Golf club thriving 40 years on

SHARE

An ambitious plan hatched back in 1976 has become a mainstay of North Otago sport and recreation. The Lower Waitaki Golf Club has celebrated its 40th jubilee on Sunday. Its course, 12km north of Oamaru, boasts about 200 members and a scenic setting with flat land easily accessible to most players. There were plenty of sceptics when a group of keen golfers dreamed about creating a new amenity on the Waitaki Plains. ‘‘Dave Finlay really cranked up the local farmers,’’ club president John Rudduck said. Collie Hurst and his sons, Doug and Ian, were also instrumental in bringing the project to fruition, he said. The Hursts were still heavily involved, along with many other volunteers who donate their time to the club. Rudduck’s in­laws, Eric and Inez Fraser, were foundation members of the club. They also bought memberships for their grandchildren, Geoff, Peter and Sue Rudduck, who would go out to the course and pick up stones in the early days. Eric Fraser was a life member and club patron. Geoff lives in Christchurch, but Peter and Sue (now Sue Pennycook) still belong to the club. Sue’s stepson, Zain Pennycook, is one of its up­and­coming young golfers. Sue Pennycook is secretary and both Peter and his mother, Kathleen Rudduck, have been club captain. Geoff has the lowest handicap, 6, with Peter not far behind on 8. All feature on the honours board.
John Rudduck said the course was continually being improved under the care of a full­time greenkeeper.