A great part of Aucklands history and a great place to play around

Only twenty minutes west of the central city is one of Aucklands more picturesque country golf courses. Huapai is surrounded by farmland and stretches through to the upper reaches of the Waitemata Harbour at Harkins Point.

Harkins Point has played an interesting and important role in the development of the Auckland region. In 1871 local Maori and Irish work gangs began the task of building a railway through to Helensville with Harkins Point serving as the Southern terminal for what would become a vital link through to the Kaipara communities.

In 1907 Auckland City Council purchased land in the area, which was eventually used to raise and run Clydesdale horses ACCs main transport. Harkins Point then featured in the countrys early communication as a link point for the first direct telegraph cable connection between Auckland and Sydney. The route was from Sydney to Bondi Beach, then across the Tasman to Muriwai and overland to Harkins Point. From there it again took to the water down the Waitemata to Auckland city.

Huapai Golf Club purchased some of this land from the council in 1939 and so began the construction of the course we enjoy today. The railway and cable are long gone but the area is still surrounded by horses, along with many ducks taking advantage of our lakes, providing some interesting and vocal criticism before, during and after players tee off or putt out.

The course is not too physically challenging thus encouraging players to take a trundler and enjoy the walk rather than drive a cart. For those preferring something more leisurely, carts, and clubs, can be hired from the pro shop.

The course can provide a great challenge for all levels of golfer. Scott MacPherson, a young New Zealand course architect, has commented in one golfing magazine that a course should be fun and engaging. That, I believe, is Huapai.

The fairways are quite wide and many of them allow the player to utilise fairways one or two across from the one they are playing. But others have an obvious out-of-bounds, gardens, trees or one of the four lakes on the course. In the early days of the club a tree planting session resulted in one tree being left over. So what do you do plant it so that it catches as many wayward balls as possible! The tree was named Myrtle and was strategically placed between the first and eighth fairways.