The ball is currently lying in the rough for Chamberlain Park golfers after Auckland Council voted to step towards giving redevelopment plans the all clear.
The council's Environment and Community Committee voted 13 to seven in favour of commissioning a detailed business case for the near-$30-million project.
The Albert-Eden Local Board hopes to reduce the 18-hole golf course to nine holes and use the extra land as a park with walking, cycling and sporting facilities.
But, despite taking a step towards the redevelopment, the green light has not been given to the local board.
The indicative business case was read yesterday and passed, meaning the go-ahead was given for a detailed business case to be undertaken.
Officials predict the business case will be completed in the 2020/21 financial year, then, and only then, would the green light be given for redevelopment.
Geoff Senescall, chairman of Save Chamberlain Park (SCP), the group opposed to the changes, said they were disappointed but not surprised by yesterday's outcome.
"Councillors felt obliged to support each other's One Local Initiative so the result was always going to be compromised," he said.
"We plan to publish the results on our website of who voted against this expenditure and who voted for it.
"Our focus has always been on fighting this at the ballot box, with elections coming up in October we will be fully focused on ensuring that there is change."
Chair of the Albert-Eden Local Board, Peter Haynes, said his board, and the neighbouring Waitematā local board, had the biggest shortage of playing fields per heads of population of any boards in the city.
"Independent studies say it, the council's numbers say it, and sports organisations say it," he said.
"I got a call from the president of a large sports club not so long ago. They've been paying $50,000 a year to schools to use their sports fields, but recently they've been outbid by touch rugby.
"Where can they play? He was absolutely desperate. Clubs can't increase their junior sport, so people have to go further afield."
Redevelopments scheduled to start earlier this year were scrapped following a judicial review which challenged the council's resource consent.
SCP lodged the review in December after the council granted itself resource consent.
In February, the council said it decided to surrender the consent and began a new consent application process.
Meanwhile, in an agenda published online before the committee meeting, officials said the decision would attract more legal challenges.
However, the agenda said the challenges could be minimised by "transparent and robust decision-making".
The report said a preliminary assessment found that population growth in the board area would lead to demands for more sport and recreation facilities.
Investment in the park plan would deliver "community benefits comparable to the capital and operational investment required".
Developments of Chamberlain Park to be covered in the detailed business case:
• Development of a 3.6-hectare neighbourhood park with play area;
• Shared walking and cycling paths and connections;
• The restoration of Meola/Watītikō Creek;
• Creation of two artificial fields;
• And a reconfigured nine-hole golf course with a driving range and practice facilities.