The History of Putaruru Golf Club 1924 -2001
Being one of the most long lived organisations of any kind in Putaruru, the Putaruru Golf Club has seen many homes.
In 1920 a few holes were marked out on the property of the late Mr A Bent on Overdale Road. In 1921 a meeting was called to form a Golf Club and a subscription of £1-1-0 for men and 10/6d for ladies was proposed. This was subsequently amended to 5/- for men and 2/6d for ladies.
Three shifts to other 9 holes courses complete the history records. In 1923 and then in 1925 and eventually to this present site in 1938 when the Club’s leased enough land off MR G F Bayly on Back Lichfield Road to form a 9 hole golf course and build a Clubhouse. The greens were formed and fenced with 5 wires and the farms sub divisional fences had to be played over without relief.
On the first Saturday in April each year, a working bee was held in order to clear the course of king sized thistles and other weeds.
During World War II membership declined, but by 1946 following demobilisation it rose again, seeing
40 men and 17 ladies playing.
In 1945 a fund was started with the intention of providing finance to ultimately purchase a piece of
land so the Club could own their own land. Several contracts with landowners fell through, so in 1950
discussions began with Mr G F Bayly, over whose property the Club was playing, for the purchase of
the playing area, plus sufficient land for a further 9 holes, in all 90 acres.
In 1951 an agreement to purchase was signed for approximately £90 per acre and possession was
made that year with a further 9 holes being developed.
Working bees with the help of Mr Redmond from Rotorua who planned the original layout were the
order of the day. But the plan didn’t meet the approval of all the members , so in 1954, Mr Babbage
of Te Awamutu, a well known course architect, was called in to plan an entirely new layout, which was
to be played in the reverse direction. The plans were left with the Club and his layout is the one which
the Club plays today.
In the course of time, the ladies section became the Ladies Club. The first recorded Annual General
Meeting of the Putaruru Golf Club was held in April 1924. It is of interest to learn that at the AGM in
May 1929 the ladies were given the right to be represented by two ladies who could attend club
meetings, but there is no record of them using that privilege until 1933.
On the night of Wednesday 11th December 1968, a devastating fire destroyed the Clubhouse,
furnishings and honours board. An extraordinary meeting was held on 23rd January 1969 to decide
whether or not to purchase a redundant Clubhouse from Lochiel Golf Club, but it was decided to rebuild and in October 1969 the new facility was officially opened.
In 1970, at last the Club could realise a dream it had cherished for years - the abolition of the sheep and green fences. The flock was sold and the farming activities ceased after 18 years of profit for the Club. As a result, it was necessary to substantially increase subscriptions and continue with fundraising, to start to reduce the
$20,000.00 that was borrowed - the cost of the new Clubhouse.
Over the years, there have been ongoing improvements to the course, which is carried out by one
fulltime course superintendent, plus a part-time employee, who are supported by a strong ground
committee and playing members. The rolling terrain gives the course a picturesque and park like appearance of which a par of 72 is a test for most golfers.