Clubs merge after 104 years

Part of the working group which recently developed Queens Park Golf Club 2020 Incorporated are ...
Part of the working group which recently developed Queens Park Golf Club 2020 Incorporated are (from left) Queens Park Golf Club life member and club captain Robyn Boniface (from left), board member and former women’s club president Jo Raines and member Mark O’Connor. PHOTO: ABBEY PALMER
After 104 years of operation, Queens Park Golf Club is understood to be one of the last clubs in New Zealand to merge their women’s and men’s committees.

Queens Park Golf Club life member and club captain Robyn Boniface said it was time to bring the club into the "modern world".

"People thought if it’s not broken we don’t need to fix it.

"And it wasn’t — we all agreed it was two lots of dedicated committees but now we’re pulling our resources together."

Up until July 21, the Queens Park Ladies Golf Club had about 100 members, while the Queens Park Golf Club, for men, had about 300 members.

After combining forces, the committee was dubbed Queens Park Golf Club 2020 Incorporated.

Board member and former women’s club president Jo Raines said a duplication of roles and a desire to work together to move the club forward contributed to the decision to merge.

It was only in the past "10 or so years" the women started playing with the men on Saturday afternoons.

"The committees worked in their own separate ways, it was always ladies’ day on Tuesday and men’s on Saturday.

"Once a month, we played a mixed foursome and annually at Golf in the Park both men and women competed."

Despite being two separate committees, there had always been a strong sense of camaraderie between members.

"The social aspect is not elitist, everyone is very down to earth."

However, over time, participation at the community level had suffered.

Member Mark O’Connor said an amalgamation committee was formed, with the help of independent chairman, Sport Southland community sport manager Steve Gear, to explore how the new committee could make progress with improving the club.

"To make the new model work, we need more involvement from within the club by spreading the load."

The committee was also struggling to entice younger members.

"We want to increase access for people who might not have had the opportunity to play golf ... we’ll be exploring solutions to that."

abbey.palmer@odt.co.nz

 

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