HALL OF FAME


NEW ZEALAND GOLF HALL OF FAME



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.
It is an elite club of our very best golfers that includes Sir Bob Charles and Michael Campbell (2010), Oliver Hollis and Stuart Jones (2012), Arthur Donald Stuart Duncan and Charles Ritchie Howden (2015), Frank Nobilo and Greg Turner (2017) and Peter Thomson (2019).

The criteria for inclusion in the New Zealand Golf Hall of Fame includes consistent performance over an extended period internationally as an amateur or professional, and performance at the highest level of the game in their time.



PETER THOMSON 

New Zealand Golf along with the golfers of New Zealand would like to acknowledge the incredible career of Peter Thomson. Through his regular participation, the Australian great helped put the New Zealand Open Championship on the world map while also becoming the most prolific champion to win the title. 

Thomson, a five-time Open Champion, claimed the New Zealand Open a record nine times between 1950 and 1971 and his appearance elevated the local interest. His international fame intrigued New Zealanders and spectator numbers grew, especially following his run of victories in the world’s most international major, The Open Championship. He claimed that title in 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 and 1965 to make him one of Australia’s finest golfers. He was a prolific tournament champion around the world winning the national championships of 10 countries.

Thomson led the movement across the Tasman and in 1958 he brought Gary Player, Harold Henning and David Thomas to New Zealand with the field regarded at the time as the best ever to contest the championship.

After a decade of Thomson supporting the championship, the interest in golf elevated with membership growing rapidly, prize money increasing in local professional tournaments and golf becoming televised from 1960. Much of this positive news could be attributed to Peter Thomson.

Thomson also did New Zealand golf another huge favour off the course, when in November 1960, the PGA of New Zealand was wrestling with an application from Bob Charles to join the PGA before embarking on an overseas tour. Thomson guided them through the correct procedure with the result that Charles became a probationary member and gained the support to enter tournaments in South Africa, the UK and the United States. Without that support and guidance, Charles’ career might not have been the same.

Peter Thomson was recognized internationally for his stellar career when he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988.

As New Zealand Golf celebrate the 100th playing of the New Zealand Open, there is no golfer more worthy than the great Peter Thomson. His name will forever be linked with our Championship.

Thomson’s record:

- Open Champion, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 and 1965

- New Zealand Open Champion, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1965 and 1971

- Six US PGA Tour titles

- Twenty nine European Tour titles

- A further thirty professional wins worldwide

- Eleven US Senior Tour titles

 
Click Here to view Peter Thomson's Hall of Fame induction video.
 

FRANK NOBILO

Following an outstanding career, both on and off the golf course, New Zealand Golf and the golfers of New Zealand acknowledge the achievements of Frank Nobilo.

Frank’s reputation began when, as an 18-year old, he won the 1978 New Zealand Amateur Championship. The quality of his ball striking during the tournament impressed amateur legend Stuart Jones who predicted an incredible career in golf for the young Nobilo. He was to be proven correct.

The following year Frank launched his professional playing career, in which he achieved 15 tournament titles around the world. Wins in the United States, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Australia and here in New Zealand demonstrated he had a game capable of winning anywhere. His most notable victories came in the mid-1990s when he won the 1995 BMW International on the European Tour, back-to-back Gene Sarazen World Opens in 1995/96 and the 1997 Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic on the US PGA Tour. His playing record ensured he was consistently ranked in the top 50 in the world at that time.

Golf’s Major Championships are a measure of a career and Frank competed in 27, with his best result a 4th at the 1996 US Masters. He had top 10 Major finishes on five occasions. Impressively, he is the only New Zealander to have finished in the top 10 in all four Major Championships.

Frank has three times been a playing member of the President’s Cup team and has twice been selected as an assistant captain. He represented New Zealand in 11 Dunhill Cups and 12 World Cups.

Forced to retire early from the game in 2004 due to ongoing back pain, Frank joined the Golf Channel and is now recognised as one of the most astute analysts of the game. He serves as an in-studio and on-site analyst for Golf Central and also the Golf Channel’s ‘Live From’ programme, which airs from the game’s biggest events. Frank’s face and voice continue to be among the most recognised in television golf coverage and, although making his home in the United States, he is a proud New Zealander.

From St Peters College in Auckland to reaching the top echelon of our sport, we proudly acknowledge an illustrious career by admitting Frank Ivan Joseph Nobilo to the New Zealand Golf Hall of Fame.

 
 
GREG TURNER

New Zealand Golf and the golfers of New Zealand acknowledge the golf career of Greg Turner, who proudly carried the New Zealand flag on the European Tour for nearly 20 years.

Born into a sporting family of high achievers, Greg forged his own path in the sport of golf and his natural talent was evident from a young age. He won the 1981 National Junior title before attending the University of Oklahoma where his game developed rapidly and he was selected as a two-time All-American.

In late 1984 Greg returned home to launch his professional career and he didn’t take long to succeed, winning the New Zealand PGA Championship at Mt Maunganui Golf Club in only his second start. Victories in the Fiji Open and Singapore Open followed before a break-through win on the European Tour, defeating Craig Stadler in a playoff to win the 1986 Scandinavian Open.

Greg won 12 professional tournaments in total - four on the European Tour, six on the Australasian Tour and victories in the 1989 and 1997 New Zealand Open’s. Representing New Zealand on many occasions, including 11 World Cups and 10 Dunhill Cups, Greg also had the honour of being selected in the 1998 President’s Cup team where he played a key role in what still stands as the only win by the International team. Paired with Frank Nobilo in the foursomes and four-ball formats, they were a formidable duo.

Whilst still playing to a very high level and relatively young in terms of competitive golf, Greg made the decision to put his family first and retired from playing professional golf in 2003. Upon returning to New Zealand Greg started a golf course design company and his influence is evident at Millbrook, Royal Wellington, Harewood, Cromwell, Russley and a growing number of other course layouts. He also founded the Golf Tour of New Zealand, a series of elite golf events to help the development of our leading amateurs and aspiring professionals.

Greg leaves his mark on the game in New Zealand as a multiple tournament winner in Europe, a talented and thoughtful course designer, a former player assisting the development of those who follow in his path and a leading influencer of the game in this country. It is therefore with great honour, we proudly admit Gregory James Turner to the New Zealand Golf Hall of Fame.

   

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.

Howden arrived in New Zealand as a 23 year old in 1862.
On 11 September 1871 Howden was elected the first Club Captain of the Dunedin Golf Club.
After leaving New Zealand in 1881 Howden returned in 1889 and his initiative once again sparked a fresh start for the game.
Howden and his family started golf in Dunedin, Wellington, Masterton, Invercargill and influenced many other regions.
Howden lived to the age of 89 and will always be remembered as “the Father of New Zealand Golf”.

Click here to view Charles Ritchie Howden's Induction video

  

ARTHUR DONALD STUART DUNCAN

The name Arthur Donald Stuart Duncan, better known as ADS, is synonymous with golf in this country. Duncan was a prolific winner of championships and devoted many years to the administration of the game at club, district and national level.
Duncan was born in Ceylon and came to New Zealand with his parents in 1884. He was educated at Wanganui Collegiate School where he exhibited an uncommon aptitude in most sports, particularly rugby, cricket and athletics. It was considered by his masters and contemporaries that he could have taken the highest honours in any one of those sports if he had been prepared to devote his entire energies to it. Instead, he went from school to the counting house of Levin and Co and served the company’s interests with such distinction that he rose to be its Chairman of Directors.
Duncan was fortunately an early convert to golf, and his game prospered to such an extent that in his early twenties he won the New Zealand Amateur Championship, a performance he was to repeat on no fewer than nine subsequent occasions between 1899 and 1926. He dominated the game in New Zealand for over a quarter of a century and was widely regarded as ‘the greatest of them all’. Duncan won the first New Zealand Open Championship in 1907 and repeated that win in 1910 and 1911. But he had an even more unique distinction as, in his sixtieth year, he led the amateur field in the Open Championship of 1935, something that had never been done before and has not been achieved since.
It was said of Arthur Duncan that no one ever played with him without being the better for it. His immaculate style made him a champion, but his personality and demeanour won him as much regard as his golf. His kindly and courteous manner, on and off the links, was legendary and many players had reason to acknowledge his help and encouragement.
Duncan was not content to take all he could from the game without giving something in return. He served for many years as President of the Wellington Golf Club, and for almost as long as a member of the Council of the New Zealand Golf Association. His services as an administrator were recognised by his election to President of the national association. He passed away on 19 March 1951 at the age of 75 which was widely mourned as a significant loss to the sport of golf in New Zealand.
New Zealand Golf is pleased to induct into the New Zealand Golf Hall of Fame a truly great man, whose incredible playing record was also matched by his influence as an administrator.

 

STUART JONES

New Zealand Golf and the golfers of New Zealand acknowledge the incredible career of Stuart Jones. It is without doubt that Jones was the greatest amateur golfer this country has ever produced with an unprecedented record which is still talked about today.

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

 
OLIVER  HOLLIS
 
New Zealand Golf and the golfers of New Zealand acknowledge the incredible career of Oliver Hollis (nee Kay).  She has long been regarded as New Zealand’s finest woman golfer who totally dominated her era of competitive golf from the 1920’s to 1950’s.

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

Click here to view Oliver Hollis hall of fame video  



MICHAEL CAMPBELL
New Zealand Golf along with the golfers of New Zealand would like to acknowledge the achievements of Michael Campbell, the boy from Titahi Bay who has marveled us with his play for nearly 20 years. Known as "Cambo", this proud New Zealander and Maori has represented his country with pride and there is no other Kiwi sportsman that we love to follow when playing at his very best.
As a golfer, Cambo blossomed in his early 20's and his amateur career, which included victory in the 1992 Australian Amateur Championship, signaled to the golfing world that a very special professional career is about to start. His final achievement as an amateur came in Canada when along with Phil Tataurangi, Stephen Scahill and Grant Moorhead, New Zealand finished seven strokes ahead of a star studded United States team to win the 1992 Eisenhower Trophy.
Three professional wins in 1994 set Cambo up for a stella 1995 year when at The Open Championship at St. Andrews he slept on a two shot lead going into the final round. His escape from the Road Hole bunker on his way to a third round 65 is still talked about today, but in the final round the magic could not be repeated and Cambo finished one shot behind in 3rd place. The year featured a win in the Alfred Dunhill Masters and elevation to number 28 on the Official World Golf rankings.
Four wins in the year 2000, included a very special New Zealand Open Championship, but it was five years later that Cambo stopped the nation when he outplayed Tiger Woods to win the 2005 US Open Championship. That day is recorded in New Zealand sporting history as one of our greatest. What followed was perhaps the most sublime golf ever played in his career when he finished 5th in The Open and 6th in the US PGA Championship, before winning the World Match Play Championship.
This incredible journey could not have been possible if it were not for a huge amount of support from a very close whanau, of which there is too many to mention. However his wife Julie and son's Thomas and Jordan can be very proud, as all of New Zealand is, in honouring Michael Shane Campbell, CNZM and admitting him to the New Zealand Golf Hall of Fame.


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.

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