When the current and returning members of the Waiuku Golf club gather to play at the Club’s 100th Year centennial celebration weekend in June, they will be thankful that the hazards they encounter are not hoof marks from cattle and sheep and fences around all the greens and gullies full of tea-tree and prickly blackberries as was the case in the early years of the course. Certainly not ideal for ball retrieval!
The club has its origins as far back as 1911, when Dr C D Howden and Mr B Armitage, manager at the local National bank arrived in Waiuku. They created for themselves a four- or five-hole course on what was then known as Parker’s Paddock in Kitchener Road. Their obvious enthusiasm for the game inspired others to join. One of whom was Mr. L F Shakespeare who owned suitable land for a course and it was there, about 2 miles out of Waiuku at Glenora, Pukekoware that a nine hole course was developed and through due process officially became the Waiuku Golf Club.
The current location of the Club is at Racecourse Road in Waiuku and has been the home of Waiuku Golf since its official opening June 23rd, 1921. The opening drive being taken by Mr C R Howden, who was one of the founders of the Otago Golf Club, the oldest club in New Zealand. The years have seen the course grow to a full 18 holes, laid out over picturesque land that has excellent views over the estuary and beyond.
The soil composition of the course makes for great natural drainage and this allows the course to be played right through the winter with very little disruption. Coupled with the new two story clubhouse built in 1969 to replace the original Green Shed that had served the club since 1925 and provides excellent bar and catering facilities that is a delight for even the most travelled golfer.
Over the years tireless volunteers have given hours and hours of immense support to develop the course and plant trees to define fairways and beautify the reserve and that has made Waiuku a very popular place to play golf.
“The club is steeped in history and is a valuable facility in Waiuku both past and present. Golf has grown in popularity and although as a club we have had our share of low membership numbers due to financial hardships we now have about 600 members and we would still love others to join us,” enthuses Life Member and Centennials Committee member Margaret James.
Golf is a very accessible game and although memberships of some of the many prestigious clubs can be very expensive, Waiuku Golf club is much more affordable. Clubs and balls are available if you are just wanting to have a go at the game, and club members are always available to lend a helping hand to assist with improving your swing. The club has members ranging in ages in their 80’s down to teenagers and even younger. They all come together on the course for a game of Golf; originally known as the ‘Ancient Game’ and following the mantra of fun, fellowship and exercise.
“We are proud of our club and the friendly atmosphere it presents to members and visitors and many a good story gets told over a coffee, glass of wine or a few beers. We are looking forward to celebrating our first 100 years with past and present members starting in June. Various functions and events are organized from June and will continue through until June 2022 and we would love to share them with new members, so come and join us!”