It's been around for more than 130 years and has been a landmark on the sixth tee at Whangarei's Denby Golf Course, but the risk of it toppling means the course's famous "Victory Pine" has finally had to come down.

The Norfolk pine had been a feature at the golf course for at least that time, club member Jac Cleary said, and while it would be sad to see the distinctive tree go, it was for the best.

"It has to happen. It's just become unsafe, unfortunately, and there's nothing else that can be done," Mr Cleary said.

He said the historic tree was called the Victory Pine because it was perfect V, after, rumour has it, it was hit by lightning when young and spilt into two.


Due to recent high winds, the course was closed on Tuesday because the split pine's two branches became a health and safety concern, the club said.

Both branches were at such a bend, they could snap off at any time and professional advice was to cut the tree down, with the job done on Thursday.

"Teeing off at the sixth hole won't be quite the same again, it's been such a big part of that hole," Mr Cleary said.

"It's going to be different, but it had to go."

Denby's sixth hole, and its famous split pine, had featured in some top golfing books over the years.