Without our trusty manager, Bart, on December 30 the wheels started to wobble and the puregolf machine became as rickety as a beat up ‚??88 Dodge.
First we had a dilemma with our keys. Again. (That‚??s right EHPoole, Jamie & Marc and others‚?¶)¬† Arriving back at Jucy after our final blogging session of 2010 the keys, the lifeblood of Jucy and last seen in JP‚??s possession were gone.¬† We scurried around Napier, visiting cafes and following our footsteps. Long story short, there were no keys.¬† And it was T-30 minutes until tee time.¬†
So we got on the phone and faced up to the issue. As we‚??d learnt to do.¬† Fortunately there were a few family in town to bail us out.¬† Half an hour later the golf course had been informed of our lateness and Dad was escorting us to the locksmith to get a key cut.¬† The chap came out to the car and was about to get to work when a young man, clad in black clothes, stopped to talk with JP.¬† Moments later, JP was striding up to the backpackers which Jucy was parked outside and returned, proudly, key in hand.¬† He slipped a few bob to the locksmith for coming out and, like that, we were away to the Napier Golf Club.
Now the second problem was that our less-than-reliable camera had, yet again, failed us.¬† Bart, ordinarily armed with both an iPhone 4 and his back up digital camera, was in bed.¬† The constant travel, golf and shenanigens had got too much for poor Bart.¬† A more likely explanation was that he was just tired of constantly dealing with JP and I and his body had subconsciously packed it up.¬† In any case he was under his hugely supportive mother, Maggie‚??s, watch.¬† Turns out Bart had pneumonia or something ‚?? well according to the dentist that diagnosed him. ¬†
OK, so cameraless, but in Jucy we‚??d made our late, but less than grand arrival much to the bemusement of my (also very supportive) folks, grandfather, auntie Jane & trusty source of chirp ‚?? Sarge. ¬†
But JP and I were not to play with friends or family but the current and former club president of the Napier Golf Club.¬† And this was a good thing as we learnt far more about this fine club that we would‚??ve otherwise.¬† Napier Golf Club is known around the traps as ‚??Waiohiki‚?Ě or pronounced ‚??why-hik‚??. ¬†[note Sarge & Jane won the other match probably due somewhat to Sarge's formidable banter].
Waiohiki is the home of Maori golf in NZ.¬† The course has a strong lineage of the Tareha family and as I was about to publish this blog last weekend I found myself chatting with a new cricketing friend about the history of Waiohiki.¬† It turned out that my friend, Matthew Mullaney‚??s grandmother is Audrey Mullaney (nee Tareha) who was a long time champion women‚??s golfer at Napier and for the NZ women‚??s amateur team.¬† Matt kindly gave me his honours dissertation from his study at the University of Otago to read which includes a history of the Tareha family and their link with Maori golf and the Napier Golf Club. ¬†Hopefully Matt doesn't mind me sharing a couple of paragraphs which outline the beginnings of this golf club:
‚??Kurupo was the ambassador of the Tareha family in the Pakeha world. He was a prominent member of Hawkes Bay society, a member of various sports clubs, the Hawkes Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society and the Scinde Masonic Lodge. In 1897, as a reward for the loyalty of the Tareha family, he was selected to travel to England with the New Zealand Diamond Jubilee Contingent ‚?¶. While in Great Britain in 1897 Kurupo was taken to see the St Andrews Royal and Ancient Golf Club, and, according to family tradition, first acquired his interest in the game of golf. On his return to New Zealand, he and Te Roera (sibling) developed golf-links on 100 acres of their Waiohiki whanau land, which became known as the Waiohiki Links and later as the Napier Golf Links.‚?Ě
After the round I saw the huge painting of Kurupo on the wall in the clubhouse. ¬†He was looking very dapper in his tweed and I said he must have had some strong British influences. ¬†Turns out that happened in 1897 at St Andrews!
"Kurupo developed into a formidable player. He won the New Zealand Amateur Golf Championship at the Waiohiki Links in 1903, the Manawatu championships in 1905, and competed in championship tournaments in Dunedin and Auckland. He was an active member of the Napier Golf Club for years, and when he could no longer play, was a coach. Kurupo was one of the founders of the New Zealand Maori Golf Association, and at his death was its patron. His eldest son (my grandfather), Nga-whakapinga-o-te-rangi Tareha, better known as Kapi, was also an expert golfer who won many amateur golf championships and eventually became a professional player."
Currently there are some carvings being completed alongside the 9th hole on the course. ¬†One depicts Kapi and is below. ¬†After the round we walked around the memorabilia in the clubhouse and it was amazing how often the name Tareha featured. ¬†And generally I was impressed by the memorabilia and history being displayed in the club - this is relatively unusual in NZ compared with some more traditional golf clubs around the world. I'd like to thank the club for having Jamie and I and sharing their story with us - and also Matt for sharing the story of the Tareha golfing dynasty!
The course itself is a good track. ¬†It has lush fairways, pure greens and a solid parkland routing. ¬†There is plenty of space for aspiring golfers to practice their trade. ¬†The course plays between a couple of main roads meaning out of bounds comes into play frequently. ¬† In fact, my first shot of the day rolled across the out of bounds line - not a great start! Meanwhile JP got a closer look at the carvings on the 9th when he became all too acquainted with the road passing between the 1st and 9th holes. ¬†364 rounds in and the golf hadn't got hugely better!! ¬†Fortunately for me I had grandfather Ernie on the bag giving some sage advice. ¬†So as the hole countdown progressed down from 36 to 30, to the final 20 the mind was still (somehow) focusing on enjoying the golf. ¬† And with 20 holes to go the final eagle of the year was made, albeit on a rather generous short par five...¬†
And so that was that, 18 holes of golf to go and the 'final supper' with family before the long awaited day 365 at Cape Kidnappers.
Before I finish I'd like to mention the support of my Auntie Jane and her employer, Westfield. ¬†You've probably noticed JP and I wearing those caps every day! ¬†Westfield had faith in our task and gave us some support to achieve our goal - for this both JP and I are hugely grateful. ¬†ŰŹį?