About Us
Experience Enjoyable Golf at Kapiti’s Most Welcoming Club
We are an 18 hole course about 50 minutes drive north of Wellington. We warmly welcome both casual players and new members onto the course. The Waikanae Golf Course is a beautiful course that is enjoyable to play but still offers plenty of challenge for the keen golfer. Waikanae Golf Club has been the host to several National Events including qualifying for the New Zealand Open, the National Women’s Stroke Play and the National Women’s Under 19 Championships.
We are more than just a golf course:
Waikanae Golf Club History
There is no doubt that the Waikanae Golf Course and its incorporated club has contributed greatly to the development of Waikanae township. It’s attractiveness as a picturesque, recreational and central part of Waikanae is certainly an asset to the district.
The course came into being in the 1960's, due to the foresight of one man, John Dixon, who in those days, was a builder on the Kapiti coast.
He built a house for a farmer, Mr Jack Field, a member of a Waikanae pioneer family on the Kapiti coast. The house is still there, just above the first tee. Jack Field farmed a large area around the house for a year or two until John Dixon purchased the property and 62 acres around it in the early sixties.
At first, sub-division for housing was definitely considered, and in the meantime John Dixon ran a few cattle on the property. During this period there was a 9 hole private course on the Main Road North, run by a Mr Ken Johnson. Evidently, this venture was not successful, probably due to its isolation. However, Johnson suggested to John Dixon that his land and location would be ideal for golf. Dixon considered and decided that looking down on a golf course from his house would be far better than viewing rooftops.
John Dixon had only a layman's knowledge on how to build tees and greens, so co-opted a friend, Alf Jenkins, a pro at the Paraparaumu Club to help design a 9 hole course. (There were no barriers like Resource Consent in those days).
The next step was to find someone who had experience in forming and growing tees and greens. Jack Strap, a contractor and Jack Hunt, an ex head greenkeeper from the Paraparaumu Club, completed this work. Jack Hunt had built the original greens and had been there for 28 years.
On installation of a watering system to tees and greens, the 9 holes were ready for play in October 1968. After only two years work, this was quite an achievement.
The course, having been built on a base of sand near the sea, with very few trees, except for cabbage trees, was sometimes described as a links course, but in the St Andrew's definition, it did not conform to this description.
In those early years the privately owned course was open to the public and quickly became popular amongst business houses from Wellington for social tournaments, even though the original Club House facilities were quite small. The original Club building was on the site of the present lower dining room. This was later extended to its present dining room size (2003). The first caterers were Doug and Honey Rawlings.
In 1968 several local golfers, using the course mainly on weekends and paying green fees, were discussing the possibility of forming a club.
Extract from a letter from Frank Robertson:
"Approximately February 1969, the then course owner, Mr John Dixon and Mr F W Smith, discussed the formation of a Waikanae Golf Club. Further to that discussion I was the recipient of a phone call one Saturday morning pertaining to my possible interest on this matter. Several hours later Mr Fred Smith called at my residence and an amiable hour or so was spent on discussing the feasibility of the formation of a Golf Club in Waikanae. It was decided to call a meeting at Fred's residence, of various people interested in this project. This meeting was duly held and attended by the following:
Messrs Trevor Findlay, Doug Kirkwood (both now deceased) Fred Smith, Terence Tuohy, Frank Robertson and Mr and Mrs K Johnson.
Of those attending, Fred Smith was later to become President of the Club, Frank Robertson - Club Captain, Georgie Johnson - Ladies Club Captain and Trevor Findlay - first Committee Member.
Eventually on the 12th April 1969, with the agreement of John Dixon, the inaugural meeting was held in the Club House and attended by 73 people. The Foundation Committee decided that only concession ticket holders issued by John Dixon were able to vote.
Entrance fees and subscriptions were set:
  Entrance Fees Subscriptions
Full playing $50 $50
Mid week $40 $40
Sunmler $40 $40
Junior - $15
Non playing $20 $20
It is interesting to note that a hole in one levy being included in the subscription was set at $1.65, just a few cents less than today's (year 2003) levy of $2. Also the club's contribution at that time to the lucky golfer was $5 to help towards a bar shout for those present on the occasion.
The first officers of the club were:
Patron: Sir Thomas McDonald MP 1948-1957
President: Fred Smith
Vice Presidents: J Arthur and D Jepson
Club Captain: Frank Robertson
Vice Captain: Peter Jarratt
Committee: R Adams, L Alpine, Mrs G Johnson, D Hall, T Findlay, R Elvy
Auditor: D Hall
Secretary: J Kershaw
Financial arrangements were made with John Dixon that club members would no longer need to pay green fees and that special times would be reserved for members on Sundays and Wednesdays for club competitions. The course was still open to the public outside these hours.
The membership was restricted to 150 full playing and 40 mid-week status. Many of the members were from outside of the Kapiti district. Play commenced-on 19th April 1969.
The official opening of the new club was 4th May 1969. The President of the NZ Golfing Association, Mr D O White, attended. Sir Thomas McDonald, the first patron, declared the club open.
Mr D O White congratulated Mr John Dixon on his initiative in building the course because at that time all clubs in the Wellington area had waiting lists with a combined tally of 3000 names.
Considerable discussion took place about who would hit the first ball off No. 1 Tee. The President and Club Captain both turned the offer down, mainly because the first fairway was over the stream where the Motels are now situated. Eventually John Dixon, the course's owner, with some trepidation, agreed he would do it. Little did he know that someone had bored a hole in the ball and placed a ball-bearing inside. It was a good first shot, which sailed over the creek, but when it landed, took a sharp kick right and was never seen again!
Construction of the second 9 holes had already commenced at this stage, next to the original 9 holes on land leased by John Dixon from Moss Smith's farm.
Play on the whole 18 holes began on Sunday 25th October 1970.
Annual Report and Balance Sheet
It hardly seems possible that some twelve months have passed since our inaugural meeting at which the club was established and incorporated. In this short period, thanks to the calibre and enthusiasm of members who have voluntarily given of their time to attend meetings and arrange our various functions and activities, we have established a club of which we all may be justly proud.
Throughout the year some thirteen full committee meetings have been held together with a somewhat larger number of sub¬committee meetings whose considered recommendation have materially expedited the administrative duties of the main committee. These sub-committees have also had the responsibility of instituting club policy, and it is only fitting that we accord them our appreciation of their efforts.
Match Committee - This committee has undertaken the organisation of all competitions and club matches, allocated handicaps and generally advised on all matters pertaining to the enjoyment of our games on the course.
Social Committee - Starting with our first function on opening day they have been responsible for many cordial hours of relaxation including the operation of the 19th.
Finance Committee - The healthy position shown in our balance sheet reflects their attention to our interests. They are to be congratulated on the results of their fund· raising efforts.
Membership & Course Committee - Apart from the welcoming and advising of new members, the committee was responsible for the new agreement negotiated with Mr. Dixon for extended playing rights.
Club Captain - Without doubt the most arduous position in any golf club. Our sincere thanks to Frank. There is no doubt that the excellent esprit de corps existing in the club in the main is due to the efficient and diplomatic manner in which he has fulfilled this office.
Secretary - We regret Jim Kershaw was unable to continue and express our appreciation of his advice and counsel in the organisation of our office and accounts system.
Ladies' Committee - It is pleasing to record that the ladies have re-elected Mrs. Johnson as their club captain and we extend to them best wishes for another successful year.
There is no doubt that the pleasure of our golf is directly related to the excellent condition of the greens and fairways. Throughout the year these have fully reflected the intent of the course owner John Dixon and his staff to make available to us the best in the Wellington area.
We express our appreciation to all those persons and firms who have assisted with trophies for competitions during the year. A special mention of Benson and Hedges for sponsoring our first tournament. May this be an annual event.
One disappointment to the committees has been the lack of interest shown in our efforts to arrange mixed Saturday competition. We quite understand that this may be due to weekend commitments but in the interest of overall harmony of the club we would welcome a greater response to future proposals.
As previously announced our new agreement with John Dixon allows for the doubling of the club house area by July and it is expected that the full eighteen holes will be in play by September. Pending these extensions there may be some crowding at times but we are confident that all members will accept this for the short period involved.
In expectation of a record attendance this year's Annual Meeting will be held in the Memorial Hall. We look forward to your presence and participation so that the incoming committee may obtain a fully representative opinion of your views and ideas on the future of the club.
It is my pleasure on behalf of all members to submit this first annual Report for your consideration and comment.
F. W.SMITH, Waikanae, 5th May 1970.
From 21st April 1969 (Date of Incorporation) to 31st March, 1970
Subscriptions   7293
Entrance Fees   220
Competitions   111
Donations   25
House Account   270
Interest   41
Profit on raffle   579
Sunday Activities   129
  Total Income 8668
Fees paid to the course owner   5628
Depreciation of fixed assets   20
Entertainment   39
General expenses   43
Postages   80
Printing and stationery   245
Secretarial fees and expenses   500
Socials, opening and closing days   181
Trophies   115
  Total Expenses 6851
Excess income over expenditure $1817
Australia and New Zealand Bank Ltd. 4302  
Stock on hand 143  
Sundry debtors 35  
Sundry creditors 246  
Subscriptions in advance 2528  
Hole in one fund 68  
Furniture and equipment 199  
Deduct, Depreciation provision 20  
NOTE: Nomination fees totalling $7,710 are due from members and will be called as required.
To the members of the Waikanae Golf Club (Incorporated)
In my opinion the accompanying balance sheet and income and expenditure statement show a true and fair view of the financial position of The Waikanae Golf Club (Incorporated) at 31st March 1970 and of the result of its activities from the date of incorporation to 31st March 1970 in accordance with the information and explanations given to me and as shown by the books of the Club. Wellington, 51h May, 1970.
A. N. HALL Chartered Accountant
When it became known that Waikanae now had 18 holes, membership increased rapidly, particularly from people in the Wellington district not able to get into city clubs.
The course continued to be controlled and administered by John Dixon as a public course. At this stage 90% of club subscriptions were paid to the "Waikanae Country Club" to offset the cost of running the course.
In 1972 it was obvious that Club I-louse facilities were too small. Much dialogue went on over two years in regard to the expansion of the pavillion. Eventually a deal was struck with John Dixon whereby the club advanced a loan of $40,000 towards the cost of a new pavillion, estimated to cost $175,000.
Bob McKenzie, a local builder, was successful with the contract to build the pavillion and foundations were commenced in September 1975. Five months later the new building was officially opened by local MP, Barry Brill.
The club now had a fine lounge area, bar and cellar, locker rooms for men and women plus office and shop space. The first Club Professional was Keith Foxton.
The original Club House became the kitchen and dining area as we know it today (2003). Some of our older club members may remember two Maori Calved panels "Pataka" which decorated each side of the dining area. When John Dixon sold the club they were handed over to the Wellington Museum.
About this time overtures were made by the club to buy all assets of the course, which would also include taking over the leases of approximately 10 ½ holes.
During 1976/77 Vice President Charles Turner ISO (retired CEO of the Public Works Department) was responsible for very valuable and sound advice on how the club should proceed with negotiations to purchase the course. The Finance Committee was very appreciative of his input. Charles Turner later became the Club's first Life Member in 1980.
Offers and counter offers continued till 1984, finance being the main problem. Early in 1984 John Dixon advised the club that he had received an offer from a developer to buy 9 holes for retirement homes.
Because such a sale of land would reduce the course to 9 holes again, the Finance Committee began in earnest to raise the finance necessary to satisfy the "Waikanae Country Club" viz. John Dixon. However, if the finance available was not sufficient to meet the vendor's valuation, negotiations were made with the Otaki and Paraparaumu Clubs to transfer membership and assets. Thankfully this upheaval was avoided.
It was not until June 1984 that the club was able to make an acceptable offer to buy John Dixon's assets, which included 7 ½ holes of freehold land plus the Club House and equipment - the rest of the course remained leased. Price for this purchase was $600,000 after professional valuation.
John Dixon left $300,000 in the club by way of a loan at 10% per annum. The Golf Club raised $200,000 from the bank and $100,000 from accumulated funds, mainly from bar profits. Mortgage rates at this time had reached 12%.
Settlement date for the purchase was finally completed on 28th February 1985, quite an achievement for such a young club.
After the Waikanae Club had been running the course for almost a year, the Finance Committee, led by Nelson Crosbie, convinced the bank that the Club was a viable organisation and a further loan, plus debentures from members, made it possible to repay the $300,000 which .John Dixon had left in the club. Prior to that, Moss Smith, the farmer, agreed to continue the lease of the second 9 holes should the club make the purchase from John Dixon.
At this stage the club now owned 7 ½ holes of freehold land plus the Club House and equipment. Between 1984 and 1988 the club continued to make progress both financially and in membership.
In June 1988 approval by members was given to purchase the Moss Smith leased land at a price of $285,000. It was after an amicable agreement in which Mr Smith included a chain of pine trees he had previously planted along the present 9th hole boundary (2003).
At this time only 1 ½ holes remained leased from the Pharazyn Estate, i.e. the present 12th hole and part of the present 11th hole (2003).
The last lease signed on 10th March 1995 was for $10,320 per annum, renewable every 3 years.
On the 26th of June 1999 the club purchased the Pharazyn leased land 4.6924 hectares at a cost of $255,000. The price seemed excessive when compared to the 9 holes of the Moss Smith land at $275,000 but official valuations considered that part of the Pharazyn land was suitable for housing sub-division, deeming it to be more valuable.
At this stage, in the year 2003, the club and land encompassing the course is completely freehold except for part of the car park and a small piece of land round the pump house and 1st tee.
In 1839 the first immigrant ship, the "TORY" arrived at "Port Jackson".
Its leader was "William Wakefield", a representative of "The New Zealand Land Company", formed in London by some prominent people and politicians. Edward Gibbon Wakefield was the driving force behind some influential politicians and public servants. While he had been in prison for three years for the abduction of an heiress, he wrote a book "The Art of Colonisation" which was the basis of the policy and objectives of "The New Zealand Land Company".
Edward Gibbon never became an elected English politician because of his past misdemeanors, nor was "The New Zealand Land Company" backed by the British Government.
On arrival in Petone in 1839, William Wakefield began purchasing land around Port Jackson, later to be named Wellington, then in September 1839 he sailed up to Kapiti to seal land deals with Te Rauparaha, who was recognised as the paramount chief. While the "Tory" was at anchor for three weeks off Kapiti Island, many discussions took place. Finally, muskets, blankets and clothing were traded for land at Waikanae. However, after the Treaty was signed the following year, Governor Hobson sent down his Land Commissioner, William Spain, who declared most previous sales illegal, even though the land deals were made before Her Majesty's Government declared New Zealand a sovereignty.
Henry Williams (Missionary) who had previously helped Governor Hobson to draw up the Treaty of Waitangi, collaborated with the British Authority on this decision. Most of the combined Missionary Society had already obtained land from the Maoris. Most land deals made in 1839 by William Wakefield reverted back to the Maori tribes. Not until 1887 did the Land Court allow the sale of Waikanae land to prospective purchasers.
There was some disagreement by Ngati Awa and Ngati Toa tribes over ownership. Eventually Wi Parata's Ngati Awa tribe were allocated 10,000 acres which encompassed the Golf Course and a great deal of the beach area. The greater area of Waikanae was known as the "Ngarara Block", (29,500 acres) and stretched up to the hills of Waikanae. W H Field, a politician and lawyer was one of the first on the scene to purchase Waikanae land from the Maoris. He acquired most of the flat land and some hill country with the intention of farming and sub-dividing.
Included in the land designated for sub-division was a plan for a Nine Hole Golf Course. This was actually formed, the flrst hole being where the Ngarara Road swimming pool is situated. The rest of the course was near the Waikanae Park and towards the present tip site. The course was fairly rough and soon disappeared, probably due to lack of use.
The present location of the Waikanae Golf Course was Field land, most of which was a swamp area, with good flax growth. Two or three flax mills were established in Waikanae, one of which was near the present 5th tee on the course.
When the course was being formed a large cog wheel was found in the area and is still buried somewhere near. Flax became a primary export in the mid 19th century and continued well into the early 20th century. Flax fibre was used for rope making and sacks, etc. Early Wellington immigrants led by William Wakefield and his son, Jerningham, put five guineas each into a Committee to establish an export business. Jerningham Wakefield was known to have visited Waikanae to look after his interests in the business of treating flax for export.
When W H Field first purchased the Parata land from Wi Parata the present Golf Course area was mainly swamp, which he quickly had drained to improve his farm property. When he died his estate was divided up within his family. Jack Field, his son, inherited the land where the Waikanae course is at present, and his daughter inherited the beach area known as the Pharazyn Estate, part of which was leased to John Dixon and eventually purchased by the Golf Club to complete ownership of the whole 18 holes.
Around the present course there have been discoveries of a Maori presence. This is not surprising as there was once a large population of several thousand living in two or three pa's around the beach and river areas. During 1848 there was a great exodus of Ngati Awa when most of the tribe returned to their homeland in Taranaki. Wi Parata's family stayed in Waikanae and with his brother, Hemi Matenga, became leaders of the community. Wi Parata became a Maori MP in 1871.
Some of the land allocated to the Ngati Awa tribe extended up into the Reikiorangi Valley and after 1887, Henry Elder, another politician, purchased 3000 acres of native bush land. Milling then became a big business as the land was gradually cleared for farming. This business of milling Rimu, Matai, Totara and Kahikatea continued to 1960. Henry Elder built a fine family home in the valley "Waimahoe" but unfortunately it was destroyed by fire in 1903.
The original rules as adapted on 12th April 1969 have been subject to significant alterations over the years up to the year 2001.
It is obvious from the records of the first Inaugural Meeting in April 1969 when a rule book was produced, that it was a copy from a nearby club. In July 1971 a few amendments were made and adopted.
One of the most controversial changes to the constitution was made in 1985, when some important Management Powers were given to an Executive Committee such as engaging and dismissing employees, and purchasing or leasing land, etc. The Executive Committee comprised of The President, Vice President, Club Captain, Vice Captain and immediate Past President.
The Management clause remained in the Club Constitution until June 1989 when, at the Annual General Meeting, the Club amended the rules back to Committee control. This change was mainly the result of a wrong decision made in regard to the procedure adopted in the dismissal of a previous Manager which resulted in much litigation involving lawyers and, of course, unnecessary expense. The rules amended in 1989 remained in force until the 5th day of April 2001 when the "Management and Rules of the Club" was registered to have the Club controlled by a Board of four members plus the Club President and Club Captain; one of the four elected members to be a chartered accountant.
This decision of Board control was made after a Special General Meeting was held in 1998 when it was decided to have a two-year trial period with a board. The first members elected to this task, D S Ritchie, P J Benjes, W K Bruce, K Thompson, O M Mitchell and I M Miller managed so well that the members of the Club unanimously decided to continue with their board control at a Special General Meeting in May 2000. A new Constitution was then drawn up giving powers of management to the board and ratified by a Justice of the Peace on 5th April 2001.
Many factors have caused the ups and downs of membership numbers over the years of the Club's existence.
The positives causing increases in memberships could be:
(a) Popularity of the sport and good economic conditions.
(b) Availability of a venue close to the population and population increase.
(c) Reasonable subscriptions.
(d) Attractiveness of the course and facilities.
(e) Good catering services.
(f) Good management and administration.
The negatives causing decreases in membership numbers may be due to:
(a) Cheaper subscriptions at other clubs.
(b) Better playing conditions at other clubs.
(c) Better catering facilities at other clubs.
(d) More aggressive membership drives by competing clubs.
(e) Poor economic conditions.
It is quite obvious from the graphs showing the fluctuations that in the early years of the Club's formation, the "positives" A, B and C contributed to the rapid growth to 800 members in 1973, with men outnumbering women by 5 to 1. During the period 1973 to 1981 there was a significant decline in membership. This drop could possibly be attributed to all the negatives.
The New Zealand economic situation was not good at this time. Inflation took off soon after the Kirk Government came to power. From 1972, at 8% it rapidly rose to 18% by 1980, and the average inflation during the period 1973 to 1981 was 13 ½ %. Money was tight and perhaps $350 p.a. subscriptions were hard to find, especially for husband and wife golfers. However, there was a gradual build up of members as the share market attained new heights and there seemed to be plenty of money circulating.
After the 1987 share market crash, inflation fell back to less than 6%, so also the cash flow and club membership dropped back to below 600 during 1995. Fortunately the economy picked up in 1995 and since then inflation has been very steady at 2 ½ % over the last few years.
Improvements to the course and more business confidence combined with population growth in Kapiti has contributed to the 2003 total of 863 members, who provided a healthy subscription income. The 863 members in 2003 were not all full playing. The introduction of nine hole memberships in 1998 boosted the total by over 100.
This membership category has proved to be popular with some retired people and a few younger females who do not have enough spare time to play 18 holes. Nine hole competitions are proving to be popular among these members.
By June 1999 freehold land owned by the club covered 47 hectares, but the 9 holes formed in 1966/68 by the Waikanae Country Club covered only 19 hectares, which is about 40% of the land used by the club today. These 9 holes were made up of three par 3's and six par 4’s, all west of the creek on the present 13th hole (2004) and south of the black stream.
At this time (1968) the length of the course was 2500 yards or 2350 metres. When the second nine was introduced in 1970 the length increased to 5300 yards or 5040 metres.
By the year 2003 the course had been extended on the Blue Tees to 5920 metres. The course area now covered approximately 116 acres or 47 hectares.
Major changes were the lease of extra land being the east side of the course covering the first nine holes as we know it in the year 2004. The second change occurred when 4.6 hectares were leased from the Pharazyn Estate. This allowed the present 11th and 12th holes to be introduced sometime in 1972.· When the first 18 holes were completed in 1970, the present 17th hole (2004) was not in use. This area was originally occupied by a market gardener.
The 17th fairway and green were not formed until 1971 at about the same time the old 4th hole (now the sixth green (2004)) was abandoned, and remained so until major alterations took place on the sixth hole, when the site of the old 4th green was reshaped. Now it is one of the more difficult par 4's on the course. When the 17th, 12th and 11th holes were completed, three of the old original holes were abandoned, viz the 1st, 2nd and 3rd holes. The 1st hole was over the Waimeaha stream, also the tee for the second, where the Toledo Motels and houses are now situated. The length of the course was then 5423 metres off the blue tees. The course then took on a completely new layout. The first 9 holes of the original 18 holes became the second 9.
The course layout remained more or less the same up to 1990 when a new Pro Shop and 8th green was proposed. This was completed and the new 8th hole was in use by 1992. The original 8th had been a 192 yard par 3, and quite difficult to par. It was also in the firing line of the 9th tee.
The new 8th became the shortest par 3 of the course, 117 metres off the blue tee, but to compensate for the loss of distance some other holes were extended by moving tees back.
In 1997 the Golden Coast Vets raised sufficient funds to install a lake in front of the new 18th green built in 1992/93.
Most of the changes and improvements to the course have taken place since 1986 when members took over the management of the course. Two five-year plans have been drawn up since then and nearly all the proposals have eventuated, thanks to the enthusiasm of following committees and boards.
Major changes were: 
  • the building up and draining of the present 13th fairway (2004)
  • extending the 15th green
  • shaping and rezoning the 15th and 16th fairways
  • building a new 9th green
  • extending the 10th hole by building a new green over the stream
  • restructuring the 3rd and 6th fairways and building new greens
  • and most importantlv, completing the fairway watering system.
All these changes have enhanced the popularity and rating of the course. From a small beginning we are now the proud owners of a really testing and beautiful golf course.
In 2003 the incoming Board of management presented to the club a major plan to improve and extend the club house facilities, including ladies locker rooms, kitchen and bar, lounge and pro shop, at an estimated cost of $660,000. A fundraising scheme was produced and accepted by members without the necessity of increases in subscriptions.
Some sterling efforts were immediately made by various sections of the club's membership to accumulate an amount of $100,000 by June 2004. The first stage of the alterations was due to start in June/July 2004.
  • On old 18 hole Layout 5356 metres. An Australian Professional "Lucien Tinkler" on 8th February 1993 shot a 61.
  • The Amateur Club member course record on the old course layout (5356 metres) is held by Mark Keating - 63 recorded in 1999, including an Albatross 2 on the 18th hole using a 6 iron for his second shot.
  • On the new layout - 5,447 metres Jae An, a New Zealander, holds the course record of 65, played on 7th January 2002 during a qualifying round for the New Zealand Open.
  • The women's record on the new layout - 5,283 metres, is held by Jennette Futter - 75 recorded on 1st July 2001.
In the 1960's and early 70's little effort was put into promoting Junior Golf. In general this applied to most golf clubs. However, in 1972 Waikanae Golf Club had 27 young members with some players good enough to enter a team in the prestigious Wellington Watt Cup competition later in 1979.
Ian Steel was one of the lads who became a fine golfer along with Kevin White, Ken Wikely and Bruce Morpeth. Unfortunately, as the team broke up through age qualification and career moves, there were not sufficient new members coming along and Junior Golf at Waikanae went into decline and was not revived till 1991.
Colin Brovvn, who had then recently joined Waikanae from the Rangitira Club co-opted Fred Chandler and Harry Cardiff, all retired members, to rejuvenate the recruitment and the coaching of school age children.
Local schools were visited and clinics were held, and regular coaching commenced, both at the schools and on the course. All the equipment used by the youngsters in the early days of the coaching programmes was donated by club members. Money to pay the cost of advanced coaching from a teaching professional and to cover other expenses including club shirts and travelling expenses for out of district competition, was raised by the three veterans who used their wide circle of contacts for sponsorship for the emerging youngsters.
By 1994 junior membership reached 50 and included 4 girls. Two teams were entered into the Junior Pennants Wellington competition and a six man Watt Cup team playing in the Wellington Regional Competition.
In 1995 the Junior Pennants A team won the Western Zone competition and were narrowly beaten in the Wellington final at Heretaunga. The same year the Junior squad won the J De Bernardo Shield at Otaki, open to all clubs on the West Coast.
In 1994 the Watt Cup squad, now for those under 23 years, were runners up to Paraparaumu, and had beaten the highly rated Miramar Team which included many Duncan Cup players.
From this squad emerged three professional golfers, Dominic Sainsbury, Greg Thorpe and James Funnell. The first two now professional coaches at the North Lancashire Institute of Golf, attached to the Lancashire University in northern England.
Others in the squad also distinguished themselves in representing Wellington and New Zealand, viz Alan Jones, Greg Thorpe and David James who captained the Wellington provincial team in 2002. Three other Juniors became Waikanae Open Club Champions.
Junior membership in the year 2004 stands at 44 with two under eight years, 31 primary school children and 11 from secondary schools, most showing good abilities.
Soon after the formation of the "Waikanae Golf Club" in 1969 a proposal was put forward to organise a social weekend of golf at Wairakei, but it was not until May 1971 when arrangements were finalised for 62 men and women to make the trip.
Playing at the Wairakei course and staying at the Hotel resort was such a success that the outing became an annual event right up to the 1990's.
For the 1971 trip two shields were presented by Chris and Ian Davie for the best gross scores for men and women. These shields are now hanging on the walls of the club house with the records of past winners.
Although these social trips have ceased, the Wairakei Shields are still played for annually and included in the official club programme.
On one of these trips in the 1990's the group were on the way back from the Wairakei course to their accommodation at the Tokanno Hotel and were all invited into Maureen and Bill Reilly's holiday home at Mission Bay for drinks.
The party was going on quite nicely when Gary Smith went out to his car and came back with a bottle of gin in each hand. As organiser of the trip he took the opportunity to make a short speech in appreciation of the hospitality, and concluded by asking everyone to put their hands together. Unfortunately, he did the same but was still holding on to his two bottles of gin. It took a while to clean up the mess on the carpet!
On several occasions over the years, various groups within the club have organised away golfing holidays within New Zealand and Australia.
During 1989 a certain member of the Mid-Week Men's Committee had been reading a golf book which featured an article about an elitist club formed in Great Britain, known as the "Pink Ball Club". Members were mostly senior golf administrators. Each year the Secretary would organise a Mystery Trip, and each member was obliged to front up with the cost of the trip. Most of these trips were within Great Britain and France, but they did on one occasion travel to Sun City in South Africa.
The mystery trip idea was adopted by the Mid-Week men in 1989 and the first game was played at the Rangitira Club at Hunterville. For some years two such trips were made each year to various courses, playing under pink balls rules. Only the club's so-called "President" knew of each destination. Right up to the year 1998 a full bus load would make the trip, and even though members participating have dropped away, the "Pink Ball" shield is still played for in teams of four.
This was social golf at its best and most memorable. Later the ladies section of the club took up the idea of Mystery Trips and played under "Pink Ball" rules, as specified by the British Club.
The title of "Swampies" was given to a small group of male golfers, who for various reasons, wished to play their Sunday golf early in the day. Actually,not long after dawn.
Because they were playing too early for the usual club competitions they ran their own game with some penalties; the main penalty being a jug of beer on the table at the 19th if any shot finished up in a pond or swamp. As the years progressed the group grew in numbers, but fluctuated; however, in the year 2004 as many as 24 still went out on a Sunday morning. Although they usually do not take part in club competitions they continue to give strong support to the club's activities.
Shortly after the Waikanae Golf Club took over the running of the course a few enthusiastic club members got together to organise voluntary working bees to improve the Club House appearance and various aspects of the course.
This resulted in new paths and steps, rough cutting, garden areas in the vicinity of the Club House, painting, bridge building and general tidying up, but most importantly, planting shrubs and trees which greatly changed the appearance of the course from more or less a "Links" look to a park-­like golf course.
The Club was fortunate to have at this time three members who had good knowledge, experience and expertise to carry out this task - Don Liddle, Sid Eaton and Colin Smith. Many of the shrubs and trees planted were donated by Liddle Nurseries.
Sandy Smith, one of the first Greenkeepers, recalls how they planted quick growing Ngaio trees to protect the many Pohutuka was scattered over the course. The men's working bees usually turned up on Wednesdays, and because they were all retired gentlemen, were labelled "Dad's Army" under the charge of a "Captain Mainwaring". Over the years there have been three captains, viz Frank Gestro, Harry Cardiff and Doug Quinlan and no doubt there will be others.
Many ladies have tended to the garden areas over the years since 1975. Some of the regular workers were Rea Utiku, Penny Black, Shirley Dixon, Jill Higgins and Chris Davie; these were foundation members. Now we still see Chris Davie on garden duty, along with Judy Launder and Pat Napier and not forgetting Margaret Eaton, who in the past put in many hours on the entrance plots.
The club now can be proud of the attractive areas in the vicinity of the club house and on the 16th tee.
September 1969 Ralph Jenkins first Professional to give lessons to mostly women members
September 1969 Higher handicaps reduced to 24 for Club Competitions
November 1969 Ken Wikely first Junior to be allowed to play in all competitions (14 years old at the time)
November 1969 Entry into Pennants B Grade Competitions
November 1969 Ladies Golf section formed by Georgie Johnson, Trixie Lewis and Jill Higgins
May 1970 Ladies hold first 9 hole competition
November 1970 First "Top Dog" competition held
November 1970 "Wairakei Trip" suggested - 62 players took part 25 May 1971
February 1972 First proposal for new club facilities. Estimated cost $28,000. By November price increased to $120,000
February 1972 Price of jug of beer increased to 50¢, spirits 10¢.
April 1972 Suggestion of Pro-Am Tournament -Abandoned
May 1972 Course record of 69 by Bruce Morpeth
June 1972 Subscriptions increased by $38 ordinary, $24.50 mid week
February 1973 Bar coupons introduced. Only members could buy at Bar
May 1973 Ken Foxton first Professional appointed
July 1973 "Andy Shaw Trophy" won by Waikanae Best Gross B Morpeth
July 1973 Maori Head adopted for Club Badge. Blazers to be light blue
October 1974 Waikanae won Men's Dunlop Cup for "B" Grade Teams
February 1975 Ladies enter Silver and Bronze Pennants Teams in Wellington Competition
April 1976 Committee decides dress jackets to be worn at official club functions
May 1976 Course gets “A” grade status
July 1976 Golf Course offered for sale by “Waikanae Country Club”
August 1976 Ladies runners up to Manor Park in Silver and Bronze Divisions
September 1976 Men invited to play in Dudding Shield but not Duncan Cup.
March 1978 Pam Pennell gains course record at Paraparaumu. Pam Pennell and B Gill runners up in Provincial Foursomes
August 1978 Men win "Dudding Shield" and promotion to "Presidents Silver Salver" Competition
August 1978 Women win "Silver Zone Final" but miss out on Wellington Final
February 1979 First Pro-Am Tournament - Pro's prizes $1,500
March 1979 First Watt Cup Team (under 19) have two wins
October 1979 Entrance fees are dropped
May 1980 Men's course record - Mike Hall - 67
August 1981 Women's Bronze Pennants win Inter Zone Final
October 1981 Women's most successful year since club formed. Amorangi Cup in 8 Western Districts plus Gold Coast Trophy and Bronze Pennants win
March 1984 Nancy McCormack Competition included in weekend programme. First winners - D Ackerman and R Patterson
March 1984 Mrs Cynthia Finn sets ladies course record - 74
May 1985 Mrs Cynthia Film sets new course record - 73
May 1985 Burglars blow safe through roof of foyer, $2,000 taken
November 1985 Peter Osten had previously organised Mid Week Men's competition. Golf Committee agrees a separate committee to be set up
December 1985 BNZ agrees to $100,000 loan towards course purchase
April 1986 Club purchases course from J Dixon
June 1988 Club decides to purchase 9 holes owned and leased to club by Moss Smith
March 1990 9 hole membership suggested
April 1990 Executive Committee abandoned
March 1991 Work commences on new 9th green
May 1991 Shirley Parkinson and Karen Miller win Nancy McCormack Competition
May 1991 Women win Zone finals in both Silver and Bronze
1991 Brian Futter and David Smith win Wellington Provincial Foursomes
April 1992 Pinus Radiata trees planted between 16th and 17th Fairways
May 1992 Construction commences on new finishing hole
July 1992 Irrigation of some fairways and greens commences
November 1992 Red Tee course introduced for Ladies
December 1992 36 hole interclub team win Wellington Final at Te Marua
February 1993 Kapiti Mayor, Brett Ambler, invited to opening day at new 18th green in front of Club House
Feb / March 1993 Refurbishment of Lounge and shifting of Bar completed
April 1993 Vets Stroke Play Tournament suggested by Independent Committee, accepted by Club November 1993, to be known as “Tower Tournament”
November 1993 Tower Tournament big success with players from all over the North Island
April 1994 Club celebrates 25th Anniversary
June 1994 Greenkeeper Apprentice, Martin Sutherland, wins NZ Scholarship to USA early 1995
February 1995 Mark Keating has Albatross on 18th Par 5
February 1995 25th Anniversary Drink Fountain completed by John Blake
July 1995 Membership drops below 600
August 1995 Decision to proceed with new footbridge proposed by Roger Preston, Engineer
September 1995 Approval given to Kapiti Vets Placing
October 1995 Waikanae Juniors win Western Zone Final
June 1996 Club Colours and Logo decided at Annual General Meeting
Jan/ February 1997 Vets install large pond in front of 18th Green with Water Fountain donated by Heather Gay
January 1998 New shop contract let to I Thorpe and A James
April 1998 Club decides at a Special General Meeting to trial a “Board of Management” structure for a two year period.
May 1998 New constitution approved and stamped by Registrar of Societies
June 1998 Board of Management takes over from Committee
June 1998 First full Board Meeting. Decision to proceed with valuation and eventual purchase of Pharazyn Estate land on 11th and 12th holes
September 1998 Approval for new extension of Club House deck
March 1999 Pharazyn Estate accepts our offer of $23,500 plus survey of $3,500
July 1999 Course development of 15th, 16th and 18th holes, caused a temporary course layout. Green fees dropped by $9,000 on previous year. Advice received from NZGA of new Slope Handicap System from May 2000. Nelson Crosbie voted into “Life Membership”
June 2000 Decision to redevelopment of 3rd and 6th holes to commence late July 2000
February 2001 Water permit from Regional Council to take adequate water from Waimeha Stream for full course irrigation
March 2001 Contract for fairway watering signed
April 2001 Management and Rules registered to have club controlled by “Board of Management”
June 2001 New 10th Green completed and available for play.
December 2002 New Greenkeepers Building suggested to be sited between 1st and 13th Fairways
July 2003 Special meeting called to form fund raising committee for projected Blub House extensions. Architects plans completed
August 2003 Greenkeepers Building erected. Services not complete
February 2004 Estimate of Stage 1 Building Extension $200,000
September 2004 Stage 1 of development programme commenced
Secretary ManagerJ Morgan 1985-1988
Assistant SecretaryMrs M Templer 1987-2003
Secretary ManagerB Jacobs 1988-1989
General ManagerJ Phillips 1990-1993
General ManagerG McMillan 1993-2002
General ManagerB Mann 2002-2003
General ManagerB Coburn 2003-
Office ManagerMrs M Templer 2004-
Presidents N F Crosbie
Lady Presidents
Mrs O Mitchell
J Blair
J Higgins
Club Captains
G W Smith
I Miller
Club Captain:
G W (Gary) Smith, who was a tireless worker for the club over many years was the son of the founding President, Fred Smith. Many club tournaments and social golf functions were organized by his initiative and sponsorship.
Ian Miller, was a skilled tradesman and applied his expertise to many of the club’s building and improvement projects on the course. This contribution to the club was invaluable.
Lady Presidents:
Joy Blair and Jill Higgins have long service records as Women’s section Presidents. The efforts these two ladies put into Club activities was tremendous and much appreciated by all members.
When the Waikanae Course was opened in 1968 the owner, John Dixon, co-opted professional golfer, Ralf Jenkins (Paraparaumu Club), to coach new members.The club in 1969 had many beginners, but eventually he employed Keith Foxton as Secretary Manager.Keith Foxton had previously held the position of Professional at Nelson Golf Club.He remained on staff for a few years and eventually moved north.
Jim Morgan was then employed in the Secretary-Manager role, and coincidentally, he also had been the professional at the Nelson Golf Club.
After the course was taken over by the Waikanae Golf Club (inc) Jim Morgan remained as Secretary-Manager until 1988 when it was decided that coaching, managing a shop and running a golf club was too much for one person.After the termination of Jim Morgan’s contract a permanent professional has not been appointed by the club.
For a short period after 1988 the shop was managed by staff, committee and volunteers – followed then by shop contractors.
First was Geoff Robinson, owner of the Golf Tech and range at Paraparaumu. He remained until 1992 when Ray Graham took over.He had been an ex “Sharpies” Golf Manager.He was responsible for extending the shop, which proved to be a great improvement on services at the club.
In 1998 he left for other interests and the contract was taken up by the present contractors, Allan James (a well-known Kapiti Golfer), and Ian Thorpe, an equally popular sporting personality.
In the future, if plans eventuate, we shall see a new, modern shop incorporated into the new club house complex.