POVERTY BAY GOLF COURSE
18 holes: Men Par 72, Ladies Par 74
Blue 6115m | White 5916m | Yellow (Ladies) 5309m
Poverty Bay is a links-styled golf course built over an old system of sand dunes near the ocean at Awapuni on the south-western edge of the city of Gisborne. Most of the holes run parallel to the nearby beach, following the troughs of former dunes. Free draining sandy soils allow play in even very wet weather. Dry summers produce long runs. Gisborne’s two prevailing winds are north-westerly (warm and dry) and southerly (cold and wet), so the wind direction on the course can be completely about face from one day to the next. The greens are amongst the best in New Zealand. The fairways are sprinklered and have an undulating topography. Strategic areas of uncontrolled rough give the course its reputation as a links. Although a provincial course, Poverty Bay is extremely highly regarded and the venue of several national tournaments.
FRONT NINE HOLES
2648 (yellow) | 2907m (white) | 3008m (blue)
1: Yellow Stroke 4 421m | White Stroke 8 456m | Blue Stroke 8 474m
Hole 1 is a straight shooting par 5 with a tricky twist in its tail caused by a large pine tree overhanging the approach to the green on the left side. Bunkers left and right
2: Yellow Stroke 15 117m | White Stroke 16 150m | Blue Stroke 16 157m
Hole 2 is a cleverly designed par 3 with bunkers at front and on both sides, cunningly positioned to scoop up and punish the timid and errant.
3: Yellow Stroke 2 346m | White Stroke 6 346m | Blue Stroke 6 351m
Hole 3, par 4, cuts between two water hazards, the lake and the reservoir, with slices and hooks equally waterbound. Dog-leg left. Green surround slopes away on three sides.
4: Yellow Stroke 13 280m | White Stroke 4 360 | Blue Stroke 4 372m
Hole 4, par 4, heads back the other way with groves of trees creating concern left and right before dog-leg right. Bunker on right. Steep slope at rear of the green.
5: Yellow Stroke 6 427m | White Stroke 14 463m | Blue Stroke 14 483m
Hole 5, heads directly back to the Pro Shop with much undulation and strategically placed trees to make it a less than straightforward par 5. Deep bunker on left.
6: Yellow Stroke 18 118m | White Stroke 18 118m | Blue Stroke 18 125m
Hole 6 is the course’s shortest hole where wind strength and direction can determine reaching for anything from a sandwedge to a 6 iron on this bunker-besieged par 3
7: Yellow Stroke 9 279m | White Stroke 12 307m | Blue Stroke 12 315m
Hole 7 is a tricky right-bending par 4 where big-hitters can be punished in trees and rough terrain on the left and the more timid caught short behind trees on the right. Bunkers left and right.
8: Yellow Stroke 11 282m | White Stroke 10 329m | Blue Stroke 10 335m
Hole 8 is a straight par 4, problematic if playing your second from in, or behind trees, at driving distance on both sides. Bunker on right. Tricky two-tiered green.
9: Yellow Stroke 16 378m | White Stroke 2 378m | Blue Stroke 2 396m
Hole 9, is a long par 4 (ladies par 5) with a large overhanging tree creating a blind spot just short of the marker on left. Rogue trees play a significant role on both sides. Bunkers all round.
BACK NINE HOLES
2661 (yellow) | 3009m (white) | 3107m (blue)
10: Yellow Stroke 10 283m | White Stroke 17 283m | Blue Stroke 17 295m
Hole 10, a short par 4, heads north again. Green is best approached from the right, but watch the trees. Three bunkers.
11: Yellow Stroke 14 133m | White Stroke 9 173m | Blue Stroke 9 178m
Hole 11, a longish, narrow, tree-lined, par 3 gauntlet. Errant shots left, right and over-the-back can be severely punished. Bunker on right.
12: Yellow Stroke 5 399m | White Stroke 3 457m | Blue Stroke 3 497m
Hole 12, aptly called “Hades”, is a par 5 that can be either heaven or hell. Out-of-bounds beckons on the right, trees and deep rough to the left. Green is tucked right, out of sight, behind a grove of pine trees and protected by two bunkers. Keep left is the local rule.
13: Yellow Stroke 12 276m | White Stroke 11 336m | Blue Stroke 11 350m
Hole 13, par 4, is the start of the “Devil’s Triangle” and again hugs the course boundary with deep rough and tall trees left and right. Approach is from a shallow gully.
14: Yellow Stroke 17 254m | White Stroke 15 308m | Blue Stroke 15 314m Hole 14, par 4, faces directly south which means the green is makable in a strong northwester. Unprotected out-of-bounds is compelling. Tall timber on the left. OB just two metres from back of green. Two bunkers and sloping green.
15: Yellow Stroke 7 315m | White Stroke 1 376m | Blue Stroke 1 384m
Hole 15, par 4, and you’re heading home. A big slice may put you on the local speedway track and a pull in deep rough behind tall trees. Steep dip in fairway 110 metres from green. Bunkers left and right.
16: Yellow Stroke 3 319m | White Stroke 7 339m | Blue Stroke 7 352m
Hole 16, par 4, has unseen water hazard to the left. Big drives right can be caught behind tree line. Sloping green has bunkers right front, and left.
17: Yellow Stroke 1 379m | White Stroke 5 379m | Blue Stroke 5 379m
Hole 17, par 4, calls for long drives to iron out the dog-leg left with a forest of pines catching short balls in this direction and nasty trees, bare earth, tree roots and deep rough on right. OB on right all the way to the green. Bunker right and left.
18: Yellow Stroke 8 303m | White Stroke 13 358m | Blue Stroke 13 358m
Hole 18, par 4, calls for driving accuracy to avoid over-hanging pine on left and “The Ditch” which parallels fairway on the right all the way to the green. Practise fairway may save big hooks left. Bunkers front left, and both sides of green.