Club of the Year Trophy caps off challenging year

  • 30 November 2023
  • Peter Watson

Home advantage helped propel our Old Hickory team to a second consecutive win on Thursday (Nov 30) which was enough for Waahi Taakaro to be crowned inaugural Car Company Club of the Year.

It capped off a challenging year which saw the club and course closed for a month while we cleaned up after a second damaging flood in May in 14 months.

The win was a reward for our resilience and strong team spirit.

After winning a shortened competition at Takaka last month, we went into the final round at Waahi Taakaro with momentum and just six points behind competition leaders Motueka and five shy of Nelson.

Despite a glorious day for golf on a course in excellent condition, coming in with a decent stableford score proved difficult for most of the 44-strong field, with only seven golfers matching or exceeding their handicap.

After a slight delay to tee-off while contractors bought in a span of the new bridge which will provide access across the Maitai River onto the course, players got on with the job of finishing the popular year-long  competition on a high. 

As Waahi Taakaro players came in with a series of so-so scores, it looked as though victory was out of reach, but our two main rivals - Motueka and Nelson - finished well down the track to enabled us to edge to a narrow one-point win over Takaka in the match of the day, but more importantly to secure a six-point win in the Club of the Year standings which counted all six team member scores throughout the year. 

Lloyd Moyle - with an impressive  22-point back nine - led our team with 37 points. He received solid support from Mick Leggett (35) and captain Ian Hanford and Richard Pearson (34 points each) as we finished on 140 points. Grant Fergusson (32) and Paul Tunnicliff (31) were our non-scorers on the day but still helped us secure the trophy.

Another Waahi Taakaro player, Bryan Ramsey, who missed selection, gave the selectors something to think about by topping the individual standings with a marvellous 44 points, which included 22 for each nine.

Led by an eye-catching 42 points from Rex Heuvel and 36 from W Dobbie, Takaka ended just a point behind in second on 139.

Greenacres - with Lyn McKeown top-scoring with 36 points - claimed third with 136 points.

Motueka and Totaradale - who were boosted by B Whittington's 38 points - shared fourth on 134.

Nelson was a disappointing sixth on 127, while Tasman - despite Martin Strange's 39 points - went home with the popgun after amassing just 125 points.

In the Club of the Year stakes, we finished with 1768 points, seven ahead of Motueka (1761), with Nelson (1751) fading to third. Next were Totaradale (1727), Takaka (1702) and Greenacres (1657), with Tasman last on 1656. 

Ten players (Chris Jones, Richard Bullock, Bryan Ramsey, Ray Young, Robert Murray, Lindsay McLennan, Lloyd Moyle, Lyn McKeown, Martin Strange and Tony Rowe) recorded a two which showed the trueness of the greens. 

We would like to thank the Car Company for sponsoring the event and Andrew Fenemor and Ian Hanford for organising prize-giving.

The first round of the Old Hickory next year will be back at Waahi Taakaro in the first Thursday of February.

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