Royal Auckland Golf Club is a reciprocal with our home club, Commonwealth, so we decided to reluctantly leave the Bay of Islands a day early and to play there. The fairways had been recently sanded but were still satisfactory as were the greens. I suspect they suffer here from a lack of space. From the white tees the course measures just 5740 metres with the back nine being particularly short.
My immediate impression was that there are very few memorable holes and, with the possible exception of the 7th, none of the three par 3's have any great merit. Notwithstanding all this, Royal Auckland is enjoyable to play in a relaxed environment. The 4th and 5th require precise shots to the green as does the 7th, the only par 3 on the outward nine. After you carry the lake you then have to ensure you finish on the correct level of the steeply two-tiered green.
The short par , 11th has danger along the right with a deep hollow just short of the green. The 14th is made longer by the grassy hollow in front of the green which you aren't aware of playing the course for the first time. I thought the par 4, 16th was the best hole. A slight fade is needed from the tee so you can play into the green without being blocked by the large tree on the left and just short of the green. Although this hole is a mere 334 metres it is rated index 4. Having hit the said tree and finishing in the nearby bunker I can see why it can prove difficult.
The 18th bends slightly right and finishes close by the patio in front of the attractive clubhouse. We played in mid afternoon and then enjoyed a lovely evening meal. As we were staying nearby we also had breakfast at the club before catching our flight back to Melbourne.
In summary, Royal Auckland is not overly challenging but it is a lovely venue for an enjoyable days golf with your partner.
There are a number of courses in the North Island that time did not allow us to play. If you are embarking on a golfing holiday then some of the other courses you might consider are Paraparaumu Beach, Manawatu, Hastings, Napier, Hamilton and of course the Alister MacKenzie inspired Titirangi.
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