Golfing at Hawkes Bay

Sue read, I worked on my computer all morning. After lunch Sue suggested we go for a ride and ‘explore’ Hawkes Bay. Okay, but we had sort of decided to golf at Maraenui Golf Club, a course quite near our place. They have a ‘twilight special’ on Wednesdays. Well, we can go for a drive and then check out the golf course on our way back. Good.

We drove out to Hawkes Bay, a 30-minute drive from here. The scenery along the way was amazing — rolling hills, lots of orchards and vineyards. A big lumberyard (that must be where all those logging trucks are heading).

We first went to the Hawkes Bay Golf Course, just to see what it might be like and what the green fees might be there. The parking lot had a few cars in it. Not very busy. It’s hard to see what the course is like from the parking lot. We went in to talk to the office. Well, today is our lucky day — $10 for nine holes and you enter to win prizes that will be awarded at 7:00 tonight. Hmmm.. we don’t really want to ‘compete’. Can we just golf? Sure! $10.

It was just before 3pm but the lady told us to just go tee off at hole #1. Oh, Sue wondered if they had any ‘trundlers’ available. That’s what they call the push carts here in New Zealand, and at some of the courses they have a row of them just outside the clubhouse, for those who didn’t bring their own. And they had some here too, although they were $5. And a DELUXE trundler at that! With a seat on it so Sue could sit while I go look for my ball in among the trees!

And off we were — almost alone on the course, having a great time. The cloudy sky kept the hot sun at bay. And the big wind Sue had read about never materialized. Our game was nothing to write home about (so I won’t), but we were quite impressed with the course. Friendly, very well maintained, the best greens we’ve played on since Steinbach in August. And no pressure from golfers behind us.

After nine holes we saw quite a few men (members of the club) on the practice green, getting ready for the big competition and the prizes that followed. We bought another nine holes for $10 and continued on the back nine. Both of our games improved considerably on the back nine. The course was long, par 73, and fairly challenging, but VERY much fun. We’ll definitely come back here — maybe more than once a week.

We drove home after golf and had happy hour. Then we went out for a short walk across the road from our place — to a ‘chicken and chips’ restaurant on the beach. We ordered half a barbecued chicken and some deep fried bananas and pineapples. We sat at a table on the beach and watched the sailboats on the water, the children on the beach, and the sun setting over Napier, while we ate our supper. It’s pretty nice here!

We went back to our apartment, watched a Frontline episode on my computer. And we were in bed before eleven. Just another day in paradise.