Geographically, Oceania covers a vast four and a half million square miles of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing Australia, New Zealand and the many islands, reefs and atolls that are situated in the ecozones of Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia (excluding Hawaii). Whilst rugby union and rugby league are two of the more popular sports amongst the forty million inhabitants of this continent, cricket, association football and Australian Rules football also attract plenty of supporters. Outside Australia and New Zealand, golf struggles to make an impact, though we do profile a dozen courses in the smaller island nations.
Fiji is said to have sixteen courses in play and we have details on the best three of these. Samoa and Guam are collectively reputed to have around a dozen courses in operation and we highlight two from each island. Solitary 18-hole layouts are featured for French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. With more than 1,600 courses to choose from, we first established a Top 100 chart for Australia in 2010. The following year, we selected a Top 50 for New Zealand from over 400 courses located on the North and South Islands. We reckon that combined together, we profile the top 7% of all the golf facilities in the two counties. And, looking at the crème de la crème of these antipodean courses, seven of the Aussie layouts and one Kiwi track currently feature in our World Top 100 listing.
In the Oceania region, 35 courses were under development at the end of 2014, with almost three quarters of the new golf projects connected to a resort and/or real estate project. Australia, the biggest golf country in the region, has 25 of these courses in development. In places like Melbourne, a number of clubs have collaborated with developers to use their course location for much needed housing, relocating their facility to a more rural area.
This data comes from an R&A report entitled “Golf around the World 2015”. To see the full report, click this R&A link then download the appropriate free publication.