Have you discovered the amazing golf courses in the North West? With stunning backdrops for each course, you may find yourself coming back to plan again and again and again....

Imagine teeing off for a round of golf with no sounds except the waves rolling onto the beach. That is the reality at Muriwai Golf Club, which offers an 18-hole championship golf course as well as golf shop, café and full bar service. Formed in 1956 and opened for play in 1960, with breathtaking views of the Tasman Sea, surrounded by dunes and pines, this golf course is incredibly spectacular.

The course is a championship par 73 course, measuring 6,200m off the blue tees. Being so close to the beach, there can be a sea breeze and when the wind whips across the fairways (which it can do at times) it can make some holes particularly challenging. The par 3 eighth hole is the signature hole on the course, which plays towards the sea and into the prevailing south-westerly wind. Although it is only 153m, golfers have been known to hit a driver off this tee in very windy conditions. With freely draining fairways in the winter, the golf course proudly states that it never closes.

The clubhouse stands on the highest point of the course overlooking the 18th green. It has unsurpassed views of the rugged Muriwai Beach coastline and could boast some of the most spectacular views of any clubhouse in New Zealand. A pretty spectacular place to enjoy a refreshment after a round of golf!

Back towards Auckland on State Highway 16 you will find the Huapai Golf Course, located on the edge of the Waitemata Harbour. In the heart of the wine growing district, Huapai boasts a championship course around 6000 metres, pristine, easy contour fairways, and captivating water views. This course offers a fair test of skills with holes that are challenging but not too punishing, with narrow tree lined fairways and moderate bunkering guarding 14 of the 18 greens. It is a mainly flat easy walking course which will impress all levels of golfers and the rural setting makes for an enjoyable round of golf.

The lounge bar and function room at Huapai Golf Club is open every day and has floor to ceiling windows that provide stunning views of the course. The lounge is an ideal environment for members and visitors to relax after a great game of golf.

Further along SH16, if you turn off into Swanson, you will find the Redwood Park Golf Club. This picturesque golf course nestled below the Waitakere Ranges, offers a challenging but fair experience for all golfers with its slightly undulating fairways. Established in 1970, the club is known for its friendliness and social atmosphere.

Redwood Park Golf Club is a Par 69 course just over 5000 metres in length, with several water features and interesting challenges. Redwood has a couple of good practice areas around the clubhouse so that you can have a bit of a warm up before getting into your round. There are two practice greens, a sand trap, and a small fairway for practicing approach shots. The club house offers a very scenic view over the course, and the Redwood Park bar is open 7 days a week with catering facilities open on competition days during the week and on the weekend.

Further towards the coast from the Redwood Park Golf Club, you will find the Waitakere Golf Club nestled amongst truly magnificent native bush surrounds in the renowned Waitakere Ranges and adjacent to the Cascades Kauri Park Reserve. The golf course has been developed with little or no change to the natural landscape with breathtaking views of some of NZ's well known native bush.

The course is only 5140 metres long but this belies the challenge it presents. The course's second hole is the one to keep an eye on being a very long par four with an intimidating gully start, apparently it is rated as one of the hardest holes in the region! As well as a pro shop and Kiosk which is open every day and stocks a range of food options, there is a café onsite as well which is opened on weekends and public holidays.

With so many great courses on offer, rather than booking a tee off time at your normal golf course, why not jump in the car and visit the North West and experience one of the many amazing golf courses out here. It may just become your new favourite course!

Sally Mitchell