The History of Waitangi Golf Club

Welcome to Waitangi Golf Club, where every swing tells a story amidst the breathtaking beauty of New Zealand's Bay of Islands.

Our rich history is woven into the very fabric of our course, tracing back to 1932 when the esteemed Governor General of New Zealand, Lord Bledisloe, and Lady Bledisloe generously donated over one thousand acres of land on the Waitangi Peninsula. Their vision was clear: to create a place of historical significance, recreation, and enjoyment for all.

It was the expressed wish of the donors that parts of the Reserve should be used for outdoor sport. Thus, it was fitting that golf should continue to be played on the Reserve. Prior to Waitangi becoming a National Reserve, a golf club, headquartered in Russell, had laid an attractive 9-hole course. When the Waitangi National Trust was established, the golf club was invited to continue playing on the course, with arrangements made to ensure its maintenance.

After the war period, efforts were made to strengthen the golf club by extending membership beyond Russell and Paihia. The Bay of Islands Golf Club, headquartered in Kawakawa, was approached for collaboration. Despite initial hesitations, the two clubs merged under the name of "The Waitangi Golf Club," extending membership across various districts.

Under the leadership of Mr. W A Kiely, plans were laid out for the development of an 18-hole championship course. With government subsidy and member support, construction began, culminating in a course of exceptional quality. The estimated cost for completing the championship course was 4,000 pounds, with the government agreeing to subsidize the club at the rate of 1 pound for each pound from club members. Club debentures were taken up by members for 2,000 pounds, demonstrating their commitment to the project.

The original course layout and plans were prepared by Mr. Kiely, a member of the Golf Committee of the Trust Board, who had considerable experience as a golfer. An excellent course was eventually adopted, attracting visitors who marveled at the variety of views as they traversed the course. Scenes changed along the full course, rising and descending over the easy rolling country, with views opening out to the harbor, Waitangi River, and the distant ocean.

In 1950, the Trust Board signed a lease with the Waitangi Golf Club for the full term allowed under the provisions of the Trust Deed, ensuring continuity of tenure and course development. It was considered that nothing could surpass in attractiveness a well-kept golf course in full view of visitors proceeding through the Reserve to the Treaty House and Grounds.

Lord and Lady Bledisloe, delighted with the club's progress, made a special visit in 1947, presenting the club with the Elaine Bledisloe Challenge Cup, a cherished trophy still contested annually. Their visit was a testament to their vision realized, as the club members had made an excellent effort in building up good golfing country.

Today, as you traverse our course, you'll not only experience championship-standard golf but also immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of New Zealand's history and natural beauty. Join us at Waitangi Golf Club, where every swing is a tribute to the legacy of those who envisioned this remarkable haven for golfers and nature enthusiasts alike.