Vandals are being blamed for attacking the putting greens of the Wairakei International Golf Course, forcing its closure till spring.
According to the club's website it was voted as the best in the country following a survey by Golf Update in 2010.
In a press release, the celebrated 18-hole course said the damage was significantly impacting the condition of playing surfaces.
The damage started to become apparent during Easter weekend.
"Extensive soil and foliar tests conducted by the NZ Turf Institute have returned clear results," Wairakei International Golf Course said.
"We are awaiting further turf analysis tests but have been advised that the cause of the damage is due to the inadvertent application of a herbicide.
"We suspect that the introduction of this substance was intentionally done so by a third party."
The owner and staff are said to be devastated by what has occurred on their course.
The condition of the course is not expected to be healthy again until spring, forcing the club to reduce the green fee to $100 per player.
Found off the Thermal Explorer Highway, north of Taupo, the green fees for a registered New Zealand golfer is usually $165.
Set midway between Auckland and Wellington, the course was built by the New Zealand Government and officially opened in 1970.