Built on rolling terrain on the west coast of the North Island, New Plymouth Golf Club – or Ngamotu – is centred in one of the country’s “must visit” destinations.
Ngamotu means “the islands” in Maori and that should be the first hint that this course interacts with the sea. Several holes afford water views including the main offshore islands of Motoroa and Motumahanga. The green at the short par-3 14th is just 50 metres from the Tasman Sea’s high tide.
The par-71 layout at New Plymouth, which celebrates its 105th anniversary this year, has hosted four New Zealand Opens. It will take you through a journey that incorporates both sea and mountain views along with one of the strongest collection of par 3s in the country, with each facing a different direction of the compass.
The par-3 ninth hole, named Whitiora, is a personal favourite especially when the Pohutukawas, prominently positioned around the course, are in full bloom. This hole demands an accurate tee shot to an elevated, well-protected green.
While the sea provides a superb sensory experience on several holes, it is the conical Mount Taranaki, at more than 2,300 metres, that creates the most dramatic backdrops on the course. Considered one of the most symmetrical volcanic cones in the world, it was the backdrop for the Tom Cruise film ‘The Last Samurai’ due to its striking resemblance to Mount Fuji in Japan. Holes 5, 6, 7, 9, 13 and 17 afford the best views of the mountain, and on a clear day it makes for one of the most unique golf course photos to be found in New Zealand.
New Plymouth Golf Club
24 Golf Course Lane, Bell Block, New Plymouth