One of Otago golf’s prettiest spots is looking forward to its next round of 50.
The Tokarahi Golf Club, named the best presented in Otago-Southland a few years ago, recently celebrated its 50th jubilee.
About 60 older members of the club enjoyed a tour of the picturesque nine-hole course, followed by afternoon tea and the planting of three anniversary shrubs.
Greenkeeper Marty McCone said the members enjoyed the opportunity to drive over the course to see the irrigation in action and observe how the course had developed over the years.
A day later, nearly 100 past and present members attended a dinner at the club to share some yarns and reflect on special days on the course.
McCone, who has been in his role for 25 years, said it was “a great occasion” and the club was in good heart.
The first lot of irrigation came to Tokarahi in 1998, and the whole course was watered by 2014.
“This was all done voluntarily by club members,” McCone said.
The greens have all doubled in size over the years, and the high number of trees gives the course its classic country look.
McCone said the club was started by a group of four – Garth Johnson, John McKenzie, John Douglas and Nan Douglas – in 1967.
The land originally belonged to the McKenzie family before it was bought by the club for $8000 in 1970-71.
It was rough and ready in the early days – sheep kept the grass low, and the original clubhouse was a “war asset” building from Totara – but the course is now in pristine condition thanks to the work of McCone, former greenkeeper Doug Wilson and other volunteers.
The club’s bold move to bid for an event on the Legends Pro-Am Tour has paid off with three consecutive successful tournaments.