Te Arai Links, Northland, North Island, New Zealand - Key partner for the 2025 Ultra-Luxe New Zealand Golf Tour

With the recent launch of New Zealand’s first Ultra-Luxe Golf Tour, Luxury Adventures is conducting some Q&A’s and will be able to unveil an exciting preview of the upcoming tour. In this series of interviews, we have the honour of getting some insights and connecting with the individuals who will make this journey a truly exceptional experience.

First destination on the list is Te Arai Links, just 25 minutes via Helicopter, North of Auckland. Te Arai Links, made up of the North & South courses, is the sister course to the world famous Tara Iti Golf Club and has already been rated in the top 3 courses in New Zealand. We have had the pleasure of discussing Te Arai Links with Jon McCord, Director of Golf, who was happy to answer some questions about this stunning facility.

Thanks for having us Jon. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you have been involved in golf as a career?

Being well and truly part of the Tiger Woods generation of golfers, I started the sport in the late 90’s and instantly fell in love with the challenge the game presented. I was born and raised in Iowa, in the Heartland of the U.S. and would spend just about every hour of every summer day at the local country club. If I wasn’t playing golf, I was working at the club and that was how I found out that there might very well be a career in this industry. Long story short, I went to a Professional Golf Management program at a university in the U.S. and have been in New Zealand working in the golf industry for over 12 years.

Where are the Te Arai Links golf courses located, & could you let us know the history & who designed it?

As mentioned above, Te Arai Links is a very short helicopter trip from Auckland and even if you’re driving, it is only 90 minutes north of Auckland on the stunning Pacific Coast, just south of a small but exceptionally popular holiday town called Mangawhai.

Both courses are built on pure dune sand, or proper ‘linksland’ and maintain firm and fast conditions year round. The South Course, which opened in September of 2022 and has already been ranked inside of Golf Magazines “Top 100 Courses of the World” was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The South Course takes full advantage of several kilometers of coast line and offers an incredibly fun and enjoyable round of golf.

The North Course, which opened a year later in September of 2023 was designed by Tom Doak and the team of Renaissance Golf Design. The North Course is the perfect complement to the South while offering a taste of inland holes over more rolling terrain but also, coupled by some of the most exciting green complexes in the World.

A visit to Te Arai Links is definitely not complete without playing both courses and experiencing the largest putting green in the southern hemisphere, aptly named The Playground.

What’s the par score and yardage for each course?

The South Course – Par 72 measuring anywhere from 6,843 -5,075 yards depending on your choice of four sets of tees.

The North Course – Par 71 measuring anywhere from 6,931 – 5,003 yards depending on your choice of four sets of tees.

What practice facilities are available?

The Driving Range is a great place to have a warm-up ahead of your round or during your stay. It is not your typical driving range as the target greens are designed after six ‘template holes’ which are some of the most iconic and copied green designs in the world. The template greens included are the Eden, Biarritz, Punchbowl, Redan and the Gibraltar. Likewise, we have a Short Game area and a Practice Putting green with a 12-Hole putting course called The Playground.

What types of grass are used on the greens and fairways, & could you describe some of the unique features or design elements of Te Arai Links golf courses?                                                                                           

Both courses are planted in wall-to-wall fescue. Having one type of grass across all surfaces allows for a true ‘links golf’ experience. Using the undulations and ground features is a necessity to score well around both courses. Golfers also need to be very mindful to position their ball well, in relation to the hole, rather than simply swing as hard as you can on each shot.

What’s the typical experience look like for a golfer looking to play a round at Te Arai links?   

In the simplest of terms, “A day of golf at the beach”. When guests arrive at Te Arai Links, we want the level of service to be attentive yet unobtrusive. We strive to maintain a relaxed and inviting environment where you feel at home (or a million miles away from it). Whether you’re looking for a casual and relaxed long lunch with friends, a competitive round of golf with buddies, or simply forgetting about the outside world, you’ll find your little slice of paradise at Te Arai Links.

Do you have a favourite hole or stretch of holes on either course? Any tips for players?

To pick a favourite stretch of holes is near impossible as we have 36 holes of spectacularly fun and challenging golf. To leave even one hole out, a golfer would be missing something truly unique….but at the end of the day, that is the mark of truly great golf….miss one hole and you’ve missed out!

TAL_South_Hole14_Ricky Robinson

Te Arai Links have some beautiful accommodation options on-site, could you let us know a bit about the types of rooms and facilities available for guests like ours, looking at staying & playing?

On-site accommodation includes 46 Suites, 19 two-bedroom Ocean Cottages and 6 four-bedroom Villas. In addition to accommodation, we have a multitude of food and beverage options. From the laid-back and casual atmosphere of Ric’s Restaurant to the oceanside setting provided at Ocean Restaurant to the impeccably positioned North Clubhouse, guests staying for multiple nights will find choosing a venue difficult choice. Activities outside of golf include walking trails, Tennis/Basketball/Pickleball courts, a massage in-room or even yoga on the beach. Our access to one of the most beautiful stretches of untouched, sandy beach on New Zealand’s East Coast, is another experience not to be missed.


Last but not least, New Zealand is one of the most sought-after locations for golfers looking at taking a vacation; what makes New Zealand such a great destination for travellers, in your opinion?

In my opinion, New Zealand has some of the most spectacular scenery and varied geography in the World. Couple that with thoughtfully designed golf courses and you have a recipe to make memories that will stick with you for the rest of your life. What more could you ask for?!?!

Stay tuned for more in-depth conversations with key suppliers for the Ultra-Luxe New Zealand Golf Tour and get ready to embark on a luxurious journey filled with world-class golf courses, stunning landscapes, and unparalleled experiences. If you have any further questions email steve@luxuryadventures.co.nz or To find out more about the tour click here

new posts

Previous posts

Categories Cloud

Related Posts