A group of Central Southland golfers is preparing to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a club dedicated to embracing the social side of the game.
Winton Golf Club's '3 Putt Club' is planning a trip to Australia's Gold Coast to mark three decades of travelling around various golf courses for fun excursions. The social club was founded at Central Southland Lodge on January 15, 1989 by Bert Wilson, Alf Baldy, Graeme Carroll, Ian Martin, Colin Hamilton, Maurice Ward and Mac Stirling. Traditionally in golf three putts are something golfers want to avoid as they should be finishing holes in two putts.
Founding member Graeme Carroll said in October this year between 25 to 30 players would go "on a trip of a lifetime" over the ditch.
"It is the 30th anniversary of the formation of the club which has been very popular with the members."
Mr Carroll said in the first year there were 38 members who played at various courses around the south including Arrowtown and Kingston. Two of the members had such a big night out at Kingston that they had three air shots on the first tee before deciding to go back to the bus and sleep for four hours, he said.
The group stayed at members' cribs in the early days of their travels but the food was always good.
Mr Carroll said Winton was the first 3 Putt Club to play at Millbrook Resort in 1994, with 43 players on that trip, and in the following year Mac Stirling became the first life member. Since then four more life members have been added – Terry Cummings, John Black, Steve Andrews and Mr Carroll himself.
"There were many more trips to Tapanui, Te Anau, Alexandra, Wanaka and Tuatapere... In 2008 we had a three-day trip to Christchurch organised by Graeme McConnachie and Greg Keen for our 20th anniversary."
Now the group was looking forward to celebrating its 30 years in style.