Ambitious golf retirement plan takes shape

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2014
Southland Times photo
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
Ron and Margaret Fergusson, of Scotland, playing at the Southland Golf Clubs links course as part of playing all 246 Links golf courses in the world.

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There are 246 links golf courses in the world and a Scottish couple have a bold retirement project to play every one of them.

Yesterday afternoon Ron and Margaret Fergusson arrived in Invercargill to tick the Southland Golf Club at Oreti Sands off their long list.

A links course is a golf course situated on coastal strips of land between beaches and town or farmland.

The couple came up with the idea to play all 246 after Mr Fergusson gave his wife a book which outlined them all.

With the 60-year-olds, who were both doctors, now retired they thought they would work through the book. They expected the number might grow when more links courses are made in the future.

"The most difficult one is a links course which is nine holes and is north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, we're going to have to go a long way to play nine holes of golf," Mrs Fergusson said.

Of the 246 courses, 210 are in the British Isles, limiting the travel for the couple, while at nine links courses New Zealand is the country with most outside Britain.

All up they will visit 12 countries to complete their retirement project and hope to have it done in a decade.

"We better get cracking because if we do 20 a year it's going to take us 12 years," Mr Fergusson said.

But they are unsure if Mrs Fergusson can play every course. "Some of the clubs are quite exclusive, all male perhaps, so for Margaret to play at some of the courses might be difficult," Mr Fergusson said.

"Some people have said the biggest challenge will be trying to get Margaret on the all-male courses in Britain."

Mrs Fergusson, who plays off a 12 handicap, and Mr Fergusson, who plays off eight, were excited about playing at the Southland Golf Club yesterday afternoon because it is the most southern links course in the world. They are to play Chisholm Park next.

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