SHARE
Labour of love . . . Glenfern Links greenskeeper Matt King puts the finishing touches on a green using a mower as old as the 1927 course. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

Matt King does it all at Waianakarua’s Glenfern Links.

He is a part-owner of the nine-hole golf course, the greenskeeper and, after defeating two challengers last year, the defending club champion.

The course was open to the public by arrangement, but the offer was not often taken up, Mr King said.

At $10 a round, he estimated it pulled in $80 in green-fees last year.

The course was as much about family it was golf, he said.

It was created in 1927 by Oamaru lawyer A.J. Grave, who was Mr King’s great-grandfather.

It had been passed down through the family ever since.

When it was put on the market in 2016, six of Mr Grave’s descendants got together and purchased the course.

Mr King, who moved to Herbert from Auckland in 2001, had fond memories of visiting the North Otago area when he was growing up.

“We spent magic childhoods here, I hated going home,” he said.

Last year, Mr King set out to upgrade the course, mostly using the equipment that came with its purchase, some which dated back to 1927.

“Having the course tidy really does wonders for your game,” he said.

Mr King was proud to continue his family’s legacy by maintaining the course.

“You [have] to pinch yourself that you [are] here,” he said.

“And you kind of feel that it’s been like this forever.”

The course would host a wedding next month, and Mr King said there was potential to expand it as a venue.

In the foreseeable future though, its main function will not change.

“I can’t not let it be a golf course, I wouldn’t want to see that,” he said.

“It was A.J’s vision and I think we can make it work, even if it means we have to go back to push mowers.”