The Club
The Hororata Golf Club
The honour of founding the Hororata Golf Club must go to Messrs Vaughan and Nettleton who, on the 16th May 1922 decided to form a golf club to be called the Hororata Golf Club. The following day a general meeting was held in the Hororata Hall and the club elected Hugh Reeves as its first President. Now they had the task of finding somewhere to play.
It was decided that the best position would be 6 holes in the centre of the Hororata Racecourse – with the first subscription to be 5/-. Then on June 3rd, Godfrey Hall, son of the late Sir John Hall offered a small portion of family land at Terrace Station. Soon the rudiments of what was to become a 9 hole course were laid down and on 17th June 1922, at 2pm, the Hororata Golf Club was open for business.
The club in its initial stages used sheep to keep the grass on the fairways down and as the club did not have the finance to purchase a mower for the greens, the members took their own push mowers from home and did the greens before they played on a Saturday. Less than a month after the opening the members decided they would like a clubhouse so set about building one.
1923 the club purchased cups to put in the green and the first Life Memberships were awarded to Mr and Mrs Vaughan.
1924 saw the purchase of the first hand push mower at a cost of £7/5/- and greenfees were 2/- per round. The Great Depression hit and greenfees were lowered to 1/6 and subscriptions were initially set at 5/- per annum but by 1928 reached £2. However during the difficult economic times, they were reduced to 17/6.
The Ball was born in 1923 and was a much anticipated annual event, which in 1933 became the venue for the presentation of club trophies.
The club went into recess in 1942 because of the war and the course was handed over the Army (camped in the Hororata Domain) on the proviso that it was looked after and maintained.
World War two nearly saw the end of the Hororata Golf Club but thanks to the huge effort of Mr W Stone, the club president at the time and 10 members it managed to survive but took many years of unselfish hard work before it returned to its former glory. Present members owe a great deal to Mr W Stone as he put a great deal of his own money, time, sweat and tears into getting things moving again. So when all was in order again in 1946 Godfrey Hall played the first ball to reopen the club and get things started again.
1955 the clubhouse was abandoned and the house across the road was kindly offered as an alternative, it was noted that this house bought the club into the 20th century as it had electricity. In 1963 the club installed a summertime watering system for the greens and purchased a Massey Ferguson Tractor for £240.
1966 was to become cataclysmic in terms of history and future development. In February the club began an investigation in to the feasibility of conducting a new course at Glentunnel. The club had outgrown its nine hole course at Terrace Station and taking into consideration the demands of the Halls sheep farming practices. July 30 1966 a working bee was arranged to clear some 20 acres of 12 foot tall gorse. About 12 bulldozers were used and the land was cleared in 2 days. This laid the foundations for what today is arguably the most magnificent country course in the South Island.
The course at Glentunnel is modelled on that designed by Pacific Golf’s Commander Harris, a golf course architect with an international reputation. It cost $950 for the plans for the 18 hole layout, $2000 for the watering system, $12000 for the clubhouse and est of $20000 to $30000 for labour with most of the labour being offset by volunteers, picking stones, raking greens and picking more stones. $20 Debentures were called for from members and with only 100 financial members $10000 was raised in no time. The water system was funded by cropping the site with rape and wheat and also a bit of grazing.
Donations of a 1000 pine trees, many natives, 50 rhododendrons were gratefully received, with the club obtaining 150 azaleas making for a magnificent spectacle.
4th of October 1969 was the last day of play at the Terrace Station course, a 47 year association with the Hall family, with the new Glentunnel course officially open on 18th April 1970 for 9 Holes. Within 12 months the membership grew from around 100 to 220. By 1975 the course progressed to 12 holes and 1979 the full 18 holes came into play.
Over the years the trees have grown, more have been planted, and not only the view from the clubhouse is spectacular and also the view from the course looking back to the clubhouse.
Our course at Glentunnel has the reputation of being one of the best country courses in Canterbury. It boasts one full time greenkeeper and has a great base of volunteer members. Our course is definitely a great asset to the district.