History of the Club
(to 1999)

Ladies Committee
Historical Layout of the Course

The Hawarden Golf Club was established in 1924. An earlier course being on the Waikari property "Waituna" then owned by W.W. McRae of 'Glens of Tekoa'. Little is known of these early years, and of the start of the Hawarden club, as the minute books held by the club, only go back as far as 1929.
The first minutes record the A.G.M. of the Hawarden Golf Club, Held in the Sale Yards Hall, on Wed April 3rd 1929. in which
The following Officers were elected;
Chairman; Mr. G.L. Rutherford. (Big Leslie)
Club Captain; Mr. L.A. Rutherford. (Little Leslie)
Secretary; Mr. D.G.Wilson. (David)
Committee; Mrs. R.E.Foster. (Ralph)
Dr. Marjorie Wood,
Mr. H. A. Reece. (Bert)
Mr. B. G. Dalgety. (Bernie)
Mr. B. L. Blunden. (Bernie)
 Business carried out in the first year included
   * Purchase of a new push mower, with heavy roller.
   * The addition of a verandah on to the club house,
   * Allowing the school to use the cricket pitch,
   * The captain to "chain the links" (measure the course)
   * An annual ball committee elected of; Mesdames Wood, McFarlane, Blunden, & Cowie. Misses Irene Boon, Mason, Sybil & Betty Rutherford
   * Joined the N.Z.Golf Union.
   * Formation of the District sub union.
   * Grounds committee to sow bunkers in danthonia.
   * Tennis club sharing the pavilion with the club.
   * Annual ball profit 30 pounds.
   * Greenkeeper employed for two days a week @ 10s a day.
   * Mr. W. McRae employed as coach.

Until 1962, the club leased their land off the Hawarden saleyards. In 1931 the lease was 20 pounds p.a. which included grazing rights. There is no mention of any lease or cost for the portion of course on the Hawarden park.
In 1931, subs were; men £1 /10/-. Ladies £1 Nonres. 5/- juvenile 2/6
A new shed for tools was built in 1932 Electric power was put into the pavilion in 1939. The club went into recess from 1942 until 1946. When they reopened, all members were let out five strokes. 1949 saw the pavilion moved over the creek, from the park, to a site beside the present club house. Gang mowers were bought in 1950, and horse mowers sold for 5 pounds.
Protracted negotiations with the Saleyards Co. went on from 1953 until in 1962, the club was able to purchase the 27 acres it had been leasing. The price was 40 pounds per acre for 20 acres and 20 pounds per acre, for the rest, which was the creek bed and swamp. The money was raised by debentures , interest free to 10 pounds, then 5% above that.
The club had looked at 92 acres belonging to Mr. Des McCleland, further up the Lake Sumner Road , but did not proceed with the purchase.
The club house burnt down in 1962. Members were burning rubbish nearby, the day before opening day, and a wind change did the damage. The present clubhouse was built along side, in 1963. The following year, the new course layout, without the use of Mr. Pierce's paddock, was used, and Mr. Pierce did not get his two bottles of whisky for the rent. This paddock was to the East of present front gate, and the two holes followed the Hawarden creek. They were both par four, and were called 'Willows' and 'Brooksdale.'
The secretary was asked to write to the council asking them to reduce our water rates, as we were providing a public service. The council declined, (nothing changes)
The new tractor shed was built on its present site in 1967 by Mr. Robert Honeybone at a cost of $298, and new toilets were added to the clubhouse for $800. Mr. Norman McGregor built the office for $162, and new carpet was laid for $750 in 1969.
There has been many changes to the layout of the course over the years, The green for the present no. 3 hole used to be on the clubhouse side of the creek, and was rebuilt in 1973 when the creek was properly formed with the big boulders, and the swampy areas drained. The golden willows were planted in 1963 and the bridges were built. No 4 was a memorable hole, the tee being where the present Ladies tee is and was played back over the creek, the tractor shed and the shelter belt, that crossed the fairway, and up to the bowling green. Special insurance was taken out to assist injured bowlers, (it says so in the minutes)
The clubhouse was nearly doubled in size in 1973 by extending the front at a cost of $4738. This was paid for by debentures of $25, repaid by ballot, over 5 years.
1974 was the clubs 50th. Anniversary. It was marked with a dinner in the Hawarden Hall, and a game of golf. The Lady members presented the club with the painting of "Tekoa" by Madeline Denham, which hangs over the fire place in the club house.
The August 1st 1975 storm caused much tree damage to the course, With much damage all over the area, no golf was played for some time. It is of interest that at the A.G.M. in November 1977, there were 52 members present, and a further 23 apologies. 200 pine trees were planted behind the no. 4 green in 1978. 1979 saw the installing of the automatic watering system at a cost of $5800. The club borrowed $5000. from the ANZ bank @ 13% for 5 years, and received $500 from the Sport & Rec. fund of the council. A burglary at the clubhouse saw $600 worth of goods taken and damage.
The bridge club started using the clubrooms once a week from 1980. And the club ran a fund raising old time dance in the Masons Flat Hall.
The last major changes to the club and course layout, happened in 1983 when the club was able to purchase, from Mr. Bill Pierce, 14 acres, to the west of the course, @ $1000 per acre. The club was able to pay for this land by borrowing $15000 from the CSB. Two years later, after sowing fairways and forming the greens, the club was finally able to move out of the Hawarden Park and play entirely on our own land. At the same time , the car park was bought in from the road, to where it is today, so number. 3 hole was shortened to a par three. Getting back to ones' car after the 19th, in the dark, has never been the same since. It is of interest to note that the boundary fence which was removed, was part of the original boundary fence between the 'Glenmark' and 'Horsley Down' stations in 1886. An original strainer post still stands along the side of No 5 fairway.
The new bar and cooler went in, and an alarm system was installed in 1984. Along with various up grades of the kitchen to bring it up to health requirements. The practice putting green was laid in 1988 and the new stone gateway was built in 1990. The large pine trees alongside the No's 4&5 were taken out in 1996, and were sold for timber and fire wood.
New carpet was laid throughout the clubhouse in 1998, paid for by the ladies, from funds raised by catering. The cost was $4754. In 1999 the pine trees, planted in 1983, along the new western boundary, as the fast growing shelter for the slower growing mixed species, were removed and sold as firewood.


Ladies Committee
The Ladies Committee minute book starts on the 9th March 1926. Three years before the mens. That first meeting was at the home of Mrs Willis, and present was Mesdames Prater, Wilson, Dalzell, Cowie, Wood, & Misses Lance, Sidey, White and Willis.
The committee appointed was ;
Captain: Mrs Prater.
Secretary: Miss Willis.
Committee: Mrs Prater, Dr Wood, Mrs Wilson,
Mrs Fahey, Miss Rutherford, Miss Willis.

In March 1927 the secretary wrote to the Waikari golf club asking for suitable dates for a Club match, so the Waikari club was still operating, after the Hawarden Club was formed. It was moved at that same meeting that on Saturdays all ladies should bring a basket, and all single men to pay 6d. The following year this was changed to 5/- for the season. The men "burned the links" each year, while the ladies had a working bee in the pavilion.
1930, Ladies cards are not accepted for handicapping if signed by a man. No explanation for this is given.
Helen Buchanan was the first player to score a hole in one on the course and the first member was Miss Mildred Wright (Mason) in 1936, followed by Mr Bill Mason, Mr C. Whalley, Fthr Murphy and Ged Earl.
Electricity was put into the pavilion in 1939, with money lent to the club by the ladies. March 1940, 107- was put towards a wedding present for Miss Wright. There is a brush shelter at the 'creek' hole, by the ladies tee. In 1947 there were no completed scores on the ringer chart, so the rules were changed to allow two over par scores and three over on the par fives. In 1948 the entry for a club competition was a tin of something for "food for Britain" parcels. In 1958 a ladies room was added to the clubhouse, although it took ten years for it to be lined. The course limit set at 60 players. A rule change allowing balls striking the loading ramp or sale yards fence, to be replayed without penalty, and the Rutherford cup to be open to all handicap and non handicap players.
1966. Husbands initials to be used on the ladies cards, and "as golf balls were in short supply , Mrs A Ramsey donated two pairs of Witches Britches for the Raffle" The championship grades set at 0-29 and 30-36. Walker and Hall teaspoons were adopted as trophies. This was discontinued in 1978 due to the high cost involved.
1968. Mrs Sheridan had enjoyed playing at Amuri as everybody was so quiet, she wished that our members would keep their voices down around the course. Players charged 5 cents per card used to cover the printing costs of same. No 4 hole to be a "call up" hole. There was dissatisfaction with the five cents charged for biscuits provided at afternoon tea so no biscuits to be provided, Tea however , would be free. 1969. The 57 players in the open tournament, were all outside players, as all the local players were balloted out. The secretary was bought a new case. Cards handed in undated ,were automatically disqualified. Mown grass bunker behind no 2 green, changed to fairway. "Unearned" handicaps to be now known as non-handicaps. Club jerseys were ordered from Marshall & Co. Monogrammed, Red, and at $19. each.
New drawers for the cups and plates were put under the serving bench by Mr B Davis for $152.
The Ladies gave $800 to the new land fund in 1983.
In 1984 the Hawarden Ladies Golf Club voted to dissolve itself and amalgamate with the Hawarden Golf Club.

In the course of reading through the years of recorded minutes it is obvious of the huge amount of work the Ladies Golf Club have done behind the scenes for the Hawarden Golf Club. Not only have they taken in hand all the catering, running cake stalls, buying of trophies and prizes, etc., but they have donated funds to most club projects, bought trees and shrubs, and kept the club house up to its high standard.
The bridges over the creek have seen some sights over the years. In the earlier years before the creek was formed, and the low lying areas raised, there was a large area of water, swamp and general "Merck" Everybody carried their clubs so the bridges were only wide enough to walk on. Mrs. Barbara Dalzell, (the Duchess), had a rather ungraceful swim, as did Mr. Ben Rutherford, with his hands still in his pockets as he hit the water.
The mens and Ladies tournaments used to be two day affairs, so the whole district would be full with outsiders staying the night. One can imagine that Monday mornings, following a tournament, were somewhat slow.
Before the advent of modern gang mowers the fairways and the rough were in a rather "natural" state. Lost balls were a big part of the game. Mr W.W. McRae had a retriever dog who could find 40-50 balls after a weekends golf. Balls would be returned to their owners, as the club had a ball marking stamp press, and players stamped their names on their golf balls.
The men all wore "plus fours" and ties and the ladies "below the knee" skirts and ties .(certainly not trousers) Clubs were carried and consisted of hickory shafts with romantic names such as;

Driver    1 wood         Cleek 1 Iron
Brassie 2 wood          Mid iron 3 iron
Spoon   3 wood          Mongrel mashie 4 iron
Baffle     4 wood         Mashie 5 iron
                                   Mashie-Niblick 7 iron
Wedge & Putter.       Niblick 9 iron

Most players however carried only five or six clubs at the most. Miss Totty Jones, who is one of the more famous characters of the club, drilled holes in the shafts of her clubs and filled them with lead on being told that her clubs were too light for her. Mrs Nance Bethell, who has played on the Waikari links, as well as Hawarden from the very early years, has many wonderful stories of the days when the conditions were very rough and the rules such as stymies made for high scores. She tells of playing with Mrs. McKeagen who managed a 35 on the first hole and they were only able to get to the 5 th hole before running out of energy, daylight and golf balls. There were shelter-belts that crossed the fairways on the park, that one had to play over or through. Maybe golf has got easier over the years.
Dr Meikelham was a member for a time. A story is told of him turning up with a new set of clubs, still individually wrapped, the wrapping was duly removed, as required, as he made his way round the course.
There was a report in the Christchurch Press of a golfer at Hawarden, renowned for the bird droppings on his golf bag, who was confronted by a fleeing starling when he opened the boot of his car. All was revealed on the first tee when, on attempting to remove a club he discovered it completely jamb packed with a nest and eggs.
1972 was a vintage year for the club. Not only did we win the Kaikoura cup, (Ged Earl was the individual winner of the gross, and Jim Warwick was the runner up.) but we also won the Templeton cup and the Ashley Berge trophy. These were against the nine North Canterbury clubs.
The first 75 years of the Hawarden Golf Club have provided us with a host of characters, some weird and wonderful golf, and some very devoted members who have put an enormous amount of time and resources into the making of the club as we know it today. We are indebted to the pioneers of the club, and their stories that are passed on down, telling of the endless working bees, fundraising and all the fun times that make it all so worth while. May the next 75 years be as much fun as the last, and the stories be as worthy.


Historical Layout of the Course