shots you will get just reward on this tough but fair examination of your golf.

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