One hundred years of golf in Geraldine
March 2007 marked one
hundred years of golf in the Geraldine area when the
Geraldine District Golf Club celebrated its
The club can trace its
foundation to a meeting held in the town on March 20
1907. This meeting was called by a small group of
men interested in introducing the game to the
district. There and then a committee was elected, a
constitution and set of rules were agreed to and it
was resolved to form a club, rent some land and
begin playing the game.
The original site of the
course was on some 32 acres of land on the Geraldine
Downs and was leased after a Timaru professional
golfer had inspected the site and reported on its
suitability. Rental of 50 pounds per annum was
agreed and to offset this grazing rites were let for
forty pounds per annum.
The records do not show
when the first game of golf was played but the
minutes of a meeting of the committee on 21 August
record that the Temuka Golf club – also formed in
1907 - had written seeking to arrange a match. This
was set for 31 August.
The club continued to
play on its Downs links until the early 1930’s when
some members expressed an interest in finding other
land. On the Downs the ground was heavy and the
links were often closed because of the wet underfoot
Finally, in 1934 it was
decided to move and 74 acres of land on the present
Orari Back Rd site were leased . The new nine hole
course was officially opened by the then President,
Mr G. N. Feilden on March 30 1935.
This photograph shows
the clubhouse as it was in 1935.
After a competition
amongst members the name “Denfield” was chosen for
the course. Although the spelling is different, this
was seen as a tribute to Mr Feilden who had played a
major part in the move.
Unlike the Downs, the
new site was stony and prone to drought but it was
blessed with an ample water supply and before long a
bore had been sunk at each green and a pump rotated
around them to keep the grass growing.
Over the years the
course was expanded until in November 1970 a full 18
hole layout was opened. With this development went
the need to extend the irrigation system. This work
was finally completed in 2006 when the last five
fairways were converted to pop ups. The course now
has a fully automatic computer controlled system to
all fairways, tees and greens.
Of course golfers need
facilities in which to relax after play so the
clubhouse becomes an important part of the total
set-up. From simple beginnings, the development of
the clubhouse has progressed concurrently with that
of the course until today the Club has a
comfortable, well appointed facility capable of
meeting the needs of the members.
Entranceway erected to
mark the occasion of the club's centenary in March 2007