Wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties

The Insider's Guide to New Zealand - - NORTH ISLAND -

St An­drews, the home of golf in Fife, Scot­land, is the most fa­mous golf course in the world. Hamil­ton’s St An­drews, oth­er­wise known as the Hamil­ton Golf Club, glo­ri­ously bears the same ti­tle and also has some claims to fame. Five times it has hosted the New Zealand Open with two of Aus­tralia’s most il­lus­tri­ous golfers, Joe Kirk­wood and Kel Na­gle (who was suc­cess­ful in both 1958 and 1967), be­ing among the win­ners. And a col­lec­tion of New Zealand golf’s finest achiev­ers, in­clud­ing cur­rent pro­fes­sion­als David Smail and Steve Alker and stars of the past such as Tim Woon, Brian Boys, Stu­art Reese and Jan Arnold all hail from the St An­drews Club.

Opened in 1913, the club was so named be­cause when the orig­i­nal owner of the land, Harry Gil­lies, built the course he said it re­minded him of the fa­mous Scot­tish link. His en­thu­si­asm was in­fec­tious. Not only the club but the sub­urb in which it sits was named St An­drews and many of the nearby streets bear gol­fas­so­ci­ated names.

Orig­i­nally an in­land links course, St An­drews to­day is pic­turesque with sev­eral of the holes bor­der­ing the Waikato River, es­pe­cially the par-5 fourth, a short dog­leg that gives play­ers many op­tions on the drive. The river is al­ways lurk­ing. The most renowned hole is the par-3 18th which is sur­rounded by bunkers; the 2.8-me­tre front bunker be­ing the most in­tim­i­dat­ing. Par 71 (6179m). Green fees $50, or $30 if you are the guest of a mem­ber.

St An­drews Ter­race, St An­drews, (07) 849 2069, stan­drews.co.nz

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