On Friday the 11th of August the annual Canterbury Golf Awards Dinner was held at Christchurch Golf Club. With over a hundred people from the Canterbury Golf community in attendance a great evening was held celebrating not only the previous seasons player on-field performances but also importantly the opportunity was taken to recognise those that have given so much to the game locally over many years.
The evening commenced with the awarding of the Eagles Society Promising Girl and Boy of the Year awards which went to Lexi Thomson-Hall (Clearwater) and Etienne Collier (Avondale) respectively. The evening then moved on to the respective Junior Boys and Girls of the Year awards. These were collected by Cooper Moore (Clearwater) and Vanessa Lim (Russley) who were deserved winners with their respective achievements.
The first break of the evening then allowed an opportunity to play a video interview showcasing Canterbury Women in Golf. Former Canterbury women representatives Amelia Garvey, Momoka Kobori, Hillary O'Connor, and Catherine Palmer all featured as women that are now all either playing professionally, working as a PGA professional, or in golf development. The full video can be viewed – HERE.
Following this, two new awards were celebrated. After recent work with the Canterbury Tasman Turf Managers Association, the awards of Greenkeeper Trainee of the Year and Services to Greenkeeping were created and celebrated for the first time on the night. Mitchell Berry of Kaiapoi Golf Club received the Trainee of the Year while Steve Hill of Hanmer Springs Golf Club received the Services to Greenkeeping, two worthy individuals.
The next award of the evening was the Vardon Trophy for the best scoring average throughout the season, Cooper Moore won this year’s prize with a scoring average of 70.17 from his 18 rounds. He then joined MC Phil McGoldrick for an extended chat and reflection on his past year.
Following an impressive dinner, the evening turned to recognise the Administrator and Volunteers of the Year. The recipient of this year’s Administrator prize was Aimee Smith of Bottle Lake, while the Volunteer was Raylene Adler of Templeton. Both were honored to receive the awards.
We were then joined by our special guest speaker for the evening, former Crusader and All Black Andy Ellis. MC Phil McGoldrick and Andy had an entertaining Q&A style chat about his career and learning providing some good insights and learning for our young athletes as well as some entertaining stories of his journey.
This was followed by a special part of the evening where those longstanding people in our game were recognised with the various Service Awards. First up was Andrew Green with his service award for golfing achievement, this was followed by service awards for Mike Taylor, Kerry Chuck and Ian MacGillivray for their contributions as Canterbury Team Managers/selectors over recent years. We then progressed to two Distinguished Service Awards, the first for Jason Sincock celebrating his longevity and contributions to the game, and the second award to Debbie Scott who has made a massive contribution as a selector, manager, board member, and board chair over the last 8 years.
Finally, two Life Memberships were awarded in what is always a rare and special moment in Canterbury Golf history. Firstly, Peter MacDonald received his Life membership for his contributions over the last 13 years. Peters has been involved on the Executive, the Metro committee, and representative Committee and served as President amongst other contributions, and was a worthy recipient. The other went to a man who has given a tremendous amount of time and energy to Canterbury Golf, John Thompson. JT as he is often known, has been on the previous Canterbury Golf Management Committee and now Executive for a total of 26 years! He has given so much and continues to give; this was a great moment to highlight and celebrate his work.
Finally, the evening concluded with the two Player of the Year Awards. This year's Women’s Golfer of the Year award went to Alisia Ren (Russley Golf Club) having followed on from an impressive season before. The Men’s Player of the Year award went to Kazuma Kobori (Rangiora), his 5th consecutive Player of the Year title, and well deserved for the leading Kiwi amateur who continues to achieve impressive results and titles both within NZ and overseas.
To see all the pictures of the night, view the Album – HERE.