1951 Annual Report

The Club recently received a parcel in the mail containing the 1951 Annual Report and other reports from the time. These were recovered from the house of Gerrald Stoddard by his daughter-in-law, Wendy Stoddard. Gerrald was both Club President and Men’s Senior champion at the time! Many thanks to Wendy for sending along this bit of club history.

I have scanned the reports and included below are the Annual Report,  a special report on the placement and funding for a new clubhouse, and the financials. Some things have not changed much – “While the cash position of the Club may be considered satisfactory… when one considers the heavy depreciation… the increase in costs generally, and the need to still further improve the facilities… any further avenues of raising money would be welcomed by the incoming committee” – and some things have changed “the frequent use of the new fairway mower kept the course in good order for the whole of the playing season without the necessity of grazing sheep at intervals to keep down growth, and thereby making playing conditions much more pleasant”.

Ladies Charity Day

All Tai Tapu Final to Women’s Open 36 Hole Interclub

As defending champion a strong showing was always expected of the Tai Tapu team in the Canterbury Open 36 Hole Interclub competition. And in a change for this year, the chances were improved when the Club chose to enter two teams. Both performed well and they have taken the top 2 spots. The final will thus be an all Tai Tapu affair.

The final will be help at the Christchurch Golf Club starting at 8am on Monday 15 May. The players would be grateful for any support and assistance provided, and would love to have a good crowd of Club members on hand. So, if you fancy watching some excellent golf played by our champion teams then make sure to be there.

The teams are looking for assistance with caddies – as the normal solution of having the non-qualifying team act as caddies in the final won’t work this year.

The event tees off at 8am – but includes two 18 hole rounds, so will last well into the day. You are welcome to attend at any time.

The Tai Tapu Women have been a real force in Canterbury Interclub Golf in recent years, winning at least one trophy most years and always making the finals. This year is the best yet, so make an effort to be there and cheer them on. Shirley is a long and stern test of golf, so they will need all the help they can get.


Brian Williamson

It gives me great pain to inform you of the passing of Tai Tapu Golf Club stalwart Brian Williamson.

The notice in the Christchurch Press reads:

Brian Daniel Phillip:
On April 28, 2017, at Christchurch Hospital, surrounded by his loving family, aged 84 years. Former husband of Alison, loving father and father-in-law of Hamish and Judy, Hammond and Eleanor, Adrienne and Iain Ward, cheeky grandad of Amy, Holly; Angela, Matthew, James, Victoria; Pauline, and Juliette, and great-grandad of Ava. Special thanks to St John Ambulance for their exceptional care of Brian. In lieu of flowers, donations to St John Ambulance would be appreciated and may be made at the service. Messages may be addressed to The Family of the late Brian Williamson, c/- PO Box 39001, Christchurch 8545. A Celebration of Brian’s life will be held in our Westpark Chapel, 467 Wairakei Road, Burnside, on Wednesday, May 3, at 10.00am. – See more at: http://deaths.press.co.nz/obituaries/the-press-nz/obituary.aspx?n=brian-williamson&pid=185252338&fhid=12638#sthash.gWWVZhc1.dpuf

Normally it is Brian who has the knowledge and expertise to record a late member’s history at the Club. I wish that he was here to help me with this one. The Club database records his joining as March 8, 1993 and his occupation as Physicist. He served as Club Secretary from 2005-2012 – a fact that I checked by looking it up in the History pages of our website. Brian was instrumental in the creation of the website and has done more than anyone to make it a valuable resource for all Club members. I had the good fortune to succeed him as Secretary and have had the true pleasure of learning from him and working with him on this project. If you take the time to scroll down through the posts below this one you will see a fine selection of his work – as all of these posts were contributed by Brian whether they are attributed to him or not. After stepping down as Secretary he served several years as Trustee.

I also had the pleasure of playing as his partner in several Club competitions – not that we ever won anything. However, my (or actually his) records show that he won the Club Junior B Championship in 2003.

In recent years he has worked at a series of course improvement projects. We have all admired his taste and boldness in the colour selection for the refurbished benches. We have all seen the attention to detail and fine finish given to the signs for each hole on the tees.

He may have a wry smile at the fact that many of his Wednesday Golf mates will spend this Wednesday honouring his memory at his service rather than at the course – but I do not doubt that a few stories of his cheeky nature and sterling character will be told during and after the match on Thursday.

The Clubs sends it heartfelt sympathy to all of Brian’s family. He will be sorely missed.

Golfing in the rain

Click on picture to enlarge it:
Also, have a look at Men’s Results for Saturday 1 April


We’ve been golfing in the rain

Yes, golfing in the rain

What a wonderful feeling

We’re happy again

‘Cos we went very far

And won the Waitaha

So Murray and I

We’re on a great high


Brian W

Wednesday Men’s Narrow Win for the 2017 Donovan Trophy

The Trophy Game
The Donovan Trophy was played Tuesday 21 March under dark grey skies on a damp course but all the players were bright and cheerful. They didn’t mind the heavy drizzle which rolled in for just the last couple of holes or so. There were 20 in the Men’s team and 18 Ladies from their Tuesday Group. In the absence, since about 2013, of organized mixed golf matches, the Donovan Trophy and its vice versa match later in the season, remain the only opportunities for organized mixed golf at Tai Tapu Golf.

Work on the Course
On the day, work was being carried out on the course and players had to—and really tried hard to– take care to stop stray golf balls flying close to the workers. The bunkers at greens #2 and #9 became GUR as did the drainage work on the Jimmy’s Track fairway. But none of the players minded at all. Indeed, it is always great to see course improvements progressing. David Livesey is the Greens Convenor. Craig Scott operated a digger on a long day to great effect in creating and covering etc., channels for drainage pipes and getting the gradients dead right. Club Greenkeeper James Lee was putting in quite strenuous digging and spreading work. Seniors golfers said that even just watching James was tiring.

Calculation of Results
Not to put too fine a point on it, the simple comparison of the average Stableford scores between Men’s and Ladies’ teams could be questioned as dubious. Only a clear-cut difference in the averages is likely to be a valid indication of the better team. And on Tuesday the Men’s and Ladies average Stableford scores were a miniscule difference of 0.26 Stablefords in favour of the Men. So the Men won and were presented with the Donovan Trophy again. But to be fair, maybe it would have been better to have called it a draw! (If the 95% confidence intervals for the averages for each team were calculated it is certain that no significant statistical difference would be found).
But, again, does the result really matter? It is the get-together on and off the course which counts.

Presentation of Trophy
This trophy event was initiated in 2008 when Brian Donovan was Convenor of the Wednesday Group (now called the Mid-Week Group). Naturally the trophy was immediately inscribed as the “Donovan Trophy”. Members on Tuesday were delighted to see Brian Donovan himself come along as an honoured guest to present the trophy.

Individual Results
And now to the individual results. Janette Sprott, Ladies Captain, called for order and then requested a symbolic drum roll as she had a special announcement to make. Everyone present either clapped or thumped the tables. She wanted particularly to draw attention to the exceptional performance of –here she paused for effect—and then said Erwin Kaser! With that the clapping recommenced and the tables rocked again. Members all know that Erwin is a veteran octogenarian (87 years) who is normally amongst the Nine-Holer Men, 18 holes being too taxing. But on Tuesday, Erwin played a full 18 holes and astounded everyone with 39 Stableford points. Erwin is an expatriate Austrian who hails from the ancient and beautiful city of Graz; most years he spends winter in Graz, returning to Christchurch in the spring.

Best Three Ladies
Jane Ellis                               42
Diane Gebbie                    41 c/b
Pat Watson                         41

Best Three Men
Basil Macpherson            41
Johan Poorter                    39 c/b
Erwin Kaser                        39 c/b
(The 39 points category was somewhat congested—others reporting 39 were Neville Turner and another octogenarian, Louis Sylvester) 

Afternoon Tea
The traditional “Ladies a Plate” applied to very good effect. It was supposed to be an afternoon tea but the Ladies did themselves proud in presenting something closer to a meal. Nice hot savouries and neat sandwiches with a dazzling array of cakes for the sweet-toothed men.
Ladies, thank you, very much indeed.
Everyone went home afterwards in a happy mood.

Erwin Kaser smiles happily and modestly after his fine performance. Janette thinks he should have been the current TV “Bachelor”

Brian Donovan and Janette Sprott pose for the camera before Brian says a few words and Janette announces all the results

Chris Auton, Mid-Week Convenor, accepts the Donovan Trophy from Brian Donovan on behalf of the Mid-Week Men.

Brian Donovan has a few words to say about the trophy which has his name on it while Janette checks the results of the event.



Henry Nicholls–Century!

The news item stated “It was a top notch innings, full of confident, assertive strokes, emphasising a philosophy Nicholls wants to keep adopting.”

And, yes, as you all know, they were referring to a fine century by Henry Nicholls for the Black Caps. Henry, as you also know, is a scion of the prominent Nicholls Family at Tai Tapu Golf and thus is also a skilled golfer at the Club.

We would be mean-minded indeed if we did not heartily congratulate Henry on his fine cricketing performance–and by the way, bask in the reflected glory!




Bunker Modifications are another Course Improvement Project

Wednesday this week Mid-Week golfers saw the beginning of needed changes in bunkers at #9 and #2 greens. The pictures below show Greens Convenor David Livesey and Greenkeeper James Lee directing Craig Scott who was skillfully working the machine at #2 Green. Well, actually we can’t see Craig because he is encased in a golf-ball-proof control cab. Just as well because we hear that some stray balls hurtled into the bunker-works on Wednesday. It is understood that #2 green bunker had been found too shallow and sand was often blown about the green and surrounds on windy days. So the work is comprising digging the bunker more deeply.

Spoil from that bunker is being used to fill in the two existing bunkers on the left-hand side of #9 green. These had been found to be situated too far from the green and were seldom in play. David Livesey pointed out that more balls reach those bunkers from the Men’s #17 tee than from golfers playing from #9 fairway. We understand that a new bunker is to be formed, still on the left but closer to the front of #9 green. The existing bunker on the right of #9 green is to remain unchanged.

Members will no doubt agree that this work is very welcome and marks a further significant improvement to the course. (Click on pictures to enlarge them)









Significant Changes in the Official Rules of Golf coming by 2019

Click on the image here to enlarge it.

We were alerted to this news by an article in the latest GolfWRX online newsletter(GolfWRX newsletters@golfwrx.com). GolfWRX states “over the next six months (until Aug. 31), they will be accepting feedback/comments from golfers. To comment on the proposed rule changes, visit usga.org/rules”. After agreement on any revisions, the proposed new rules, will take effect 1 January 2019. Amongst online comments already several have claimed that it is too long to wait until 2019 and that once the rules are firmed-up, they could be put into effect much earlier—even by the end of this year.
The proposed new rules are discussed by GolfWRX and are given in complete form at USGA. (http://www.usga.org/rules-hub.html)
There are apparently 33 rules items to be changed and USGA lists the following categories in which they are to be found: Ball at Rest, Ball in Motion, Taking Relief, Areas of the Course, Equipment, Playing a Ball, When to Play During a Round and Player Behaviour.

USGA draw attention to what they describe as “Modernizing Golf’s Rules” by using a graphic (used as a header above). Click on it to enlarge it.

Maximum Score.

One item that this writer would appreciate coming into force would be a “Maximum Score” for each hole. Grass roots golfers have few rounds during which they do not have a disaster hole. How pointless it is in Stroke Play putting out to the grim end of 10 strokes or more after a hole where all is lost for the round or the competition. But in stroke play it must currently be done.

Red Penalty Area–Which side for relief?

For the unfortunates whose balls find the depths of the dreaded swale at Tai Tapu Golf there is a degree of relief when they are allowed to drop a ball either side of the swale (albeit with a penalty of one) instead of on the side that it went in. However the rule change for this type of situation is not in the golfer’s favour. Following is the statement from USGA:

Proposed Rule: New Rule 17.1c
This removes the option to take relief on the opposite side of a red penalty area (the new term that would include what is today called a lateral water hazard):
• This means that, when a ball is in a red penalty area, the player would have three options for relief (all for a one-stroke penalty) rather than four options as today.
• But a Committee could still adopt a Local Rule allowing opposite side relief on those holes where it believes the other relief options are not viable.
One reason for this changers is stated as that many players are not familiar with opposite side relief, and that is seldom used. (Actually at Tai Tapu it is always used, and some regard that as too lenient.)
• The primary purpose behind this relief was to give an extra relief option for the unusual cases where neither back-on-a-line relief (Rule 26-1b) nor lateral relief on the side where the ball entered the water hazard (Rule 26-1c(i)) seems viable and the player’s only realistic option is to take relief under penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 26-1a).
• In practice, opposite side relief is often taken when a player actually has adequate relief under one or both of the other relief options and thus serves only to give an unnecessary extra option that at times can seem too advantageous.
• This change would also help avoid any concern that, with the expanded use of red penalty areas, a player might be able to use the opposite side option to drop on the green side of the penalty area, thereby avoiding the challenge of having to play over the penalty area.

USGA lists other proposed changes
A player will not receive a penalty if the ball (or ball marker) accidentally moves on the putting green or in search of a ball.
• Players can leave the flagstick in the hole while putting.
• Players may repair spike marks or other damage, including foot prints, on the green with no penalty.
• Players who have trouble in bunkers could get relief. If you want, you can remove your ball from a bunker (and place it in the fairway or rough behind the bunker, depending on where the bunker is) and accept a two-stroke penalty.
• A new procedure for how to drop a ball in a relief area.
• Time searching for a lost ball would go from five minutes to three.
• There’s a proposal calling for players to take no more than 40 seconds to play their shot.

The last two of the above may encounter some resistance. The reality at Tai Tapu Golf is that the current five minutes to search for a lost ball is almost totally ignored—and indeed many players don’t know it anyway. Reducing the time to three minutes is likely also to be totally ignored. Players who linger in deep contemplation over their golf ball before playing their stroke are likely not to mend their ways. And who will be responsible for the forty-second monitoring?

New door on Greenkeepers shed/workshop pleases


There’s really nothing special about the large doors found on workshops, barns, garages, etc. They are purely functional and not intended to look pretty. But when the functional part breaks down or it becomes hard yaacker every time to open the door and it does really look tatty, then a brand new door is indeed to be welcomed and even in comparison can look attractive.
Then, so it is with the new door on the greenkeeper’s shed/workshop. Started on Annual Working Bee day by young David Cammock, and finished-off very recently when David Livesey and Craig Scott joined in, the fully functioning new door delights the eager greens staff.

But—is there really a “but”? It puts to shame the basic cladding of the shed/workshop which although meeting its purpose looks like an Austin 7 in the carpark beside the Turner SUV. And a second “but” may be that the blank expanse of the new door begs the painting of the Club’s logo on it, or maybe the figure of a menacing greenkeeper deterring nosy golfers from entering. (Have a look–scroll down below . . . . . . . )

However, let’s put aside the Buts and thank the aforesaid members, Cammock, Scott and Livesey, for a necessary facility.
Those guys deserve a Speights!