The Christchurch Golf Club was founded in 1873, making it the second oldest Club in New Zealand and the fifth oldest continuous running outside the United Kingdom and Ireland (Royal Calcutta 1829, Pau Golf Club France 1856, Manchester Club-Jamaica 1865, Otago 1871, Christchurch and Royal Montreal 1873, Brookline Massachusetts-USA 1882, Royal Cape Town 1885).
Its early play was at courses in Hagley Park and in the general area where the Russley Golf Club is now. However, in 1900 leases were taken out on three portions of land which form the core of the Shirley Links that the Club has used for 100 years.The first nine greens were laid out for a cost of six pounds and were ready for play on July 23 1900. The Club gradually acquired more land and the course was expanded to 18 holes by 1910. The first Clubhouse was built in 1903, roughly in the location where the Course Superintendent’s house now is.The years before the First World War were a golden period for Club Members. The Amateur Championship was won by H.B.Lusk in 1910 and by B.B.Wood in 1912 and 1913. In 1912 J.A.Clements, the then professional, won the Open Championship.However, these years, and during the War, were difficult for the Club with a fall off in membership and therefore income. The Club had to resort to grazing sheep on the links although this did have an additional benefit that it was possible to get rid of a man and a horse who had been employed for mowing.These difficulties were thankfully short lived and the Club continued its progress. In 1920 the piece of land which now comprises the 18th hole, Clubhouse, parking area and practice area was purchased, and in 1926 the eastern side of the outside paddock was acquired. In 1926 it was decided to proceed with the building of a new Clubhouse and the splendid building was completed the following year.
The Club became the first course in New Zealand to undertake a comprehensive high pressure hoseless system for fairway irrigation which was completed in 1934 at a cost of 1,696 pounds. The benefits obtained were immediate and members and visitors alike were enthusiastic over the improvements achieved.The period immediately following the Second World War was one of consolidation. Bob Charles became a junior member in 1956 and it was from this Club that he set out to seek his fortune as a professional golfer. He has continued his association with the Club over the years and is now its Patron.Further land was brought into play in 1972 and the course took on essentially the same layout which it has today. The 1930s watering system was replaced at the same time.The Club has hosted New Zealand Open Championships in 1910 (Arthur Duncan, Am), 1921 (E.S Douglas), 1925 (Ewen MacFarlane, Am), 1931 (Andrew Shaw), 1935 (Alex Murray), 1950 (Peter Thomson, Aus), 1956 (Harry Berwick, Am, Aus) 1964 (Kel Nagel, Aus) 1968 (Kel Nagel, Aus) 1974 (Bob Gilder, USA) and 1982 (Terry Gale, Aus). However, its greatest honour was to host the World Amateur Championship for the Eisenhower Trophy in 1990. Recent National Tournaments held on the course include the 1998 Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship, 1999 South Island Amateur Championship, 2000 Amateur Golf Championship of New Zealand, 2002 Clare Higson Trophy (age group match between Australia and New Zealand),2003 Four Nations Cup (teams match between Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand) and the 2005 New Zealand Women’s Amateur Championship. The Clubs feature annual tournament, the Shirley Open is now a part of the Charles Tour Series for leading professional and amateur players and is played over Labour Weekend.
Recent improvements include a new professional shop, car park, driving range, practice green, refurbishment of the Clubhouse and an upgrade of the course carried out under the supervision of the renowned course architect, Peter Thomson.
The Christchurch Golf Club Roll of Honour
Christchurch Golf Club Members who served in the armed services and made the supreme sacrifice.
In Reverent Memory.
The Great War, World War 1 1914-1918
Anderson. J, Bell Terris, Bishop A.W, Bond W.N, Brittan H.R, Bryden W.P, Bush L.L.T, Butterworth H.M, Campbell C.R, Campbell L.H, Coombridge O.E, Cordner E.J, Cumberworth F.H, Daltry H, Douglas H.B, Douglas H.W, Duncan J.F, Francis N, Green C. H, Hadfield A.K, Harper E.T, Humphreys W.A, Jacobs B.C, Jameson S.K, Jameson A.M, Kissling W.M.S, Kitson H, Louisson. M.G, Macdonald G.R, Macfarlane A.L, Macfarlane H.M, Marks J.D, Moore A.E, Milton E.W.J, Ramsay S, Rhodes A.T.G, Richards T.H.A, Roberts H.N, Rundle C.W, Rutherford B.C, Salmonson Critchley, Scott F.L, Smith Ranfurley, Stringer C.A, Swan G.H, Webb R.H, Weston G.T, Whitcombe G.H.H, Wilding E, Williams H.S, Wright H.E
The Second World War 1939-1945
Adams A.J, Ardagh P.A, Bristed F.G, Connell B.T, Copland A.J, Cox E.W, Godby I.M, Rhodes E.G.
These were our friends. They died that we might live.