Hawke’s Bay is New Zealands’ Hidden Golf Gem

In recent years New Zealand has become increasingly recognised as a truly world-class golfing destination. An ever-growing list of world ranked ‘Championship’ or ‘Resort’ golf courses have been developed throughout the country over the last decade, targeting the international golf tourist. Many courses have been situated and designed to highlight the spectacular scenery and other natural wonders of the great New Zealand outdoors. But beyond the rarefied atmosphere of these expensive, and consequently exclusive, international courses, the culture and real spirit of the game of golf is deeply embedded in kiwi society. Only Scotland boasts more golf courses per head of population than New Zealand. More than 400 courses across the country means the game is very accessible and has led to golf being New Zealand’s highest participation sport. Nearly half a million kiwis over the age of 18 play the game. That’s an astonishing level of involvement for a country of only 4.5 million people. As anyone who has driven around this beautiful country will tell you, it’s seems that every town – no matter how small, has its own golf club. It’s these cornerstones of local communities that see the vast majority of golfing activity. Whether they’re used twice a week or once in a blue moon, every kiwi household seems to have a set of clubs sitting in the garage. One of the best destinations for golfers of any level is Hawke’s Bay. Loads of sunshine and a mild climate make for a great environment for golfing. Whether you’re after a championship level challenge or 9 holes of fun, the region has a course to suit you. ·         Need to hire clubs? No problem, most courses – and all that have memberships – have good quality clubs for hire. ·         Need a golf cart? Again, easily done. All membership clubs have carts available. ·         Need transport to the courses and around ‘the Bay’? Talk to Black Rose Limousine – Hawke’s Bay’s specialist small group transport providers. So for golfers of any level and dedication, here are some gems of information that may encourage you to enjoy a round at one of Hawke’s Bay’s dozens of golf courses;   Cape Kidnappers bunker playGolfing in New Zealand is cheap! The stories about the costs of playing golf in many countries are legendary. Six figure membership fees and hours spent travelling to the course. In New Zealand you can spend as little, or as much, as you like on a round of golf. In Hawke’s Bay you can pay only $10 for 9 holes at one New Zealand Golf Association sanctioned club.   Golf clubs in New Zealand are welcoming. The image of golf, worldwide, as an elitist sport only for the wealthy couldn’t be further from the truth in New Zealand. Club members come from every walk of life imaginable and are very welcoming to visitors. Around here golf’s a very inclusive sport and if they can possibly fit you onto the course they will.   Hastings Golf - autumnEven the remotest of country courses are well maintained. All through the country there are hidden gems of courses with interesting and challenging layouts waiting to be enjoyed. Volunteers at even the smallest rural golf clubs work to ensure their local courses are well kept. New Zealand farmers know how to maintain grass!   There’s a course for every level of challenge. In Hawke’s Bay you can play on a world-ranked championship course at Cape Kidnappers (World Top 20, Golf Digest magazine), a nationally ranked members’ course at Bridge Pa or one of the country’s prettiest 9 hole courses at Onga Onga. With 21 golf courses in all, Hawke’s Bay is the perfect destination for a week’s golf or just a spur-of-the-moment casual round.   And there’s more to Hawke’s Bay than great golf courses….While you’re in Hawke’s Bay, you’re in New Zealand’s original wine region. Take a tour of some of the regions wineries and see the sights with Bay Tours & Charters. Friendly, knowledgeable guides will collect you from your door and show you around this beautiful region. Just the remedy after a trying day on the golf course.   Hawke’s Bay means sunshine, wine, golf and so much more!