Hole #10 Nikau Palm
Par 4, length 291m men 291m ladies Stroke 13 men, 11 ladies
Another short par 4 with a risk/reward decision. Hit your tee shot high over the Kanuka with a slight left-to-right shape and you could be very close to ending up on the green. But a slight miscalculation might result in an out of bounds to the right, or a shot from behind trees close to the 12th fairway. The safer play is a fairway wood or iron of about 175 metres leaving a short iron in. If you go too far right you might hit the big cabbage tree which is a short distance off the tee.
The trunk of the cabbage tree is so fire-resistant that early European settlers used it to make chimneys for their huts. Conveniently, too, the leaves made fine kindling. They also brewed beer from the root. Maori used cabbage trees as a food, fibre and medicine. The leaves were woven into baskets, sandals, rope, rain capes and other items.
Hole #11 Cabbage Tree
Par 5, Length 470m men 440m ladies Stroke 11 men, 1 ladies
The longest par 5 on the course – it will take two very straight and long shots to get on this green in two. It is narrower than it appears, especially if you are tending away from the out of bounds that is all along the right-hand side. On your last shot to the green, avoid the left hand side, as shots there will often roll off the green to the left. Should be an easy par 5 if you can hit it straight!
Notice the large Kauri stump next to the tee box. It was dug up by the members who built the second nine. In the spring, you may hear a strange sound emanating from the stump. It is the sound of Kingfisher chicks whose nest is within the stump. Keep an eye out for the parents – they are about the size of a robin and are very beautiful blue/green.
Hole #12 Kingfisher
Par 3, Length 173m men 136m ladies Stroke 4 men, 13 ladies
No question that most agree this is the toughest par 3 on the course. Some maintain it is the toughest hole period. Obviously avoid out of bounds right. But be careful of a shot long left – it can easily go OOB as well. A high, softly-landing shot just over the sand trap is in order – easier said than done.
One or more Pukeko are often seen on 13 and nearby holes. Make a sandy and you too can strut like the Pukeko!
Hole #13 Pukeko
Par 4, Length 364m men 309m ladies Stroke 2 men, 7 ladies
A challenging par four dogleg to the right. Out of bounds to the right and lateral hazard to the left. Be careful not to hit a big drive straight or slightly left as you could end up in the hazard. The large green has a few subtle breaks. Make a birdie, and unless you are scratch, you will pick up 4 or more stableford points.
This corner of the course is home to a number of very large Kahikatea. The Kahikatea is the tallest tree in New Zealand. A grove of them is behind the tee box in the bike park; a great specimen is near the ladies tee, and more are to the right about 180 m from the tee. In years gone by, the Kahikatea were timbered for their unusual wood which was used to make the butter boxes for overseas shipments. As you walk to your drive, look up the hill on the right and you can spot the tops of some nice mature Kauri trees.
Hole #14 Kahikatea
Par 3 Length 170m men 119m ladies Stroke 10 men, 17 ladies
A most beautiful setting for this par three as the green is set in an amphitheatre of native bush, including 4 more Kahikatea. The elevated green is quite receptive to a softly landing shot. Avoid going right or long as both will be out of bounds. The front half of the green breaks sharply to the front – be careful not to putt it off the green!
As you exit this hole take the pathway through the bush to the next tee. On a hot day it is a shady and cooler route. On any day the beauty of the natural bush surrounds you. A large number of native ferns, bushes and trees line this pathway. Listen for the golden tones of a bellbird, or perhaps it’s a tui imitating the bellbird. Near to the 16th teebox is a rare King Fern.
Hole #15 Nature Pathway
Par 4, Length 369m men 313m ladies Stroke 3 men, 9 ladies
A strong par four demanding a good drive in the left centre of the fairway. If you hit a wild drive to the right you may get lucky and clear the creek to end up on the seventh fairway. You will have an interesting shot back to 16! It is best to avoid the small grove of trees on a raised plateau in front of the right side of the green, as it is a water hazard.
The Tui are plentiful around our golf course, especially in the spring when they search out nectar from various plants. Tui have a wonderful ability to mimic other birds, and even humans.
Hole #16 Tui
Par 5, Length 444m men, 394m ladies Stroke 6 men, 3 ladies
A challenging par 5 with plenty of trouble to avoid. An ideal tee shot is straight away avoiding the lateral hazard on the left and the trees separating 8 from 9. Then clear the creek on your second shot leaving a short iron or pitch to this large green. You will be much better off leaving your last shot to the green below the hole!
Harakeke was the name given to the flax plant by Maori. The first European traders called it “flax” because its fibres were similar to that of true flax found in other parts of the world. Though we still call it flax today, harakeke is really a lily. It is unique to New Zealand and is one of our oldest plant species. The large flax plant next to the 8th. tee box also offers good cover for the occasional Eel.
Hole #17 Kauri
Par 4, Length 344m men, 324m ladies Stroke 7 men, 5 ladies
Our shortest par three. An easy iron from an elevated tee to a large, receptive green. This is your best chance for a birdie 2 on the course. Hit it straight as there is out of bounds on the left and a grove of native trees on the right.
The grove of trees protecting the front right of the green, contains many fine natives, including, three Golden Totara, Kauri, Puriri and Lemonwood.
Hole #18 Pohutakawa
Par 3, Length 135m men 135m ladies Stroke 15 men, 15 ladies
The thing to watch on this straightforward par three is placing your shot on the correct side of the green. A sizable ridge running front to back divides the green into two plateaus. Be careful not to hit it long or you will end up in the creek or in the flax.
As you cross the creek to the next tee, look for the pair of beautiful Nikau palms that are between the 11th and 8th tee boxes. The Nikau is the southernmost palm tree in the world. It is very slow-growing. Research conducted in lowland forests near Auckland found it takes 40–50 years to begin to form a trunk and about 200 years to reach 10 metres tall. On average two fronds are shed per year leaving behind a leaf scar on the trunk which can be used to give a rough indication of age since the trunk began forming.