Hawkes Bay’s 4-Course Golf & Wine Classic

By Denise Langdon

Four of Hawkes Bay’s best will line-up, in conjunction with PaR nz Golfing Holidays, to host the inaugural Hawkes Bay 4-Course Golf & Wine Classic from Monday October 31 to Thursday November 3 this year. Hastings, Maraenui, Napier and Hawkes Bay golf clubs have teamed up to present a 4-day event that includes gross, net and stableford prizes across age and handicap divisions. Hastings is one of New Zealand’s best-known club courses, as the host of many amateur events over the years and the proud home of one of New Zealand’s most successful amateur players, the late Stuart Jones.
In addition to a raft of club and district titles, Jones won a staggering seven national amateur championships. He represented New Zealand from 1953 to 1975, playing in seven Eisenhower Trophy events. His most notable achievements came when he won two professional events and the 1967 Canadian Amateur Championship. Jones died in 2012, aged 87, but his legend lives on. Hastings Golf Club is an outstanding course, well known for the quality of its greens and beautiful grassed fairways. Napier Golf Club is presented by one of the country’s few female greenkeepers, Ingrid van Steenbergen. A former district representative, these days she balances her work-life with other interests and hobbies off the course. Napier also has a proud history of hosting many amateur events as well as being part of the 2016 Golf & Wine Classic. It will also host the 2017 New Zealand Women’s Senior Match Play Championships in February. One of the country’s oldest courses, formed in 1898 at the current site of Waiohiki, it is laid out over three distinct areas of land separated by roadways. Distinctive woodcarvings and ancient Maori gravesites give this course a unique character. Maraenui Golf Club lies on the coast road between the two cities of Napier and Hastings. In addition to a quality 18-hole layout, the club also manages an adjacent nine-hole challenger for beginners and social players. Priding itself as being one of the ‘friendliest’ clubs, Maraenui has a tight, tree-lined challenge that demands accuracy, especially off the tee.
Like Hastings and Napier, Maraenui is also an easy-walking course with sea breezes often coming into play. The last, but not least, host club is The Hawkes Bay Golf Club, opened in 1969, and formerly known as the Flaxmere Golf Club. The youngest of the four selected courses, Hawkes Bay is laid out on a pumice base and according to an original design by Commander John Harris. British golf course architect Harris is noted for his contribution to the world-renowned Wairakei Golf Course near Taupo. From the efforts of many hours work by volunteers carrying buckets of pumice away, the Hawkes Bay course now presents wide, tree-lined fairways with much wildlife on site including tui, doves, wild ducks, plovers and herons. Golfers are treated to wonderful views of Te Mata Peak and the northern Ruahine Range from many of the holes. The Hawkes Bay Golf & Wine Classic will be set in a rich region celebrated for its wines, food markets, unique gannet colony, and Art Deco architecture. Wine from the area, over 100 wineries to choice from, will feature strongly at the functions and prize table, of course. Perhaps most significant for golfing visitors, however, is that it is on the doorstep of Tom Doak’s Cape Kidnappers masterpiece, which is currently [as at January 15, 2016 update] rated number 16 in the world by Golf Digest. All players in this year’s Hawkes Bay Golf & Wine Classic will be able to play golf at Cape Kidnappers on Friday, November 4. Now in its 12th year of operation, Cape Kidnappers continues to amaze all visitors with cliff-edge landscapes from the driving range to the 18th green. The course’s infinity hole and ‘pirate- planks’ are unique features. Tournament details and player registration are now available on line at www.parnz.co.nz/tournaments.
Directors: PaR nz Golfing Holidays Kim Buckley I 021 373 502 I kim@parnz.co.nz Denise Langdon I 0275 662385 I denise@parnz.co.nz

Maraenui Golf Club

Maraenui Golf Club is one of Hawke’s Bay’s finest Golf Courses set in lovely tree lined surrounds just off Marine Parade in Napier. With the gentle sea breeze slipping through the summer sun, you will enjoy your round on this 6,125 metre 18 hole picturesque golf course. Although flat and easy to walk, the course offers tightly sculptured tree lined fairways with creative greens complexes and bunkering for all levels to enjoy. Green fee players always welcome – only 5 minutes’ drive from Napier City and 15 minutes from Hastings.

The other 3 clubs participating in the Classic are:

Hastings Golf Club
Hawkes Bay Golf Club  
Napier Golf Club

Sarah HeadComment