Friday, June 14, 2024
Home / Lifestyle  / Golf the Arrowtown Way

Golf the Arrowtown Way

Arrowtown golf course is ranked amongst the top ten in New Zealand and has significantly been singled out by prominent US golf writer Tom Doak as one of the country’s most charming and quirky courses.

“We recommend it not because it’s short and bunkerless but because its narrow and bouncy fairways and small greens present a serious and enjoyable challenge. Plus it’s beautiful.”

Longtime member Dardy Wallace who joined the then tiny club 47 years ago agrees.

“It is such an inspiring setting and each hole has its own distinctive appeal. In fact it is much like an inland links course especially on the second nine with its rocks and humps and bumps.”

The club dates back to 1911 when a six-hole course was built just beyond the Arrowtown boundary with a small volunteer membership maintaining it. A new nine-hole course was established and opened in 1936 on a 36-hectare property alongside the Arrowtown – Arrow Junction road and in latter years expanded across the main highway to create the current 18-hole course.

Today the club has a growing membership and golfers from all over the world list the course on their South Island itinerary.

A feature is the ruins of an historic stone cottage alongside the 11th fairway built in the 1870s by the Shanahan family. The club honours the memory of the family with an annual golf tournament in their name on St Patrick’s Day.

Dardy recalls only the tees and greens were watered when he became member in the late 1970s.

“In the summer the fairways used to be extremely dry and rock hard and you had to finish your round by mid-morning or it was too hot to play. The difference today with irrigation is fantastic and the course is incredibly well maintained by the full time greens staff.”

The Arrowtown golf course is open all year round to green fee players and has a fleet of modern electric golf carts, golf clubs and trundlers for hire. Visitors are encouraged to experience Tom Doak’s sentiments for themselves – “the over-riding memory of a game of golf at Arrowtown is the feeling of golf as it was meant to be – charismatic, curious, understated, inexpensive and a little lighthearted.”