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Guide to the most underrated golf courses in Taupō

by Jordon Fuller

Golf expert, coach & mentor from Golf Influence

The oceanic climate and cold winds don't necessarily say golf when you're considering fun and exciting things to do in the Taupō region. Plus the adrenaline-inducing activities like skydiving, bungee jumping, white water rafting and boating are as enticing as the lakefront cafes or the vibrant restaurants and eateries. 

But if you’d rather keep both feet on the ground, the mountain views from the golf course are spectacular. 

Taupō Golf Club

The region is home to remarkable golf courses offering the amazing scenery that New Zealand is known for. Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary and The Kinloch Club are the two most popular. And if you've golfed here, you've played these fairways before. They need no introduction, but we've found a few more underrated golf courses well worth the play.

Whether you're a regular on the golf circuit or new to the Taupō golf scene, you shouldn't miss hitting a few at these lesser-known but worthwhile courses.

Taupō Golf Club

Looking for a fun round or home course? The Taupō Golf Club is a public golf course where visitors are welcome. While the green fees are reasonable, it is on par with other championship courses in the region. 

You'll find two courses at this club—Tauhara, shorter and more manageable, and Centennial, a longer and more challenging play. So, no matter your skill level or your mood on the day, there's a fun, beautiful course for you to enjoy.

It also houses one of the most comprehensive practice facilities in the country, with everything from a driving range to training courses to personalized golf lessons. 

Oh, and did we mention that they have disc golf too?

So there's a type of golf for everyone at this club. 

Tauhara Course

Most visitors might not know about this hidden gem. If you're a new golfer, short on time, or just want to play a social game, it's ideal to add to your golf tour. 

It’s a little more open and shorter than Centennial with Mount Tauhara as its beautiful backdrop. Gently sloping fairways and slightly elevated greens make the course suitable for golfers of all skill levels.

It's an easy course to walk without water hazards. Bunkers are scattered across each hole, but there's nothing that can’t be navigated!

We highly recommend junior golfers, those who just want to have some fun and handicap golfers over 22 to play the Tauhara Course. 

Centennial Course

The Centennial course is a championship-level course where many national championships have been held. This classic inland course is to be considered along the same lines as Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary and The Kinloch Club.

It features two sets of tees with no water hazards and fewer trees than other courses. The combination of parkland and wasteland gives it an open and spacious feeling. Compared to the Tauhara Course, the holes here are slightly more curved. A couple of them have pretty severe doglegs, but most of the curve is just somewhat more than Tauhara. 

The amazing birdlife program attracts more and more players each year, offering yet another incentive to play at this championship-level course. Each year the program grows as more sections of the course are protected and trees are planted by the 100s to boost the area. 

The closing holes are placed around the thermal wasteland. There are few bunkers throughout the course. Most of them protect the green, making this another championship-level course to add to your "must-golf list," especially for handicap golfers under 22.

The Taupō 9 

If you've played in the region, you've most likely played at Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary or The Kinloch Golf Club. But there are a total of nine golf courses in Taupō. Every one is worth a look especially the courses at Taupō Golf Club. 

And if you want something next-level fun that will test your golfing skills, consider the Lake Taupō Hole-in-One Challenge. Three holes, three different challenges, but if you hit a hole-in-one on the Red Flag, $10,000 will be yours!

Whichever course you ultimately choose to play on, the immaculate terrain and stunning views of Taupō are the perfect backdrops for a round of golf.

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