With the game of golf believed to have been introduced to New Zealand by her Scottish settlers, it’s not hard to believe that in 1871, Otago was the first region in the country to establish a golf club.
Canterbury followed suit two years later by the founding of the Hagley Golf Club, our first. Its course is still situated in the northern end of Hagley Park. Originally known as the Christchurch Golf Course Hagley, this pioneering club helped to launch a further two clubs at Shirley and Russley.
With Hagley Golf Club hosting the New Zealand Championships in 1893, it was a great testament to how popular the sport had become around the South Island. The Golf Council was established in 1899, with Canterbury forming its own association in 1941, first known as the Christchurch Metropolitan Golf Association – with twelve clubs first represented.
Today, over 480,000 Kiwis play golf – on 393 courses country wide. It has the highest participation over any other sport.
*Image courtesy of http://poetrychook.blogspot.co.nz*