Kaitangata Golf Club was founded 100 years ago on May 8, 1923, at ‘‘Centrewood’’, the property of the Frazer family, north of the Kaitangata Cemetery in Lakeside Rd.
An eager mix of male and female golf enthusiasts of all ages had a vision for a set of greens on Kaitangata’s doorstep and worked hard to create a golf course of 1600 yards, with the bogey decided at forty.
There were only two major stipulations concerning the new, manicured landscape — no dogs allowed on the property and no Sunday play.
Subscriptions were 10 shillings for men and sixpence for ladies, and for 25 years a round of golf was a short pony ride away.
At their 1949 annual meeting, the Kaitangata Golf Club decided to take up Jim Marshall’s offer of a section on his property at Coal Point — Summerhill.
This new course overlooked Molyneux Bay, Inch Clutha and the mouths of the Clutha River, and there were perfect links with plenty of sand.
A Mr BMcCrostie hit the first ball on the opening day, and the links course at Summerhill would remain as the local course till 1958, when the club decided on another move to the present course at Wangaloa.
The new clubhouse at Wangaloa was officially opened in1964 by the member of Parliament for Clutha, the Hon John Bowie ‘‘Peter’’ Gordon.
Over the subsequent years, the Wangaloa course has been developed with carefully planted trees and the clubhouse upgraded.
In 2013, after running separate meetings and competitions for so many years, the women were combined with the men in line with national golfing guidelines.
The number of members has dwindled in recent years, but there is still a keen core of players who enjoy their game at the picturesque seaside course each Saturday and take part in tournaments throughout the area.
In 2022, a centennial committee including Murray and Gwenda Nyhon, Carolyn Kennedy and Joyce Beck was set up to ensure the Kaitangata Golf Club celebrated this year’s centennial in a fine manner for the roll of playing membership.
Joyce Beck researched 100 years of minute books and compiled a centennial booklet especially for the occasion, and the club is grateful for the sponsorship of generous South Otago businesses to enable this to be printed at a sustainable cost, enabling the books to be on sale during the celebration weekend at a cost of $60.
‘‘I’m not a golfer but I learned plenty at the Kaitangata Golf Course after reading 100 years of minutes,’’ Mrs Beck said.
‘‘I think the publication will begreat for anyone who has had an association with Kai golf, and we’d all like to thank the committee for the hours they’ve spent ensuring Kaitangata Golf Club will celebrate 100 years in style.’’