On September 19th, 1979, a public meeting was held in the Surf Club hall, to discuss the feasibility of establishing a golf club in Mangawhai. From this meeting a steering committee was elected to investigate such a desirability and to secure land.

An option was subsequently taken out on 200 acres of land. A further public meeting was held on-site on October 22nd 1979, to report on developments. Following overwhelming support, a start was made on the first 9 holes. These were completed on December 16th 1979, just 24 days after work had commenced. Membership totalled 103, the first Clubhouse was a fridge, into which green fees were paid, and from which refreshments were served. Within 6 months, 1804 green fee players had attempted to better the par 34 course.

March, 1980 saw the election of the inaugural committee, by which time membership had soared to 180 - 15% of the Mangawhai community. The "fridge" was replaced by a garage, which served as a tractor shed-cum-Golf house.

In 1982, Harry Dale, architect of over 60 golf courses was commissioned to design a full 18 hole course for Mangawhai, the results of which are being enjoyed today. Mangawhai was the last course designed by Harry in his illustrious career.