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Golf in Godzone: Southland’s “Hidden Gem” – Oreti Sands

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

Southland Golf Club, more affectionately known as Oreti Sands is the Southern-most 18 hole links in the World.
Some 10 Kms south of Invercargill makes it a long way from Auckland or for that matter Christchurch. However the more I read about the course the more it’s a “must play” one day.
Ever since John Huggan the sometimes scathing Scottish golf correspondent wrote about his experience down south, I’ve had playing the course in back of my mind.

Way back in May 2005 John wrote in the New Zealand Golf Magazine, "Oreti Sands was particularly enjoyable and incredibly good value for money.  In fact, this remote and dramatic course has the potential to be that ever-elusive 'hidden gem' you read about in the glossy travel magazines.  Such is the quality and variety of an endless stream of interesting and challenging holes.  Go there soon; this is a great place to play golf."

Huggy reckoned it’s “one of the two best Kiwi courses he has played” and according to an update at the club’s web site, it’s just got even better in recent years.

“Former top NZ Professional golfer, Greg Turner (now into golf course design) and his associate Scott Macpherson secured funding in 2006 to develop the course and work commenced on altering the layout in January 2007.  Four spectacular new holes have been added, four have been removed and several others modified.

The new layout was officially opened for club members on 7th March 2009.  On Monday 9th an exhibition match was played between Peter Senior & Peter O'Malley versus Peter Fowler & Mahal Pearce.”

In my recent post ‘Golf in Godzone: The Land of Links” I wrote of how Oreti Sands is one of the truly rare links courses in the world. 

The authors of True Links suggest there’s only 246 true links golf courses, which is less than one percent of the world's 30,000-plus courses and Oreti Sands is one of 9 in New Zealand.

Here’s the link to Southland Golf Club

Quote of the day
“Oreti is a true links, full of humpy fairways, native grasses, greens tucked into tussocked dunes, and myriad shot-playing options”
- True Links by George Peper & Malcolm Campbell

Guid gowfin’ at the weekend



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