Golf: Referee long servant of game

Rules referee Watson Barkman in a typical pose, in the rules golf cart at St Clair yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Rules referee Watson Barkman in a typical pose, in the rules golf cart at St Clair yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Rules referee Watson Barkman is a tireless servant of Otago golf and is acting as the rules referee in the women's interprovincial tournament at St Clair.

At the age of 83, Barkman's energy seems endless, as he refereed for four days in the men's event at Balmacewen last week and is scheduled to adjudicate for all five days at St Clair this week.

He has been involved with ruling on golf decisions for more than 20 years and was recently made a life member of the Otago Referees Association.

He is an avid golfer and plays off a handicap index of 17.8, representing the Twelve Oaks Club in Junior A and veteran pennants.

He began playing golf at the nine-hole Belleknowes course before moving to Balmacewen and then on to Twelve Oaks, when he retired to Mosgiel.

Barkman has been heavily involved in golf administration, serving on the Metropolitan sub-association and Golf Otago, rising to the post of president of each organisation.

In his younger days he was involved with yachting and played basketball, before becoming a badge-holding referee for many years.

Barkman comes from a keen sporting family. His brother Wyndham has been heavily involved in Otago rugby.

His daughter Kay represented Otago in basketball while his granddaughter Allison Shanks is not only New Zealand's premier cyclist but also played representative basketball and netball.