New Zealand Golf created the Hall of Fame during their centenary celebrations in 2010 to honour and safeguard the memories of those who have made a lasting footprint on the game in this country.
The Hall of Fame selection panel includes three New Zealand Golf representatives and two independent panellists,.
ARTHUR DONALD STUART DUNCAN
CHARLES RICTHIE HOWDEN
The game of golf was introduced to New Zealand in Dunedin in 1871 and the man behind this was Charles Ritchie Howden who became known as the Father of New Zealand Golf.
In this modern era his name will not be well known to a lot of golfers. However, through C R Howden and the members of his family, we can be very thankful for his passion and desire to bring the Royal and Ancient game to our country. Howden was the sort of Scotsman on whom the early prosperity of Dunedin was based and by 1871 he was financially secure, as well as young and enthusiastic enough to be a driving force behind the development of the game.
Born in Edinburgh and educated at the Royal Academy, Howden came to New Zealand at the age of 23 and worked on sheep runs in Otago. He later entered the wine and spirit business in Dunedin and started the New Zealand Distillery Company, a firm which flourished until it was closed by legislation, and which provided a healthy payment in compensation. So the story of Howden is not only about introducing golf but also home grown whiskey.
In September 1871 a dozen players gathered to form a club and Howden became the first Club Captain of the Dunedin Golf Club (later the Otago Golf Club). In 1872 the City Council gave permission for a course to be laid out and it was Howden who was the designer.
For various reasons the course closed down five years later and business interests took Howden back to Great Britain. Fortunately he returned in 1889 and, soon after, new initiatives surfaced and there was interest in golf in Otago, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.
By the time Charles Howden passed away on 28 August 1928 at the age of 90, his name had become legendary in New Zealand Golf. It is fitting that the man who introduced the game to New Zealanders and who was recognised for many years as the Father of New Zealand Golf be inducted into the New Zealand Golf Hall of Fame.
Click here to view Charles Ritchie Howden's Induction video
SIR BOB CHARLES
New Zealand Golf along with the golfers of New Zealand would like to acknowledge the incredible career of our golfing knight, Sir Bob Charles. Since the 1954 New Zealand Open when he burst on to the scene, through to the 2007 New Zealand Open when he became the oldest player ever to make the cut in a European Tour event, he has been the consummate professional. Bob Charles stands tall among the great sportsmen of New Zealand and his outstanding record in the game was honoured in 2008 when he was admitted to the World Golf Hall of Fame. The 1963 win in The Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St.Annes stands as the defining victory in his career, however not to be overshadowed are the other 67 professional wins worldwide and another five top three finishes in Major Championships.
Playing the game left-handed and being one of the best putters the game has ever seen, made Bob one of the most recognizable players in the world. For over 50 years he has represented New Zealand, the game of Golf and his wonderfully supportive family, wife Verity and children Beverly and David, with distinction.
Sir Bob has always taken an interest in the development of the game of Golf here at home, having for many years donated 1% of his earnings to a scholarship which is still being presented to inspirational players and students of the game. And since 2008 the launch of the Charles Tour has grown to became an important home based competition to prepare our best amateurs and young professionals for a successful life on tour.
It is with great honour, that New Zealand Golf proudly acknowledge a remarkable golf career by admitting Sir Robert James Charles to the New Zealand Golf Hall of Fame.
Jones was dubbed “The Emperor” by the doyen of New Zealand Golf journalists Sir Terry McLean, who acknowledged his outstanding record which occurred during a period when competition was fierce with the talents of Bob Charles, Ross Murray, John Durry, Ted McDougall, Ross Newdick and Walter Godfrey all champions in their own right.
He will always be associated with Hastings Golf Club at Bridge Pa where his career started in 1947. A scalding received from a Wairakei geyser cut short a promising rugby career, but he took to the game of golf with such enthusiasm that within two years he became club champion. This signalled the start of an illustrious career where for years many marvelled at his ball-striking skills as he won title after title.
From his early success at Bridge Pa his achievements quickly blossomed and he began to be the player to be reckoned with at first provincial, then national and ultimately international level. He represented New Zealand from 1953 to 1975, playing in seven Eisenhower Trophy events. His most notable achievements came when he won two professional events and the 1967 Canadian Amateur Championship. Together with seven New Zealand Amateur titles Jones’ record is unlikely to be matched in this modern era.
With such an outstanding record it was little surprise Jones was named the first-ever Hawke's Bay Sportsman of the Year in 1966, invested as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1977 and elected to the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame and awarded life membership of the Hastings Golf Club. Stuart Jones has not just been a standout – he has been a legend.
Stuart Jones’ record and love of the game stands tall and we are extremely proud to acknowledge his phenomenal career of achievement and longevity by admitting him to the New Zealand Golf Hall of Fame.
Stuart Jones’ record is unmatched and includes:
- New Zealand representative from 1953 to 1975
- Seven appearances at the World Teams Championship, known as the Eisenhower Trophy
- Winner of the New Zealand Foursomes title in 1960, 1963, 1965 and 1972
- Winner of the New Zealand Amateur title in 1955, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1966 and 1971
- Winner of the North Island Amateur in 1953, 1966, 1970, 1972
- Winner of the South Island Amateur 1964
- Winner of two professional events
- Winner of the Canadian Amateur title in 1967
The feats of this Otago Golf Club member, who was also a member of the St Clair Golf Club where her father was the professional and greenkeeper, hold a special place in New Zealand Golf history. In 1924, when Hollis was just 15, she reached the semifinals of the National Match Play Championship. Two years later she won the Mellsop Cup which is the National Stroke Play title, for the first of an incredible nine successive years. Hollis retired early but returned to golf in 1946 and immediately won her 10th Stroke Play title.
Hollis also won the New Zealand Amateur crown on three occasions and the New Zealand Foursomes four times. Her win in the 1933 New Zealand Amateur matched that of club mate B.V. “Pip” Wright when he won the Men’s Amateur Championship which in later years was acknowledged as one of the 150 greatest moments in Otago sport.
Hollis had similar success across the Tasman winning both the Australian Amateur and Foursomes titles. She was a member of the New Zealand Tasman Cup team on four occasions and captained the team in two championships. There is little doubt she was the best player of her era.
Not only did Hollis play the game at the highest amateur level, she also contributed to the game’s administration serving on the New Zealand Ladies Golf Union. Her contribution to golf was recognised in 1996 when she was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, where she is still only one of three golfers acknowledged in this way. She remained an ardent supporter of women's golf right up until her passing in December 1993.
It is with great honour that New Zealand Golf acknowledges one of the legends of the game, by admitting Oliver Hollis (nee Kay) as the first woman to the New Zealand Golf Hall of Fame.
Oliver Hollis’ feats hold a special place in the history of New Zealand Golf:
- New Zealand Stroke Play Champion, 1926-34, 1946 (10 titles)
- New Zealand Amateur Champion, 1930, 1933 and 1937
- New Zealand Foursomes Champion, 1929, 1932, 1947 and 1948
- New Zealand Tasman Cup Team, 1933, 1934, 1936 and 1937
- Captain New Zealand Tasman Cup Team, 1949 and 1950
- Winner of the Australian Amateur and Australian Foursomes titles
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