ALPG Auckland Ladies Golf Tour

19th – 24th September 2017

Day One – Tuesday 19th September 2017

That moment when the plane kicks up a gear from taxiing, to barrelling down the take off runway is such a feeling of joy.  As you’re pushed deeper into your chair, all worries about what you may have left behind or thoughts of things you had to do before you left fall away, because there is nothing you can do about it now.  You’re on your way!  Auckland is just 3 hours from most of the major cities on Australia’s East Coast and before you know it you’re flying across the brilliant green that is New Zealand.  On this Auckland ladies golf tour, we had guests from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast and some decided to arrive early, and some met at the airport.

Our quickly nicknamed “Birdies Bus” took us into Auckland City and we all checked into our rooms and had a couple of hours to unpack and to head to the grocery store to buy a few supplies for the week ahead.  At 6:15pm the group met in the hotel lobby and we all walked the short distance to Everybody’s, a gorgeously restored and renovated old warehouse that is now a restaurant and bar.  After a couple of drinks and something to eat, those who hadn’t already met, were already firm friends.

Day Two – Wednesday 20th September 2017

Auckland ladies golf tourAfter a restorative coffee, we boarded the mighty Birdies Bus for our trip to Omaha Beach Golf Club, about an hour’s drive North of Auckland.  It was a beautiful drive through stunning kiwi countryside.  Passing little country towns with gastro pubs and quaint shops we arrived at the golf club with time to warm up, have a coffee and buy some sandwiches before hitting the course.   And what a course!  Lush green fairways, brightly coloured and textured scrub, quite a few elevated tee boxes and large undulating greens.  The ALPG’s Lee Harrington was in high demand so swapped between the groups during the day to ensure that everyone got the benefit of her tips and experience.

The weather was gorgeous with many of us getting down to short sleeves, but by the end of the 16th, the clouds had come over.  A quick drink in the clubhouse overlooking the 1st and 18th and we were back on the Birdies Bus for our return to Auckland.  After a delicious Thai Street Food dinner we were all back to our rooms to rest before the first round of the Anita Boon Pro-Am.

Day Three – Thursday 21st September 2017

Anita Boon Pro Am Day One – So excited!  After a relaxing start, the Birdies Bus gets us to the gorgeous North Shore Golf Club at 10:30am.  We have plenty of time to prepare our gear and look around the Pro Shop before registration starts at 11:00am.  People start pouring into the club and it’s really thrilling to see so many people there passionate about women’s golf and supporting the Anita Boon Pro Am which is run to benefit Ovarian Cancer research.  The girls on our Auckland ladies golf tour loved the experience of warming up on the driving range next to some of the best female golfers in New Zealand and Australia.

Before the shotgun start we got to watch a Long Drive and Trick Shot demonstration with Phillis Meti (World Long Drive record holder) and Tania Tare (Trick Shot Extraordinaire).

To watch Phillis belt her ball 370m without breaking a sweat was awe inspiring!  As the full field of 23 groups made their way out onto the course for the shotgun start, the air was abuzz among the Pros and amateurs alike.  The Professional winner of this event gets a start in the NZ Women’s Open next week.  The course, while absolutely gorgeous was sodden after a long, wet Winter.  Play was fairly slow as a result, but everyone had a smile on their face.

At the end of play, everyone returned to the clubhouse for a well deserved wine and dinner, before the day’s presentation.  We were all so excited when one of our groups from the tour came in at 8th place, playing with Brooke Baker from the US!  Congratulations Irene & Sue!  A fantastic effort considering the skill level of the field.  As the crowd started to dissipate, and the effort of the day turned to muscle weariness, we ordered another quick drink as we were all still abuzz from the day’s events.  The Birdies Bus pulled up out the front of the clubhouse, and took as back to our lovely hotel beds.

Day Four – Friday 22nd September 2017

Auckland ladies golf tourAnita Boon Pro Am Day Two – Still so excited!

The girls on the Auckland ladies golf tour all wanted to get to the golf course early so that we had plenty of time to head back to the Pro Shop and pick up some of the great golf gear that they’d had their eye on the day before.

It was almost a completely different field of amateurs, but they were all just as happy and excited as the day before.  With another 12:30pm shotgun start, the groups made their way out onto the course, with our girls again scoring some past and present touring professionals, who were all genuinely lovely ladies.

Play was again slow due to the long wet Winter, but a great day was had by all, especially our Jenny Bolger who took out the Longest Drive by an amateur!  Very proud.  With a glass of wine at hand and back in the warmth of the clubhouse the auctions got underway as everyone ate their dinner, followed by the prize giving.

Congratulations Sarah Kemp for absolutely blitzing the course on Thursday with an 8 under par and backing it up with solid golf on the Friday to take out the ultimate honours.

Day Five – Saturday 23rd September 2017

After three days of golf on our Auckland ladies golf tour, it was time for a day off.  First stop for the day was the artisan Amano Bakery, for chocolate croissants, which did not disappoint.  Then we wandered around the Famers Markets at Britomart before heading to the wharf to catch the ferry to Waiheke Island.  The 40 minute transfer across the harbour was beautiful.  The water was so clear.  Once we docked we transferred up the hill to Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant where we had a tasting of their premium wines while overlooking the gardens, with a view back to Auckland.

We enjoyed a gorgeous lunch (with more wine) and lots of great conversation, before heading back down the hill to the wharf for the ferry ride back to the city.  The group then headed to the Sky Tower to get a view of the city before meeting in Sue and Jenny’s room to watch the AFL final….with of course, a couple more drinks.

Day Six – Sunday 24th September 2017

Before we knew it, our final day of the Auckland ladies golf tour had arrived.  Waking early, we packed our bags and loaded the Birdies Bus with our luggage and golf clubs.  We headed North West to Muriwai Golf Links on Auckland’s West Coast.  As a real treat we had ALPG and PGA member Jessica Cowie playing with us.  She had already qualified for the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open which is being played next week.  To have the opportunity to play with Jessica and receive tips from her was truly amazing.

The course was in great condition, with black, volcanic sand bunkers, which came into play for a couple of us.  Muriwai is a links course, without any water to carry over and we agreed that we’d like to come back and play it again.  The views of the beach were gorgeous and a drink in the club house with some “fush & chups” was the perfect ending to a fabulous trip.  Thank you ladies for joining Golf & Tours and the ALPG on our inaugural Auckland ladies golf tour.  We hope to see you all again soon!