The Takeaway: Alister MacKenzie’s only course in New Zealand, Titirangi boasts an impressive routing and some of the Good Doctor’s finest green complexes. The course isn’t overly long but the highly compelling terrain and an impressive set of par threes help make Titirangi the best course in Auckland. Grade B+
Designer: Alister MacKenzie in 1931
Cost: Private $100 NZD - $200 NZD Click for membership information
Phone Number: +64 9 827 3967 ext 2
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Titirangi Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 11 Links Rd, New Lynn, Auckland 0600 – NEW ZEALAND
Accolades: Ranked 6th in New Zealand by Golf Course Gurus
What to Expect: The only Alister MacKenzie designed course in the country of New Zealand, Titirangi enjoys the touch of a golfing god and certainly an architect that would be enshrined on the Mount Rushmore of golf designers. The Good Doctor took the rolling terrain at Titirangi and unveiled a course boasting some semi-blind shots, creative hole shapes, and incredible green complexes featuring fantastic contours, shaping, and bunkering. For those that have played other MacKenzie courses, the bunkering found from fairway to green is an instantly recognizable style that always pleases the eye while testing your game. The golf course is relatively short, how there is plenty of movement in the terrain which creates interesting shots throughout the day. In fact, on a windy day Titirangi plays much tougher than you’d think with trouble lurking around each corner; and being located near the ocean, wind is often a factor to consider. Unique to Titirangi, play is started on either hole 1 or hole 8, rather than 1 and 10 due to the the turn hole being located across the street well away from the clubhouse. Speaking of streets, the routing takes players across Golf Road four times during the round so you’ll be well trained in looking both ways before crossing by the time you go from the 16th green to the 17th tee; the final crossing. In addition to the engaging the terrain, the highlight of Titirangi is the quality level of the par threes. Each one boasts masterful bunkering and an intriguing challenge to consider which never gets old no matter how many loops you take. While the level of conditioning is often dictated by the amount of rainfall received, Titirangi stands as Auckland’s finest track and is certainly a New Zealand treasure.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 18th Hole – 384 Yard Par 4 – No test at Titirangi is complete until playing “Sunset”, the final hole at the club. A sharp dogleg left to a fairway that tilts right, players should do their best to land their tee shot just short or just right of the first fairway bunker on the left. This position offers the ideal angle to attack the green that sits well uphill on a raised surface near the base of the clubhouse. The strong back to front slope in the green begs players to keep their approach shot below the hole to avoid a knee-knocker back down the hill to the day’s pin position. This is a sporty and challenging hole to finish on, the kind that begs you to come back for more.
Best Par 3: 14th Hole – 205 Yards – One of the prominent highlights at Titirangi is the quality of the par threes. The bunkering, greensites, and variety of shots unveil the work of a master and are sure to please on each loop around the course. The final hole of Titirangi’s “Amen Corner”, the 14th boasts a green with five segments to play to which results in one of the most intriguing putting surfaces on the course. The ravine you play over and the bunkering surrounding the green add to the challenge and aesthetics, but it is your flat stick that will receive the truest test here. Put yourself on the correct tier and birdie looks good; from the wrong tier though a three-putt looms.
Best Par 4: 6th Hole – 423 Yards – The undulated terrain at Titirangi is on full display during the par four 6th where players are greeted with a slightly blind tee shot over a hill before playing a severely uphill approach shot over a gully to the green. The putting surface is flanked by a trio of bunkers and getting a ball close to the back pin location takes plenty of skill and a measure of luck considering the slope works away from the fairway. This was one of my favorite holes where shot making meets creativity.
Best Par 5: 13th Hole – 511 Yards – A hole you aren’t likely to forget at Titirangi, the par five 13th features a drive over a jungle barranca before being greeted by a tree perched in the fairway on the far side of a dry barranca. Depending on your positioning, the umbrella tree can require some creativity to avoid with your second shot while a quintuple of bunkers await with two of them short of the green and three bunkers sitting greenside defending the flag. For players that trust their short game more than their long game, laying up short and left of the green will provide an opening to the putting surface and an opportunity to attack the day’s pin location. Not a long hole, but plenty of strategy abounds on the memorable 13th.
Birdie Time: 1st Hole – 308 Yard Par 4 – The Good Doctor offers an olive branch to players right off the bat with this benign par four that is driveable for longer players. Knocking one on the green off the tee requires a ball that starts right and draws a bit to the left which will successfully avoid the bunkers in front and left of the putting surface. Laying up still yields a great chance for par if players place their ball on the right half of the fairway to open up the ideal angle into the green which is more than double as long as it is wide. Get aggressive with any pin in the right half of the putting surface and start your round off under par.
Bogey Beware: 12th Hole – 454 Yard Par 4 – Taking on the club’s namesake, the 12th hole known as Titirangi is the course’s finest test. The lengthy two-shotter bends slightly from right to left with the tilt in the fairway assuming the same characteristic. Staying up the right side of the fairway, without bringing the tree line into play, will avoid the bunker on the left side and offer the best angle into the green. The overgrowth of trees encroaching from the right pinches the entry to the putting surface while finishing in the greenside bunker on the left leaves some precarious sand save situations. It is going to take two high quality shots to find this green in regulation, so now is the time to display your merit.