A few years back, I introduced a client to Waipu Golf Club, on the journey north to Kauri Cliffs. My client was so impressed with the hospitality and the annual subscription (he thought that the annual subscription was a weeks worth when they told him !) that he became a member on the spot.
Subsequently, Jim, three years later from his Los Angeles office planned a return trip to New Zealand. Little did he know that on his return, the Waipu Golf Club had arranged his visit to coincide with a club tournament. 120 members turned up, and the inaugural "International" members cup was proudly presented to Jim.....!!!
I share this story, as it optimizes the essence of what Kiwi golf clubs hold as a unique culture of hospitality and camaraderie. Jim talks like Waipu as a second home. The welcome he gets there is unlike anything he would receive in an LA courtroom !
We can all rave about the fantastic golf courses that grace this great country of New Zealand, but I think we probably take for granted on most occasions, that there are experiences like this, that no money can buy.
So, I had great pleasure to experience another hidden gem golf course yesterday - Matamata. It reminded me a lot of Waipu. It is a great club with fine kiwi traditions of the best hospitality. From the moment of arrival to departure, I couldn't fault it, for it is a glorious location, and a fabulously fun golf course to play. No, its not a resort course, or a championship course for that matter - but this is a course where you still have to think your way round and will always be welcome in the clubhouse after (and if the bar is shut, there is an equally good one up the road at Te Poi !)
The people (the locals) of Matamata are simply fantastic. Largely a farming / equestrian region, you are assured, as an international visitor to have a fantastic time - just make sure you let me know and I'll come and join you for a game ! And maybe you'll be a client like Jim one day, lifting the inaugural International Cup.......!
11th Hole at Matamata Golf Club
The impressive Kaimai Range makes for a beautiful backdrop.