Said to be the southernmost golf course, not just in New Zealand, but in the entire world, Oreti Sands is an 18-hole course, situated only 10 minutes from the city of Invercargill. It was established by the locals of Southland, under the assistance of Sloan Morpeth (a New Zealand designer), in the 1970s. Morpeth honed his designing skills in Australia while working as a secretary at famous clubs like Portsea and Peninsula. While designing Oreti Sands golf course, Morpeth followed a series of smaller contours and ridges, while avoiding the dunes in the area. Most of the greens at Oreti Sands are set on the ground, and they contain enough sparse bunkering to ensure that golfers experience a stimulating challenge.
The golf market in southern New Zealand is a tough one. Despite its high quality, Oreti Sands golf club course was not an easy sell. During its early days, the club struggled financially, and the membership was also declining. In 2008, a grant of $500000 helped the club a great deal, with the bulk of this money spent on minor improvements, which were done by the designers, Greg Turner and Scott Macpherson. Courtesy of these improvements, three more holes were added to the golf course, and the Morpeth’s 16th and 17th holes were redesigned. Currently (as of 2018), Oreti Sands golf club is on the verge of closure due to declining membership. The golf course is now maintained by volunteers.
On a positive note, the dunes at the golf course are glorious, and they complement the holes. The 5th hole plays much longer than it used to back then. Even though the 16th hole offers little incentives attacking from the tee, the closing holes at Oreti Sands golf course are memorable. The facilities there are still modest and suitable for anyone looking for fun on the greens. You won’t regret visiting the facility before it closes.