Golf newbies loving life at the club

They may not play the sport, but the new managers at the Kaikoura Golf Club are not letting that get in the way of making themselves right at home and loving their new adventure.

Christchurch couple Bruce and Liz Thomson have been coming to Kaikoura for camping holidays for the past seven years.

Planning on retiring here in two or three years' time, they bought a house on the Esplanade in July last year.

But when they saw the manager's position advertised, they took the bull by the horns, applied for the job and brought forward the move.

Liz was teaching home economics and chef training at Shirley Boys' High School until the end of last year while Bruce moved a couple of months earlier and began to get his head around the new job, which involves all aspects of running the club, from cleaning and maintenance through to running the kitchen, bar and the business administration.

While the pair do not play golf - yet - Bruce's former job was with the Christchurch City Council as facility asset adviser which entailed managing budgets and working with recreational services from campgrounds to golf courses.

"We don't play golf but I daresay we will learn," says Bruce.

"The club captain does all the events so we don't have to worry too much . . . and all my mates play so I've been hearing all the terminology in the pub for a while."

Liz is not only looking forward to having a go at swinging a club but she is relishing the different pace of the job.

With nowhere near the same pressures as she had with her teaching job, she is happy and relaxed and very much enjoying the change.

The couple began their married life on Stewart Island where Bruce was a commercial fisherman, so Kaikoura is the perfect spot to get back to those fishing roots.

But they admit they have so far been too busy getting used to the seven-day week to really make the most of the fishing opportunities. Their two sons are still living in Christchurch and making the move to Kaikoura has the advantage of providing somewhere for the family to enjoy quality time.

"We had a text from one of them the other day to say ‘you'll probably see more of me now than you did in Christchurch'," says Bruce. "They love it here."

Having the job at the golf course is also a good way of making new friends in an instant, and Bruce and Liz say the social aspect of the club is great.

"We've shortcut our way into the community really," says Liz.

"If we had just come here on our own we would have had to join clubs.

"This is quite a social job, although I have to remember an awful lot of names."

And the pair are not planning on going anywhere now they are here.

Instead they are looking forward to living out their days in this little corner of paradise.

"I was born by the sea and I'm going to spend the rest of my life by the sea," says Bruce.

Kaikoura Star