We continue to profile the town golf clubs - this week: SBS Bank Invercargill Golf Club, profiled by the club's president, Tony O'Neill.
With more than 100 years of proud history, the SBS Bank Invercargill Golf Club, at 190 Dunn's Rd, Otatara, provides an 18-hole course layout that has challenged many fine golfers. Recent development of the course has seen the removal of a number of macrocarpa and pine trees planted when the course was built. Those trees removed will be replaced with native plants to further enhance the plantings made in the last 20 years and this will provide further encouragement to the native birdlife to build their already vibrant population.
Along with hosting a 1958 international event and the 1960 New Zealand Golf Championship, the popular course is home to the SBS Invitational AM AM played annually in March.
A plethora of fine players, including Gene Sarazen, Sir Bob Charles, Gary Player, Peter Thompson and Kel Nagle to name a few, have graced the fairways.
Since its inception, the SBS Invitational has attracted the very best amateurs New Zealand has produced; a significant number of whom have gone on to the professional ranks. One of those professionals, Steven Alker, holds the course record of 64.
In November the club will again host the New Zealand Women's Masters Championship, at which the Southland women's team will defend the title they have won for the past three years.
The course is set on undulating, tree-lined land and caters for all golfers, regardless of skill level.
The social golfer can also enjoy the lush surroundings, native flora and fauna and a peaceful atmosphere.
Members and visitors can access the well-stocked golf shop and receive golf lessons from the resident professional, Scott Riordan, and his colleague, trainee professional Cody Harper.
There are a range of membership options available and the club, recognising that the optimum time to start golf is when a person is young, has attractive offers to encourage school age and younger working men and women into the sport.
- The Southland Times