The 2019 Canterbury Golf Annual Awards Dinner was hosted for the first time at Christchurch Golf Club last Friday evening. 140 club members, sponsors, invited guests, and Canterbury Golf personnel and stakeholders sat in the recently rebuilt club house and enjoyed an evening of awards, interviews and entertainment.
MC Phil McGoldrick again did a fantastic job keeping the evening flowing and punctuating the formalities with golfing anecdotes and humour. It was announced early that guest speaker Israel Dagg was not able to make the awards due to commitments with the Super 15 quarter-final between the Crusaders and Highlanders. However as it turned out, the "melting pot" segment that replaced his address was very well received.
The first awards were for the Eagles Promising Junior Girl and Boy of the Year. Canterbury Eagles President Neil Robertson presented the awards to Deanna Matthews from Weedons and Lachie Mackay from Waimairi Beach.
Rachel Thow then conducted an interview with the Canterbury Women's Masters Team that won the NZ Championship at Nelson Golf Club for the first time in 18 years. Manager Debbie Scott provided interesting insights into the team game plan and how they encouraged each other to produce their best performances during the week of the tournament.
After entree Canterbury Golf Services Awards were presented to Canterbury Women's Rep Catherine Bell (Christchurch), Canterbury Masters Rep Andrew Dufton (Russley), Kate Turner (Waimairi Beach) for her service as a Canterbury Senior and Masters Rep and involved in rep management, and Mel Brew & Robyn Gillespie for their years of service as women's rep selectors. The current President and Immediate Past President then received Distinguished Service Awards. Steve Kilpatrick and Peter MacDonald were recognised for their service in many volunteer management roles over the last 15 years.
New Zealand and Canterbury Rep Juliana Hung was recognised for winning the 2019 Canterbury Outstanding Young Sportswoman of the Year. Jon Derry from Sport Canterbury spoke about the intensive process to select the winner of this award from many high achieving candidates and what an accolade it was for Canterbury Golf to win the award two years in a row after Amelia Garvey also won it in 2018.
Canterbury Masters Rep Aaron Forsyth (Waitikiri) won the Fenix Golf Ambassador of the Year Award. Aaron was recognised for his conduct on and off the golf course, and also for giving up a week of time to caddy and support the Men's Toro Interprovincial Team at Clearwater.
When the Golfer of the Year Awards were started it soon became apparent that they would be dominated by two people. Kazuma Kobori (Rangiora) won the Vardon Trophy (best stroke average), Junior Golfer of the Year, and Golfer of the Year awards. Similarly Juliana Hung (Russley) won the Liz Douglas Trophy, Junior Golfer of the Year, and Golf of the Year awards. Juliana was not on hand to receive her awards as she was playing golf in Taiwan. However her coach Peter Davis ably stepped in and told the audience what Juliana was up too. Kazuma was on hand and the audience enjoyed reliving his historic NZPGA win and talking to him about his amazing year.
The replacement "melting pot" segment proved to be a highlight of the evening. It started with a short message from Israel Dagg apologising for his absence and wishing the audience well. Then Lamb & Hayward CEO Stephen Parkyn captivated the audience speaking about his own golfing journey, and Lamb & Hayward's support for Canterbury Golf and other community organisations. There was a sombre moment when Steve talked about the company dealing with the 51 shooting victims, but funny anecdotes throughout using his trademark dry sense of humour ensured the audience were well entertained. New Zealand Golf Chair Michael Smith spoke about the national golfing scene and what New Zealand Golf were doing to develop the game. The insights into the use of the Dot Golf handicapping system internationally was particularly interesting. The segment finished with Amelia Garvey's achievement in recently reaching the final of the British Amateur. This included tournament footage, words from Amelia herself while still in the UK, and an interview with her first coach Tom Whitaker from the Kaiapoi Golf Club.
Canterbury hosted both the Men's and Women's Toro Interprovincials in 2018. Interviews were conducted with Team Captains Catherine Bell and Andrew Green about the tournaments and the teams stellar achievement in getting second and third respectively.
The evening finished with the Administrator and Volunteer of the Year Awards. Avondale's General Manager Richard Sinclair received the Administrator Award for efforts over the past 12 months on the back of their clubhouse rebuild that has seen membership numbers, casual player patronage, and clubhouse revenue increase. Richard spoke about the need for club's to embrace their culture and identity, and ensure that the use of their facilities is being maximised. A stunned Ian Knowler won the Volunteer of the Year Award following his tireless volunteer efforts assisting the green keeper at Weedons Golf Club. Regularly putting in 40 hours a week, a humble and clearly moved Ian accepted the award on behalf of all volunteers at his club.
Canterbury Golf President Steve Kilpatrick closed the evening with a short address about Canterbury Golf activities, with MC Phil McGoldrick provdiing one more golfing story and thanking everyone for attending.
A huge thanks must go to Christchurch Golf Club. High praise has been received about the food, service and venue. Thanks also to evening sponsors Golf Warehouse, Riccarton Park Golf Complex, The Elmwood Trading Company and Fenix.
Click here to view a selection of photos from the evening on the Canterbury Golf Facebook page.