The Inland Scenic Route (72) is the perfect way to explore the region while golfing at a range of great courses. Each small town on the route has its own unique character, accommodation and a great golf course. You’ll meet some interesting locals along the way and enjoy your own golfing adventure at your own pace.
The Scenic Route can be started (or finished) at either Amberley or Rangiora, north of Christchurch. It is just over a 2-hour drive time to the southern point of the route in Geraldine. From there another 2- hour drive will take travellers along the Starlight Highway to Lake Tekapo and beyond, to the alpine town of Twizel.
The drive captures a real slice of New Zealand landscape from rolling fertile fields to high mountains, the brown tussocks of the alpine plateau and the breathtaking Southern Alps. It really is New Zealand’s Drive with no fewer than 8 excellent golf courses along the way in which to soak up the atmosphere and challenge yourself against the small round ball.
From the north you can visit and play at the following clubs:
Pegasus Golf Course
Pegasus Golf Course, occupies an area of 116 hectares with a parklands-style par 72 18-hole course. The course forms a landmark entranceway to the modern purpose built town of Pegasus which is an interesting visit in its own right.
The Pegasus Golf & Sports Club offers the very best in recreational facilities including an 18-hole championship golf course, covered driving range with automated tee-up system, practice greens, tennis courts, gym, pro shop and Bunker Café.
With superb features and stunning views from every tee, golfers of every level will enjoy an excellent challenge and a game to remember.
Rangiora Golf Course
The Rangiora Golf Club is located in beautiful North Canterbury, just 20 minutes north of Christchurch City and boasts country hospitality with all the city conveniences, as well as a spectacular course providing a great day out for all levels of golfing ability.
Waimakiriri Gorge Golf Course
Described as country golf at its best the Waimakiriri Golf Course offers all golfers a very enjoyable and challenging day out. Only a 30-minute drive from Christchurch International Airport, it is an 18-hole golf course which will delight those from learner level to the most experienced player.
As well as the manicured fairways and greens, the Waimakariri Gorge Golf Course boasts some of Canterbury’s finest scenery. If not for the challenging course then come and play for the spectacular gorge and river views, the snow-capped mountains, the wide-open spaces and the freedom of city noise and crowds.
Hororata Golf Course
This golf course is a real hidden Gem! The Hororata Golf Club’s 18-hole course is situated in the small rural town of Glentunnel, some 35 minutes West of Christchurch. The course is set across river terraces of the Selwyn River.
From the white tees it measures 5617 metres and from the yellow tees it measures 5005 metres for a Par 71. There are picturesque plantings of strategically placed trees and a creek bisects 6 holes. Target greens test the accuracy of even the best golfer and the hole lengths make for a pleasant experience for those less proficient.
Terrace Downs was voted the top golf resort in New Zealand in the 2010 World Travel Awards. Offering guests an 18-hole championship golf course, this challenging par 72 course offers a choice of four tees on each hole and incorporates 10 lakes and over 60 bunkers. The spectacular views pose a constant challenge for players to keep their eye on the ball!
Methven Golf Club
Methven’s golf course offers an intoxicating combination of stunning vistas, beautiful tree lined fairways and wonderfully kept fairways and greens. While the 18-hole course rewards the straight hitter, it offers enough room to encourage plenty of full swings from the tee box. No matter what the state of your game, the course will offer a fair test of your abilities.
Mayfield Golf Club
The flat Mayfield Golf Course is 9 holes x 2 = 18, situated on the north bank of the Hinds River. The course has excellent drainage, so it is never too wet in the winter and with fairway irrigation installed it is unlikely to get too dry in summer. The clubhouse for such a small club is something the local community can be proud of. A picturesque, challenging, well-groomed country course, enjoyed by golfers of all levels.
Geraldine Golf Course
The Geraldine District Golf Club ‘Denfield’ course is a very attractive 18-hole golf course. With its flat terrain it is an easy walk and set against a beautiful backdrop of mountains this course is a must play. Club days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Visitors are welcome on any of those days.
It is not necessary to book a tee time. Green fee players can play before or after the competition fields. Bookings for groups can be made by contacting the club secretary.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Steve Crook 03 693 8497 or 027 334 6640
Grande Vue Golf Course, Geraldine
A unique 9-hole golf club in the heart of the Geraldine township, the Grande Vue Golf Course has 2 teeing areas on each hole and 2 pins on each green, it gives a different aspect for the 2nd 9 holes. The course is set on rolling hills so a nice mix of up-hill, down-hill and flat contours. The club is cart friendly, bring your own or arrange to hire.
Green fees are $15, and the club days are Wednesdays for women starting at 10.30am and Sundays for men starting at 12.30pm. Anyone is welcome to join in on club days for a nice relaxed Sunday afternoon game. Enquiries to the Club Captain 0274 374 388.
Fairlie Golf Club
Fairlie Golf Club has an 18-hole course that is a well-groomed, flat course with a challenging par 70 men’s/par 72 ladies’ layout with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. The Club welcomes visitors and green fees are $20 per round. Major tournaments are the Fairlie 500, a 72-hole men’s tournament held on the 3rd weekend in March and the Glencairn ladies’ tournament which is a pairs tournament held every April. Both events always attract capacity fields.
The Cairns Golf Course, Tekapo
The Cairns Golf Course is designed to be a fun 18-hole golf course with strategy being a key objective whilst taking in some stunning views of both the McKenzie Basin and the Tekapo area. This is golf at its purest, reminiscent of golf in Scotland where the game has its origins.
The greens were ‘discovered’ where there is some shelter and good grass was already established. From there they worked backwards to find the teeing area. No soil has been moved, except to level the tees. What you have on this course was always there. All they did was cut the grass to define the fairways. They have tried to preserve what has been there for a long time, including the 70 year old post distance markers on the ninth hole.
Enjoy the golf, enjoy the strategy and enjoy the outstanding views! Green fees are paid at the beginning of the course. Balls and tees vary in price.
McKenzie Golf Course
The McKenzie Golf Club course is situated 4km from Lake Tekapo which is 90km west of Timaru. It has very spectacular scenery being surrounded by snow-capped mountains including Mt Cook. It is the highest 9-hole golf course in New Zealand at 2,608 ft above sea level. The course has one bunker, with the odd terrace and gully.
Ben Ohau Golf Course
The wonderful nine-hole Ben Ohau course is nestled close to the centre of Twizel in the Mackenzie Country. Views of the snow-covered heights of the Southern Alps and Aoraki Mt Cook under clear blue skies are available from this well-maintained course. The course has tree lined fairways and well cared for greens. A Club with around 200 members, where visitors are welcomed regardless of age or ability. Club Days are Wednesdays, and Sundays and a Driving Range is available on site beside the well-equipped Clubhouse.
Whether you golf all or just a few of these great courses you’re bound to enjoy the journey!