Titirangi. In Maori the name means “fringe of heaven”. Ranked as one of New Zealand’s best golf courses, Titirangi is the only course in the country designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie and was conceived in 1927. The course is just a 20-minute drive from Auckland which makes it a great course to break in or finish off a New Zealand golf holiday. US Links magazine, US Golf Digest, Robb Report and top100golfcourses all rate it as the leading course in Auckland. And all have it in their top 8 in New Zealand. The pedigree doesn’t end there. Titirangi is a Marquee Course. There are only fourteen such courses throughout the country. Titirangi has hosted more professional and amateur events than most other course in New Zealand. Champions have played here. Including Peter Thomson, Bob Charles, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Arnold Palmer.
The Titirangi Golf Club has enjoyed fame simply because of its designer, Alister MacKenzie, who designed it and the likes of Cypress Point, Augusta and Royal Melbourne. The course that MacKenzie designed is still largely in use, however the mid-1990s saw Chris Pitman redesign and remodel a number of holes, though the original layout and MacKenzie’s famous risk-reward features are still prominent on the course. The holes are undulating without being hilly, and the bunkers are in typical MacKenzie fashion of being oddly shaped, wide and mostly flat, congesting the land around many greens to make accurate approach shots around the green vital.
The 7th green actually feels a little like MacKenzie’s beloved 16th at Pasatiempo in California, with other similarities between the two courses evident throughout the site. Of the longer holes, the most memorable are those with the heavier contours such as the 3rd with its dangerous raised green. The property does get quite narrow in places and as most holes run north and south they do occasionally get a touch cramped. As is the case on many MacKenzie projects, however, his cunning design actually feels more spacious and plays considerably longer than the scorecard suggests.
The Titirangi practice facilities consist of a short iron-only range with a chipping and bunker area alongside the 18th fairway. Two nets and a putting green are also available to utilise near the golf shop. The Titirangi golf shop stocks a wide range of accessories, apparel and golf equipment, with quality hire clubs available to visitors. Golf carts and trundlers may be hired but they have to be booked in advance as there is a high demand for them. There is a restaurant located in the main clubhouse that serves all-day breakfast and lunch with a wide range of cuisines available. The facilities at Titirangi round off the entire golfing experience.