Members of the Mt Nessing golf club committee celebrated the 75th anniversary of the club over the weekend.
The weekend also marked the opening of the new clubrooms which local club members built themselves with supervision from a local builder.
Club secretary Penny Campbell said given the club only has 25 or so local members they were very proud of the work they have done, considering they only started building the clubrooms in December.
There were about 80 current and ex-members of the club in attendance including the oldest ex-member who is in his 90s.
The club was formed in May 1939 at the homestead of W Simpson and called the Opawa Golf Club.
It started with 14 members, only two of whom had ever played golf, but that apparently did not lessen the general enthusiasm in setting up the course.
The course was officially opened on June 24, 1939, by Mr D C Kidd, MP, who drove the first ball in front of about 50 members and visitors.
At a later meeting in July, it was decided to change the name of the club to Mt Nessing Golf Club.
The nine-hole course on a 24 hectare (60 acre) strip of farmland on the river flat, part of Mr D Simpson's Mt Nessing property, was designed by George Forrest of Timaru.
Over the 75 years of the club's history, very few changes have been made to the course, which became known as one of the most interesting and testing nine-hole country courses in the South Island.
The feature hole is Aorangi, because you can see a perfect view of Mt Cook on fine days.
The first club championships were held in 1940. The first Mackenzie Championship was held the same year and on July 13, 1940 an open tournament was held to raise patriotic funds for World War II.
In 1955 a new clubhouse was built in partnership with the Mt Nessing Collie Club.
It was located in the middle of the course meaning the holes had to be re-numbered.
Power was installed in the clubhouse in 1963 and by 1965, the year of the club's 25th jubilee, an extension to the clubhouse was completed.
On March 24, 1971 the ladies formed their own club.
A major achievement for the club was the installation of water to the greens in 1973, a year marked by three holes in one. Further additions and renovations were made to the clubhouse in 1974, and in 1979 the decision was made to purchase the Collie Club share of the clubhouse at a "fair and reasonable price."
Seventy trees were planted around the course by the club during 1984.
Time had taken its toll on the old building so in 2012 members agreed the time had come to undertake a major rebuild.
Local builder Kelvin Watson's estimate of about $68,000 was accepted and demolition of the old building began in October 2013.
The building was completed and more or less weather-proofed before Christmas.
SOUTH CANTERBURY HERALD
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