Southland toasts teams, individuals, volunteers

Another hugely successful year for golf in Southland was celebrated yesterday at the Golf Southland Awards breakfast, which acknowledged the success of teams, individuals and those who volunteer untold amounts of time to support the game.

More than 80 people were on hand to celebrate a positive year for the sport in the south, which included a fourth consecutive national title for the Southland women's masters team, a top-four placing at the national Toro Interprovincial from the Southland men's team and individual success at a range of levels from New Zealand's top amateur, Vaughan McCall.

Tyler McLean, who played at number one for the Southland men's team and won a host of other tournaments, including the Southland championships, was named Southland's male golfer of the year, after a strong on-course year.

Otautau club member Sam McCracken was named Southland's junior player of the year; the second consecutive year he has won the award.

Robyn Boniface was named Southland's female golfer of the year for the third time.

All titles were determined by an order of merit points system.

The Golf Southland award for services to golf went to Judy Matthews, of the Te Anau Golf Club. Matthews was described as the club's catering convener, decorating co-ordinator and fundraiser, among a huge array of other roles she fulfils for the club.

Since starting golf in 1990 she has had time as the club's secretary, deputy club captain and club captain, she was a board of management member for four years and still plays an active role in encouraging new members as well as being an active club member herself.

Golf Southland also acknowledged the Southland women's masters team as having had the 2012 Outstanding Team Performance of the year, and recognised McCall who has had a stellar year competing internationally and domestically.

Boniface, Golf Southland chairwoman, says it has been another wonderful year for golf in Southland and today's awards breakfast highlighted a province that was well and truly punching above its weight.

"We have just more than 3000 members Southland-wide, which makes us one of the smallest associations in the country, but our golfers continuously perform to a very high level on the national scene," Boniface said.

"It has been another great year, with both team and individual successes and we are confident that that success will continue into 2013 and beyond.

"We just want more people playing the game - it's a great sport and every club in Southland would welcome new members."

The Southland Times