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Taupō Golf Club operations manager Hamish Robertson says the region’s free-draining volcanic soil is a gift to those willing to rug up warmly.
“We’re very fortunate,” says Hamish, who doubles as the club’s resident golf professional. “I’ve visited and worked at plenty of other courses and it’s amazing how dry it is underfoot here in winter.
“All those concrete cart paths you see at other courses? We don’t need them here because the rain drains so fast.” He says both the club’s 18-hole offerings – the historic Tauhara and the Centennial championship course – are open year-round and are particularly attractive during winter months.
In fact, the golf is almost better right now. It can dry off in summer but you get all the growth from the rain so the fairways are more defined, the tussock is more healthy. It can be at its prettiest.Hamish
Hardy golfers tell him they like to arrive early when the mist rolls in or an especially heavy frost turns the terrain ski field white. At first light, they grab coffee or soup from the clubhouse café and then catch up with friends while watching the sun work its magic on their playground.
“It might be freezing in the morning and at night but they can’t wait to get out there, usually by 10 am or 11 am, on a bluebird day. When you get to that first tee on the championship course, Mount Tauhara feels like it's a stone’s throw away.”
He says a bird life enhancement project has brought more winged creatures to the more elevated Centennial course, which also shines in the autumn months thanks to the colour from deciduous trees.
While Tauhara is an ideal course for all, Hamish notes lower visitor numbers make the generally-quieter cooler months an ideal time for new golfers to learn at their own pace. This includes the large number of beginner women who are coming through Robertson Golf Academy.
The Centennial course will mark its 50th birthday next year, while Tauhara turns 100 in a few more years.
Escape the ordinary and take a luxurious winter escape in Taupo, with hidden gems set to impress the most distinguished traveler.