1 – Alpha
Men: Par 3, 143 metres – stroke 13
Ladies: Par 3, 135 metres – stroke 17
A straightforward opening par 3, or so it seems. Par is made more difficult by out of bounds to the left and a large overhanging tree to the right. Beware a left-side pin placement.
2 – Vista
Men: Par 4, 360 metres – stroke 3
Ladies: Par 5, 360 metres – stroke 9
This hole is undergoing extensive modification. Currently a slight dog-leg left with out of bounds uncomfortably close, the tendency is to bail out to the right – but this will make your uphill approach more difficult.
3 – The Drop
Men: Par 4, 342 metres – stroke 5
Ladies: Par 4, 314 metres – stroke 11
Magnificent views of Mt Te Aroha greet the golfer setting off in search of their drive. In summer the drive may end up close to the green, as the fairway drops significantly down to the Piako River. The green is a fooler, with the break towards the river, despite what your eyes tell you.
4 – Piako
Men: Par 3, 160 metres – stroke 9
Ladies: Par 3, 135 metres – stroke 15
A demanding par 3. The tee shot should be played to the right of the pin, with the inevitable member’s bounce bringing the ball back left. Too far left, though, takes the ball down into a gully and a hazard. A front pin placement can prove very difficult.
5 – Bankside
Men: Par 4, 262 metres – stroke 17
Ladies: Par 4, 254 metres – stroke 7
Consistently the easiest hole on the course, this short par 4 still demands an accurate uphill tee shot to avoid tree trouble left and right. There follows a short second to a green on which some difficult pin placements can be found. Think birdie on the tee.
6 – Gums
Men: Par 4, 380 metres – stroke 1
Ladies: Par 5, 380 metres – stroke 5
The easiest hole is followed by the hardest. This long par 4 plays into the prevailing wind, down a narrow corridor of trees and past the infamous ‘gobbler’ that will snare the hooked drive. The green is elevated and severely sloped. Par is an excellent score.
7 – Dogleg
Men: Par 5, 485 metres – stroke 11
Ladies: Par 5, 467 metres – stroke 1
A picturesque par 5, the seventh follows a gully off to the right. Avoid the hazard area to the left with your second, and a similar area to the right with your third, and birdie is a distinct possibility. The scratch golfer is always content with nine strokes for the sixth and seventh holes combined.
8 – The Pitch
Men: Par 3, 141 metres – stroke 15
Ladies: Par 3, 121 metres – stroke 13
A short but tricky par 3. The green cannot be seen from the tee. At all costs avoid the lake in front of the tee and the tree area to the right, from where your ball will roll into an unplayable spot.
9 – Pines
Men: Par 4, 360 metres – stroke 7
Ladies: Par 4, 312 metres – stroke 3
A long par 4, again into the prevailing wind, the ninth is made more difficult as the fairway is hidden from the tee. Otherwise the hole is relatively straightforward. Be careful of a front pin position.