Taieri Lakes Golf Club celebrated its 100th birthday in 2021.
Formed in 1920, the club turned 100 in 2020, but celebrations were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The club has only been on the present Milners Road site since 1969.
Before that, the club leased five different properties including, in 1922, the inside enclosure of the racecourse at the Dunedin Jockey Club in Wingatui.
But the club didn’t stay there long due to stray balls landing on the track, making horses lame.
The longest place the club stayed before purchasing its own land was the Gladfield Rd site, where the Gladfield Golf Club is now situated.
The club spent 33 years there until membership outgrew the nine-hole course.
BUYING LAND AT NORTH TAIERI
In 1965, the club bought land in Milners Road, North Taieri.
The 18-hole course was professionally designed by Commander John Derring Harris RN, considered to be one of the leading golf course designers in the world at the time.
The clubhouse was the previous sickbay building at the Taieri Royal New Zealand Air Force Station, which had also been used as a maternity hospital.
The club officially opened on October 11, 1969.
Initially there was only room for 14 holes, due to some of the land being used by the Taieri County Council as a gravel pit.
Therefore four temporary holes were created on neighbour Frank Gibson’s land on the corner of Puddle Alley and Milners Road, until the pit area became available.
LAND USED AS A TIP
During 1974 and 1975, the Taieri County Council helped fill in the pit area by depositing all of Mosgiel’s refuge there. This is why parts of the practice fairway and 9th and 12th fairways are undulating, due to rusting car bodies slowly sinking further into the ground.
Once this area was filled in, the final four holes could be built, with two holes designed around lakes. These were opened for play in May 1979, ten years after the club first opened at the North Taieri site.
There were many minor tweaks over the years, such as removing a large tree in the middle of the 6th fairway and removing a water hazard in a bunker surrounding the then 7th (now 11th) green.
But the most significant change was when two new holes were added next to the kart club in 2020.
Keeping with the water theme of the course, the holes were created on the flat around two lakes, replacing two holes at the back of the course (then 16 and 17) that were on steeper land.
This has made Taieri Lakes Golf Club a unique course for the region, and has attracted many visitors to pit their skills against the challenges the Taieri Lakes provides.