A great way to stay healthy, connected

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Fore . . . Trying his hand at golf last year under the watchful eye of Balclutha Golf Club member Murray Nyhon was Blake Cochrane (then 12), who was attending the Cross Recreation Centre’s school holiday programme. PHOTO: CLUTHA LEADER FILES
Quite a view . . . The course (top right) is kept in top condition. PHOTO: NICK BROOK

NICK.BROOK@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

For many, the Balclutha Golf Club’s 18-hole golf course could be the district’s best kept secret.

It isn’t intentional — for 116 years since 1906 the 40ha estate has quietly resided on the street aptly named Golfers Drive, bordering the quiet riverview area of northeast Balclutha.

The club’s members are a welcoming bunch, keen for the wider community to come and enjoy their asset .

The average Kiwi tradie who ‘‘smashes a quick nine’’ after work may well be aware he’s doing something very zen, but it’s no surprise that doctors keen to prescribe nature, mindfulness and exercise into their client’s lifestyles recommend golf.

Globally, the recreational sport has experienced a surge of interest during the Covid-19 pandemic as travel-restricted citizens seek out safe, serene environments for exercise and freer social contact.

South Otago has been no exception.

‘‘We have noticed growing numbers . . . golf caters for all kinds of needs. It’s as a way of interacting with nature, but you can also get competitive and keep an eye on your handicap and the rankings.

‘‘For me golf is about getting out for a knock-around with your mates,’’ 54-year member Reg Haar said.

Club president Steve Balloch said the organisation was ‘‘pretty loose and flexible around here . . . so the best thing to do is look us up online, get on the phone and have a chat about what you’d like to try’’.

‘‘We’re here for families with kids, there’s meetings and tournaments for pros, but some people want to just take a walk around the grounds and that’s all good because we’re pretty proud of the place,’’ he said.

The club has an impressive range of equipment to keep the 5.3km course in enviable condition, plus a fleet of electric golf carts and clubs and trundlers to borrow or hire.

› For me golf is about getting out for a knock› around with your mates. ›

— Balclutha Golf

Club member

Reg Haar

Capped players . . . Balclutha Golf Club has a long history and an impressive range of resources. Groundskeeper Ron Davis (left), member Reg Haar and president Steven Balloch (right) sit below the club’s cap collection. PHOTO: NICK BROOK
To be sure . . . The St Patrick’s Day fun tournament on March 17 is always popular at Balclutha Golf Club.