Ten minutes’ drive south-west of Hastings will bring you to one of the surprises of Hawkes Bay.
The youngest of the four major golf courses in the Bay, the Hawkes Bay Golf Club, formerly the Flaxmere Golf Club, still has room to accommodate new members.
The course, originally built on 56.5 hectares of pumice land at the end of Valentine Road, 10km from Hastings town centre, was designed initially by Commander John Harris. Commander John Harris was an international Course designer who designed many courses including the famous Wairakei Course near Taupo and Royal Canberra in Australia. The Course was opened in 1969
In 1968 and 1969 an enthusiastic group of people spent many hours picking up pumice and carrying water to newly planted trees to help develop a Golf Course on the pumice-based land that was then known as the Flaxmere Golf Course. In 2017 and 2018 enthusiastic members re-laid greens and assisted the redevelopment with tree planting raking new fairway and tee areas and providing many hours of voluntary labour.
Today the course looks magnificent, with wide, tree-lined, N.Z. browntop and fescue fairways and large Pencross greens. Hawkes Bay Golf Club was among the first in the country to use this cultivar for all 18 holes.
The tranquil setting has attracted much wildlife to join the members on their way around the course. Tui's can often be heard in the trees, while at ground level the doves are a picture as they gather to watch the golfers amble by.
There are also wild duck, plover, heron and the very noisy pied stilts, which regularly nest in and populate the water hazards about the course. In addition to the wild-life, the course offers magnificent views, with Te Mata peak to the east and the Northern Ruahines to the west.
In June 2017 an agreement to sale and purchase of 11.6 Hectares (more or less) was entered into with Gourmet Blueberries Ltd the owner of a significant area of adjoining land. The Board engaged Mr Grant Puddicombe of Puddicombe Golf an international Course design Company to assist with the design of the redevelopment. Mr Puddicombe prepared three concepts for consideration.
Work commenced in the last week of August 2017 with the removal of a significant number of trees some very large. September, October and November are busy months with three important tournaments so construction was of necessity staged to avoid clashes.
By the new year work had progressed to a point where Grant Puddicombe could return to start the final shaping of the greens. His talents and love for course development where readily evident to those who observed this part of the project. It was time for the big push and a large group of members gathered for the very physical and time critical part of the development when the old green surfaces were lifted and re-laid on the new greens. Four Greens where completed over four days – a significant achievement that was only possible because of the numbers of members who turned up on the days and the organisation of Craig Mitchell.
The new course layout was officially opened on the 2nd of September 2018 – eighteen holes designed to challenge the skills and determination of any golfer who ventures onto the fescue and brown top fairways, risk the water hazards and putt out on the Pencross greens. We invite you come and try the new course layout.
You will find we are the “friendliest golf club in the bay”, come and try us out, new members and green fee players are always welcome.