Full name of the club:
Waipu Golf Club Inc
Physical address of the club: 3229 State Highway 1, Waipu
Brief history of the club: The Waipu Golf Club was founded in 1934 with golf initially played on three different farms in the Waipu area. The Club was eventually located to its present site on the shores of beautiful Bream Bay on June 6 1966.
Originally a 9 hole layout, the second nine was opened in 1978 with the local rules being one club-length place and using a tee on the fairways as there was very little grass present at the time. In February 2014 a new 17th hole was brought into play which led to the present layout.
The Waipu Golf Club is built on the enthusiasm and hardwork of generations of volunteers, but some that stand out are Duncan McKay who founded the Club in 1934, and Sir Donald McKay, who in the early 1960s was instrumental in battling the red tape of the time and securing the Crown Land that became the Golf Course. The Course designer was HG Babbage who also designed the Muriwai layout. Alan Finlayson, who was President from 1964-67, envisaged and promoted the Course as we know it today.
Course description: The course is a New Zealand links course set behind the dunes of beautiful Bream Bay. There are sea views from all 18 holes, 19 when you include the covered deck outside the café.
Being sand based and dry underfoot, it has some of the best winter fairways in the country. The fairways are predominantly Kikuyu grass and the gently undulating terrain gives a true links experience.
The Course is set up with purple tees for beginners and young golfers just starting out, right up to black tees which test even the longest hitters and are used for the Bream Bay Classic Tournament (a New Zealand Order of Merit event), held at the start of July.
The greens are sand based and run true and consistently, but with the slopes and swales you would expect from a links layout so hopefully the greenkeeper has been kind with his pin placements when you play.
The feature hole is the par 3 17th. A very picturesque hole - it has similarities to the 12th at Augusta. Only 151m in length from an elevated tee, protected by two bunkers at the front, three bunkers on the left and a huge drop off on the right. The green slopes away to the drop off with many a bunker shot and even a few putts ending up down that drop off. Walk off there with a par and you're more than happy.
Best feature of the course: Most of the holes could be described as signature holes but number 13 probably stands out .
It is a par three playing from an elevated tee which is the highest point on the course and gives spectacular views of Bream Bay and the Whangarei Heads . You play across a dip to an elevated green which is protected by Norfolk pines on the right hand side and which slopes back to front and right to left so getting on the green is only half the fun. Being elevated it catches its fair share of the wind, so it is helpful if you can shape your tee shot.
Course would best suit what type of player:
Accessibility and availability of tee times are some of Waipu's best assets. Only an hour and a quarter from the Puhoi tunnel and accessed from State Highway One, Waipu is getting more and more players from the Northshore of Auckland. They carpool and find they can travel, have a great game and relax afterwards, and then drive home in the same time it takes to play a round in Auckland.
Cost of membership: Full Playing Membership is $739 this year. There is also Associate Memberships, 9 hole, Juniors, Under 25's, pay as you play, Family and Social Memberships available.
Cost of green fees: NZ Player and International Guest $45, Non Affiliated to NZ Club $55, Reciprocal Clubs in local area $25, Special Thursday deal (but not over the Holiday Period) $18 for 18 holes or $9 for 9 holes.