Nine years ago the members of The Peninsula Golf Club voted to sell the club in exchange for a brand new Golf Course and brand new Club House! The deal has reached its conclusion and therefore the end for The Peninsula Golf Club has arrived. On Sunday, 31 July 2016, someone will become the last ever person to play golf at this wonderful club. Below is a picture gallery of some of the special spots on the course that most members will remember well, especially the early morning boys and girls.
It is indeed a special pleasure to hit the first ball of the day into an emerging sun! Even more so when there is an eerie mist just above the ground. Since giving up 9 holes and reducing the course to nine, I have found it hard to get rid of the old hole numbers, so in the photographs above we start with a view down the old 17th – an easy par five which almost always turns out to be quite nasty. With out-of-bounds right, one cannot afford any left to right movement on the drive! Relative safety waits on the left. The second shot can be anything from a 3 wood through to a pitching wedge to get beyond the 135m mark. Whilst executing this shot trepidation is a common feeling with water to the left and bunkers on the right. The third shot has a bunker left of the green and a stream short which meanders its way past the right hand side of the green. A bunker awaits you over the green and some terrible rough! My best score on this hole is a 4 and my worst an 11. I did not think I could witness anything worse, but I very recently watched someone manage his way to a 12 – initials PK!!
With that one out the way, the old par 4 18th looks forward to greeting you. Pictures 3 & 4 above show the drive and the second and or third and or fourth shot. We all love the options on this tee. Out of bounds right, water left, you run out of fairway straight if you really get onto it. The wind is always a factor here – mostly you are against it and sometimes it favours you. Anyway, a notoriously difficult right angle dogleg right hole. My best here is a 3 and a I think my worst is around 10 or 11.
Step up to the old first, the easiest hole on the course except for the par 3 11th. I am reliably told that this is the only hole that has never been changed in the entire history of the course. Back in the 1950’s the green had a low fence around to keep the sheep out. The local rule was that if your chip hit the wire you could have another go! It offers an easy drive straight down the middle. Like an automated response I hear myself saying, “Shot Jim” as my playing partner always hits his down the middle – like you should. With trees left and right, I prefer adventure and hitting to the green from the extreme left hand side of the old 18th fairway (that is viewing the fairway from the 1st tee) or the centre of the old 9th fairway ensures that I have the best chance of a bogey or double bogey. An annoying hole. My best here is a 3, worst, 6 or 7. One birdie I got on this hole was memorable as I duffed a drive moving the ball about 75m from the tee then hit a 6 iron to within a couple of feet and got the putt. As my Dad always said, “It is not how, it is how many!”
Above are two pictures of the old par 5 9th, the green of the old 11th looking back to the club house, the old 9th tee, a view of the club house from the fairway of the old 2nd and finally the daunting green of the monster old 18th. I have not featured the old 10th as it is one of those holes you just have to play and mostly forget. It is a dogleg left with “IN-COURSE” out of bounds down the left hand side and out of bounds on the right – enough said. Best 3 (one of two eagles achieved at The Peninsula Golf Club) and worst – oh gosh – probably around 11 or 12 with all the out of bounds for this hole! The old 11th is a par 3 and should present no real problems. There is nothing to be afraid of short of the green, nothing terrible if you are long, trees if you are left which is the only real hazard. I’ll remember this green for all the wrong reasons as I witnessed a meltdown of titanic proportions on that green whilst waiting to tee off on the old 9th! The putter head was nearly buried in the green! I was cocky enough to ask if he was having a good day as he walked past and off the course! I have played with AA since and we had a chuckle! On to the old 2nd! Out of bounds right and a duck hook is required to find the water on the left! Picture five shows the water – taken from just beyond the tee! This hole on the original 18 hole course used to be one of the most difficult, like stroke hole 2 or 3, yet became easy with the felling of a couple of trees! It has a water hazard running through the fairway 20m short of the green. My best here is a 3, worst 10!
Walking past the lake on the old 2nd early in the morning is as pleasing as shown by these pictures! A clear blue sky day with long reflections, a privilege! Now on to the old 15th which is a silly little dogleg right par four seeking a short shot to the fairway and a wedge over the trees onto the green. It is however protected by bunkers front, left and back. Too long and you are dead with out of bounds. Anything too far right, out of bounds! The front bunker is a real challenge and I have seen people destroyed by it hitting not one or two but three, four or more shots from there! My best here is a 3 and worst probably 7 or 8. On to the beautiful old par 3 16th. A long narrow green. Trouble right with bunkers and rough as well as out of bounds. Trouble left with bunkers, trees and a steep bank! Trouble short left with water. The best shot here is on the green! Chuckle. Yup, I know that is the idea except it is quite long, at times playing 170m to 180m from the back tee. Finish this hole and you are back to where I started, the old 17th.
Twenty months of “nine holes twice” with two flags on the greens! I am certain there is not a single member who cannot wait to complete their first rounds at our brand new golf course, Wainui! It is over and out for the Peninsula Golf Club and heralding in a new era at a new course. The stories will begin again and before we know it PGC will be something relegated to our memory! PGC will be spoken about with great fondness because of all the relationships and friendships forged out on the fairways, greens and tees. It will be spoken about with hatred when thinking about the wet winter slosh! PGC will bind this membership together as we recall the process that led to the decision that doomed PGC to extinction! I can’t wait for the new stories and legends to be built!! Bob, Fred, Jim and I will battle valiantly for the first tee first thing in the morning! Some things just never change…except if Rust gets in the way!!!!!!!!
PS: Note, friendships are not formed in the rough!
PSS: PGC is an awesome club and its legend will live on through its members
PSSS: Bob Davis taught me the wonders of the multiple PSSS!
PSSS: Jim and I expect to continue dominating Fred and Bob!!
PSSSS: The Rust brothers will fight hard to gain honours off the first tee – good luck!