A unique geothermal golfing experience. Enjoy playing a unique thermal course in the heart of New Zealand’s premier visitor destination.
We have a fully equipped professional golf shop with club, trundler and electric cart hire. The Rotorua (New Zealand) Golf Club is close to major Rotorua hotels and motels, and right next door to the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and Te Puia. Visitors are welcome. You can reserve your tee-time, and after your golf round take advantage of our club’s fully licenced bar, restaurant, changing room and showers (not necessarily in that order).
There are a variety of features that make this course particularly special and are worthy of mention. The geothermal uniqueness of this Rotorua golf course has earned it an international reputation, not to be missed on your golf NZ tour. There are a number of bubbling mud pools and steam vents that are to be avoided, especially to the left of the 9th green and a strange sulphur mound to the right of that green.
A monster of a geothermal crater guards the left of the spectacular 14th hole – descent into which is not advised! The pumice ground of this course allows for rapid drainage after rain, so we are very rarely deprived of play and greens recover in a few minutes after rainstorms.
Holes number 14, 15 and 16 are played across or alongside a lake, and apart from the added danger of water, the sight on a chilly winter’s morning of steam rising from the lake is something to behold. There is absolutely no substitute for accuracy on these three holes, known as Amen corner by locals, where so many matches are won or lost by the smallest or errors- they are classic risk and reward holes, so keep your head down.
Holes 3, 4 and 5 play across a warm water stream that seems to attract a lot of stray golf balls, and that reinforces the view that accuracy is much more important than length on most holes on this course. Holes 6, 9, 14 and 17 are testing par threes and danger lurks everywhere except on the greens- so beware!! The ninth has featured on a New Zealand postage stamp and has been written about by golf writers from around the world – the punishment for missing the green is terrible indeed. The 14th was opened in February 2001 and has already attracted the title of our signature hole, you will be very pleased to come away with a par here.
Every golfer has a favourite hole and the 18th always attracts comment – from the great views from the elevated tee across to the Whakarewarewa geothermal reserve and the forested hills beyond, to the devilishly tricky second shot between two big trees to the well guarded green – a par here is well earned.
The most feared hole in many minds is the bunkerless fifth – out of bounds down the right, a monster tree on the left and a bubbling steaming creek just in front of the tee calls for good straight shots. The shallow green is easier to hold for your second with a wedge in your hand, than with a 5 iron so it’s a good test of nerves too.
The two par five holes, 7 and 10, have special challenges; The 7th has a blind tee shot with out of bounds down the right and the 10th is across a sulphur dome with trees tight to the fairway and a busy road behind an elevated green with a invisible borrow to the north. The 13th is an acute dog-leg right that gives the bold hitter a chance to drive across the trees guarding the elbow and thus giving an easy pitch to the green, however many a foolhardy player has sliced the ball on to Old Taupo road and watched it bounce along the ashphalt!
The entire golf course was rebuilt in 1996, with new bunkers and large undulating greens, so the benefits of that development are now becoming effective. Don’t be deceived by the apparent shortness of the course, it will not surrender to par unless you hit every fairway and every green in regulation.
The golf course is an easy walking course with good paths, and the pro shop has golf carts for hire if you prefer, indeed the pro shop can help you with all your golfing rental equipment. We are a soft spike course and the Pro shop can quickly make the change for you if needed. The reduced wear on the greens has been a big bonus since soft spikes came into force.
We are sure you will remember playing here, and we look forward to seeing you soon.
“Friendly Golf Course”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 May 2015
Played 18 holes on a Friday morning. The shop staff were friendly and we hired a cart. The course is of a good standard with some challenging holes. My wife and I partnered up with a local couple towards the end of the round and we went to lunch with them in the clubhouse. Food was good quality and service was great.
Visited April 2015
- Kevin R
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 15 March 2015
Played here with 5 mates during the RWC. We were a little early for the bar and a local lady heard our Australian accents. After chatting about her previous life running a pub in Queensland we went to tee off, and she told us to give her a wave when we were on the 5th. "The house with the New Zealand and Scottish (her husband) flags, couldn't find an Australian one for the dog". The course was fairly challenging with Geo steam and boiling mud preventing you from retrieving balls from the rough. When we were halfway along the 5th fairway we saw the house with the flags and gave a wave. The lovely lady came out and gave us a bag of beers and a bag of fresh lamb pies. The Course was excellent and the hospitality of the locals surpassed the course.
On leaving the batch on Lake Rotoiti a few days later, we returned to find said house and gave the lovely lady our Australian flag for her dog. If you are holidaying in Rotorua and you play golf then this is a must.
Visited September 2014