Details about the Nopera Golf course
What it is all about?
Nopera is a compact nine hole course with two tee blocks for each green. The blue tees play longer than the red and offer different risk and reward strategies to golfers. It is a short course due to the physical constraints of existing within a working farm, but offers difficulty due to the proximity of out of bound fences, trees and a deep creek that bisects the property.
It lies across the road from the sea, and has areas of gentle elevation with staggering views of the Kenepuru Sound and the surrounding bush clad hills.
Its current iteration is due to a relatively recent redevelopment when it was transformed from a rural course with electric fences around the greens and resident stock to a proper links and a destination in its own right. Increasingly it is becoming part of the local cultural and tourism scene with allied activities such as fishing, cycling, tramping, kayaking, sailing, and relaxing in the local accommodation.
There is a Croquet Court on the course adjacent to the clubhouse and equipment available to hire at very reasonable rates for both sports. In other words, no need to avoid an impromptu trip because the clubs aren’t in the car.
Nopera Bay Golf Club is run entirely by volunteers who care deeply about maintaining the course to a high standard and continue ongoing development. It boasts modern equipment and a comprehensive irrigation scheme to enable good playing conditions year round despite a high rainfall climate interspersed with hot dry summers.
The Marlborough Sounds comprise twenty percent of the coastline of New Zealand, but Nopera in the Kenepuru Sound has the only golf course in the region.
Take a virtual golf tour
Hole 1 (Phoenix)
Par 4 | 214m
It sounds short at 214 metres, but with an elevated green and a prevailing breeze, plays somewhat longer. The bay is to the right and a miscued drive can get wet. It is a dogleg left with out of bounds straight ahead on the far side of a water hazard that almost guards the fringe of the green. The left of the fairway is lined by trees. The green slopes downhill from the back to the front. The smart play is to avoid trouble, but golfers and smart is a frequent oxymoron.
Hole 2 (Nopera Heights)
Par 4 | 327m
From the elevated tee boxes the view is stunning but what isn’t visible is the green which is off in the distance and concealed by native bush in the large adjacent gully. It is a dogleg right where the ideal drive is a fade to the left side of the fairway and a view of the destination. Too straight and long brings the gully into threat and too far right leaves a difficult pitch over the bush that must stop before the boundary fence. Unsurprisingly Nopera Heights is the most difficult hole on the course at 327 metres, and the wise golfer treats this as a par 5. Add wise to the comparative oxymoron with golfers.
Hole 3 (Te Matau-a-Māui)
Par 4 | 230m
From the tee one looks directly at Te Matau a Maui Bay and at 230 metres it looks deceptively easy, however out of bounds on the right, trees and gully on the left with a target zone that narrows close to the green punish the errant shot. Accurate play is often rewarded with a birdie on this hole. Treat the electric fence as live, but occasionally we turn it off to lure the unsuspecting into thinking it is safe to retrieve a miscued hit.
Hole 4 (Georges Green)
Par 3 | 122m
The green is nestled into a curve in the gully that punishes anything too long or too right. New plantings in front of the tee blocks discourage the low punch shot into the prevailing northwester, yet a conservative mindset mitigates against par on this short hole. It looks easy though.
Hole 5 (The Gallery)
Par 3 | 167m
A hundred and sixty seven metres with expensive clubhouse windows behind the green and the gully all the way down the right side of the fairway. Into the southerly or with the norwester could mean the difference between a driver or a short iron for the average golfer. In time to come the Miro tree in the middle of the fairway will be an elegant showpiece of native flora and a massive obstacle to avoid.
Hole 6 (Tī Kōuka)
Par 3 | 134m
Named for the Cordyline Australis or New Zealand Cabbage trees that fringe the tees for a straight forward drive to the sloping green. To the left and right the rough is significant and trees surround all but the straight approach. The green is deceptively higher than the tee and correct club selection is the key to success in avoiding a difficult putt to hole out in par.
Hole 7 (Godsiffs Gully)
Par 3 | 144m
The Godsiff family were pioneers in the district known for their resilience in the face of adversity, and visitors to the course need the same character traits on this hole. The tees are elevated, the green slopes alarmingly and is large enough that judging pace on the putting surface is a tricky task. Large trees intruding into the airspace of a well placed drive and smaller trees in the landing zone of a cautious approach require a pioneering fortitude. A bit of luck helps too.
Hole 8 (Eagles Delight)
Par 3 | 153m
One hundred and fifty seven metres with the widest and deepest part of the gully located in front of the green, out of bounds to the back and a water hazard to the left of the landing zone. The faint hearted lay up short of the gully and play a delicate short iron over the hazard. The green presents few difficulties in comparison to the approach. Par is an excellent return.
Hole 9 (Clubhouse Calling)
Par 4 | 213m
At only two hundred and thirteen metres the tee shot is blind over the gully and tall trees and bush it contains, but with a slight fade and enough elevation, the reward is a short second shot and a potential sub par result. Not enough height means your ball disappears into the scrub, and too straight can result in a ball lost to another lateral water hazard. Accuracy here means a good score and an impetus to continue playing or to return in the future. A bad first shot could ruin your day.
Repeat the same tee boxes to avoid the mistakes you made the first time around, or swap to the red tees to learn a whole set of new ones.
Nopera Golf Club score card
Local course rules
- 15cm placing on own fairway
- Out of bounds defined by boundary fences and white pegs on right hand side of No.Fairway
- Staked trees, 1 club length free relief
- Repair divots and pitch marks
- Creek hazard - enter to retrieve balls at own risk
Markers to centre of green:
Red & Blue - 135m Orange - 90m
Treat all fences as “LIVE”