Golfer of the Year Awards Celebrated

Southland’s top golfers of 2020 have been recognised and celebrated tonight (Wednesday 24 February) at the Southland Golfer of the Year presentations.

The awards recognised Southland’s top male, female and junior golfers, and once again reflected the outstanding golfing talent that exists in the far south.

While 2020 saw a number of disruptions to the golfing calendar, particularly at a national level, there were still many highlights locally.

Matt Tautari won the Southland Men’s Golfer of the Year after winning a number of key events including the Otago and Southland Matchplay Championships and the Central Districts Championships. Tautari also represented Southland at the South Island Interprovincial, which the team won, and was the number one player in the Southland team that finished eighth at the New Zealand Interprovincial. He also finished seventh at the South Island Strokeplay Championships.

For the fifth consecutive year Robyn Boniface won the Southland Women’s Golfer of the Year. Among the titles she picked up over the year were the Southland 54-hole Strokeplay, the Western District Championships, the Stead Cup and the Wyndham 27-hole tournament. This is the eighth time Boniface has been named the Southland Women’s Golfer of the Year.

George Prendergast has continued his impressive rise through the junior golf ranks, and took out the Junior Golfer of the Year award. In 2020 Prendergast represented Southland’s senior team against Otago, was reserve for the team that won the South Island Interprovincial, won the intermediate section of the Southland Matchplay Championships and won the Southland Junior Strokeplay title.

Kevin Bang was the Most Improved Junior, having made huge improvements in his handicap and impressing in local competitions and tournaments.

Golf Southland Chair Phil McDonald said the Golfer of the Year Awards acknowledged the talent of golfers in the south and while 2020 was disruptive, it was pleasing to see golf thrive throughout it all.

“The Golfer of the Year Awards don’t just reflect those who consistently compete to a very high standard, although that is an important part of it, but they also acknowledge those golfers who choose to support local tournaments,” he said.

“It’s always a good chance to celebrate those who are at the top of their game and to recognise some really impressive achievements and this year’s awards presentation highlights those.”

Golf Southland News

Robyn Boniface on top of NZ – again

Southland’s Robyn Boniface has added yet another national title to her already impressive haul, winning the New Zealand Women’s Senior Match Play Championships.

The championships were played at New Plymouth Golf Club last week, and Boniface was a clear standout, defeating Robyn Pellew 5/4 in the division one final to win the Veterans Challenge Cup.

Thirteen Southlanders competed in the tournament, with other good results also coming through. Te Anau’s Marg Hughes won the plate in division four, Te Anau’s Judy Matthews won the division five flight, Tuatapere’s Lynette Chambers won the division six plate, Gore’s Brenda Duncan won division seven and Dipton’s Paddy Craig won the division seven flight.

MLT Handicap Pennants

The MLT Handicap Pennants got underway on Sunday.

Division one teams played at Riversdale and the top three teams after round one were Hedgehope 1 (207), Tuatapere (220) and Tokanui (221). The top individuals were Darrin Crack (Tokanui, 63) and Brian Meikle (Hedgehope, 66).

Riverton topped division two (played at Mataura), with 229, over Gore (230) and Mataura A (232). Queens Park’s Nathan White was the best individual with 73.

Dipton hosted division three teams and also topped the scoring with 217, over Lumsden (220) and Hedgehope 2 (228). Lumsden’s Jeff Sinclair (68), Wyndham’s Alex King (70), Hedgehope’s Brendon Price (70) and Dipton’s John Broughton (70) were the best individuals.

Junior Series – Round One

Golf Southland’s junior summer series got underway at the weekend at Invercargill Golf Club, with a great turnout of young golfers and their parents supporting the event, and superb conditions.

The four-round series is new to the calendar and new players are welcome to join the fun, choosing from 18-hole, nine-hole and six-hole events. The next round will be played at Gore on 14 March.

Anyone interested can contact Simon Boland at [email protected] or for more information see or follow Golf Southland on Facebook.

Free golf lessons

Don’t forget, new and beginner golfers can take advantage of free coaching from local professionals in the coming weeks. Simply turn up to Donovan Park from 5.30pm-7pm on Monday 1 March, Thursday 4 March, Monday 8 March and/or Thursday 11 March.

All equipment is provided, all you have to do is turn up and enjoy.

Golf Southland News

Please note the following information is all written on the assumption Southland will be at Alert Level 1 at the time of these events. Please follow Golf Southland on Facebook or check for all updates, as any changes will be posted there.

Free golf lessons
New and beginner adult golfers are invited to get their game started with some free lessons.
Taken by local professionals, the lessons are catered specifically to adults who are wanting to give golf a go and want to get started in the best possible way.
All equipment is provided, all you have to do is turn up and enjoy.
Lessons will be held at Donovan Park, Invercargill, from 5.30pm-7pm on Monday 1 March, Thursday 4 March, Monday 8 March and Thursday 11 March.
All enquiries can be made to Golf Southland on 03 931 0082 or email [email protected], or simply head along on the night.

ILT Liqourland Charity Tournament
If you’d been thinking about entering the ILT Liqourland Charity Tournament, there’s some great news – it’s been rescheduled to Wednesday 24 February, and entries are being taken now.
The tournament will raise funds for the Hawthorndale Care Village; an important cause and one that will no doubt benefit many, many Southlanders in future.
The ILT Liqourland Charity Tournament will be played at Queens Park and is a 4BBB format, open to any combination of pairs – one member of the pair may be a golfer without a current handicap.
So if you want a fun day out, and to raise money for a good cause, get involved – contact Golf Southland to enter; 03 931 0082 or email [email protected].
The tournament prize giving will be followed by Golf Southland’s Golfer of the Year presentations, which will include Southland Men’s, Ladies and Junior Golfer of the Year awards, as well as the Most Improved Junior award.

MLT Handicap Pennants
The first round of the Mataura Licensing Trust Handicap Pennants will be played on Sunday, with rounds at Riversdale, Mataura and Dipton. There are 26 teams across three divisions contesting the competition this year.

Golf Southland News

Junior Summer Series
Golf Southland is excited to present a junior golf series this summer; with all abilities catered to and parent support and interaction highly encouraged.

The four-round series will tee off on February 21, at Invercargill Golf Course, with further rounds being played at Gore (14 March), Winton (21 March) and Drummond (18 April). Points will be awarded for participation and performance and will culminate in a fun series finale at Drummond.

The first three events have 18-hole events for those with current handicaps under 28.0 and nine-hole events for handicap and non-handicap golfers, and players will be divided into age group divisions pending entries. There are also six-hole team or family ambrose events, with an emphasis on having fun.

Parent caddies will be required at all events for participants aged under 13, and points for parent participation will be awarded at each event. Parents can earn points for participants by caddying, participating in parents events or being in attendance at any Summer Series event.

Entries can be made on the day or to Simon Boland at [email protected] when registrations are open.
For more information see

Southland Left Handers Championship
The 57th annual Southland Left Handers Championships were played at Winton, in great conditions at the weekend.

The gross winner was Dale Owen who won after a playoff with Wilson James.

In the nett scoring, Steve Cawthorn was the winner with 72, Paddy Helmore runner up with 76 and third place was shared between Barry Brown and David Gwynne with 78.

The championships are the second longest running left hander championships in the country.

Canterbury Strokeplay Championships
Southland golfer Olivia Frost has won the women’s masters division at the Canterbury Strokeplay Championships over the weekend, with Robyn Pullar finishing fourth.

The championships were the third and final round of what forms the House of Travel Tour, which also includes the Southland and Otago Strokeplay Championships. Results from all events are totalled to find overall winners.

Liam Hewitt was the top Southlander overall, finishing fifth.

Charity Tournament
The ILT/Liqourland Charity Tournament which was scheduled to be played yesterday (10 Feb) has been postponed.

While unfortunate for those who were ready for a great day, it’s good news for those who had not entered yet, and those who were thinking of getting a team together. A new date will be announced soon and entries will be taken for that date. For all enquiries please contact [email protected].

Proceeds from the event will go towards the Hawthorndale Care Village.

Golf Southland News

One of Southland’s oldest charity golf tournaments is set to tee off again on February 10, and this year it will raise funds for the Hawthorndale Care Village.

The ILT/Liqourland Charity Golf Tournament has been on the calendar for more than 30 years and is a remnant from the SBS Invitational – an event held annually in Invercargill that attracted the country’s best amateur golfers.

Known fondly as Walter’s Wednesday by many, it has stood the test of time, outlasting the invitational and continuing to raise thousands of dollars for local Southland charities each year.

This year’s event will be played on Wednesday 10 February at Queens Park.

Golf Southland board chair Phil McDonald said the tournament was all about providing a fun day out for people, and raising money for a good cause.

“It’s a great charity and a good excuse to head along for half a day and have some fun… there are still tee times available for both morning and afternoon players, so we’d encourage everyone to get involved.”

“We are very grateful to the ILT and Liqourland for their ongoing sponsorship and support of this event; it makes a real difference and we are very appreciative.”

Last year’s tournament raised funds for the Southland Charity Hospital, and the choice to donate funds raised this year to the Hawthorndale Care Village was quite straightforward, McDonald said.

The Hawthorndale Care Village is a not-for-profit concept, based on a Dutch model of community-based aged and dementia care that replicates life in a suburban neighbourhood within a safe, secure setting. The design of the village, the philosophy and way its residents are cared for is centred around evidence that suggests familiarity, comfort and stimulation has the greatest Impact on overall health and well-being.

“We are thrilled to be the chosen charity for the ILT /Liqourland Charity Golf Tournament. We encourage golfers to enter the tournament as a way to support the project. The village will be a wonderful asset for the Southland community” says Sarah Hannan, The Hawthorndale Care Village Charitable Trustee.

The charity tournament is a 4BBB format and is open to any combination of pairs; one member of the pair may be a golfer without a current handicap.

Entries can be made to Golf Southland; email [email protected] or phone 03 931 0082.

The tournament prize giving will be followed by Golf Southland’s Golfer of the Year presentations, which will include Southland Men’s, Ladies and Junior Golfer of the Year awards, as well as the Most Improved Junior and Services to Golf awards.

Southland Strokeplay Championships

Invercargill Golf Club is set to play host to the south’s top golfers this weekend, as the Southland Strokeplay Championships tee off on Saturday.

Golfers from Southland, Otago and Canterbury will all line up for the 54-hole championship event which, alongside the Otago and Canterbury strokeplay championship events, forms part of the House of Travel Tour.

In the 2020 event the titles eluded Southland golfers, with the men’s title going to Arrowtown’s Jack Turner and Russley Golf Club’s Maddie May winning the women’s title. Both 2020 winners are back to defend their titles, as well as runners-up Zach May and Sumin Kang.

There is no doubt locals will be doing their best to ensure the championships are won by Southlanders, though, and the likes of Matt Tautari, Liam Balneaves and Liam Hewitt for the men and Robyn Pullar for the ladies will be looking to score well.

The event tees off with 36 holes on Saturday and concludes with 18 holes on Sunday.

A 36-hole event for seniors (50+) is also being played over 18 holes both days.

The course was said to be in good condition, even with this week’s rain, and good scores were expected across the weekend.

Earlier this week there were good entries in the men’s 54-hole championship event, and it was hoped more entries would come in for the women’s championships and in the seniors (50+) 36-hole event.

Entries are still being taken across all events. Email [email protected] today or phone 03 213 1133.

Upcoming tournaments:

Winton Mitre 10 Twilight Ambrose.
This popular annual touranment tees off at 2.30pm on January 29. It’s open to teams of three and at least one person must be a golfer with a handicap. Entries should be made to [email protected] by Monday 25 January or you can enter on the day.

Riverton Summer Ambrose.
This event is worth the trip to Riverton. With an 11.30am start on 31 January, the event is a two-person ambrose open to men, women or mixed teams. There are limited spots available, so get your entry in to Bill at [email protected], and include your golf membership number.

Check out for more upcoming events.

Charity Golf Tournament To Raise Funds For Southland Charity Hospital

A charity golf tournament that has been around for more than 30 years is preparing to support a very new charity when it tees off at Queens Park on 12th February.

The ILT/Liquorland Charity Golf Tournament will this year raise funds for the Southland Charity Hospital; a charity hospital that will provide healthcare for those in the Southern District Health Board zone who would otherwise be unable to access treatment through the private or public systems.

While the hospital itself is new concept – set up following the battle for more equitable access to healthcare, led by Southland cancer care advocates Blair and Melissa Vining – the golf tournament has a long history; originating more than 30 years ago and continuing to be a popular feature on the Southland golf calendar.

Tournament organiser Linda Suddaby said the charity tournament originally ran alongside what was the SBS Invitational – an Invercargill-hosted golf tournament that attracted the country’s best amateur golfers.

When the Invitational ceased in 2015, Golf Southland decided to continue with the charity tournament.

“It has always been a very popular tournament, it’s a fun day out and it really benefits local charities, so really, it was an easy decision to continue it,” Mrs Suddaby said.

“I think a lot of golfers enjoy the pairs competition, and this really is just a good chance to have a good day, play some golf and to raise money for a really good charity.”

“We are fortunate that ILT and Liqourland CentrePoint and South City are sponsoring the event, and that so many Southlanders enjoy playing golf for a good cause.”

The tournament is a 4BBB format and is open to any combination of pairs, although all participants must be a member of a golf club and must have an official handicap.

Entries can be made to Golf Southland; email [email protected] or phone 03 931 0082.

The tournament prize giving will be followed by Golf Southland’s Golfer of the Year presentations, which will include Southland Men’s, Ladies and Ju

Golf Southland News

The Southland Men’s Masters team has finished fourth at the South Island Interprovincial, played at Timaru at the weekend, but still managed to come home with a trophy.

Southland lost to Canterbury 5 ½ – ½, to Aorangi 4-2, and halved with Tasman 3-all; and defeated Otago 4-2 to win the Paul Adams Trophy.

For Southland, Peter Buckley, Glen Sutherland and Ngarimu Paraki all had two wins each.

Salisbury Cup

The Southland ladies have won the Salisbury Cup, after a close match up against Otago on Sunday.

Southland won 8 ½ – 7 ½ after being up 4 ½ – 3 ½ at lunch.

Results can be viewed at

New Zealand Women’s Seniors

It may not be being played until 2020, but Southland’s Robyn Boniface has already been named as playing captain/manager of the New Zealand Women’s Seniors team to contest the Trans-Tasman Cup.

The biennial competition was introduced last year, and next year’s contest will be played at Taupo in February.

Town v Country

The annual Women’s Town versus Country match was played at Queens Park Golf Club last week and it was a very even affair, tied 12-all after singles and foursomes.

The singles were tied 8-all; the silver division was dominated by Town and the bronze division by Country.

The foursomes were also tied 4-all, and it was a similar outcome to the singles, with Town again dominating the silver division and Country the bronze.

Results can be viewed at

Laing Shield

Nightcaps has continued its hold on the Laing Shield, this time defeating Mataura.

Individual results were: Kyle Dobbie beat Wayne Murray 4/3, Brett Dobbie beat Dean Baxter 2/1, Stu Dobbie beat Adam DePass 8/6, Alan Roberts beat Paul Roberts 5/4, Stan Todd beat Lou Jackson 6/5 and Jay Petherick beat Bert McNoe 2up.

Latest Golf Southland News

The Southland men’s senior team went down 14-11 going down 6-4 in the singles (with wins to Matt Tautari, Tyler McLean, Leith Campion and Simon Boland), and 5 ½ – 4 ½ in the reverse singles (with wins to Leith Campion, Tyler McLean, Bryan Cantley and Jason Osbourne and Simon Boland squaring his match).


The Foursomes were shared 2 ½ – 2 ½, with wins to Matt Tautari and Liam Hewitt, Jason Osbourne and Bryan Cantley and Tyler McLean and Leith Campion squaring their match.

Southland v Otago
Although it was close, the results of Southland’s first representative hit out of the season didn’t quite swing Southland’s way when they took on golfing neighbours Otago over the weekend.

The juniors had a tougher time of it, with Zac Fowle the only Southland junior to notch a singles win, and George Prendergast and Josh Cooper winning their Foursomes match for an overall 8-2 win to Otago.

Gilmour Rosebowl

Tuatapere has retained the Gilmour Rosebowl after defeating latest challengers, Dipton, 4-1.

Individual results were: Bronwyn O’Brien beat Helen Baird 2/1, Christene Dennison squared with Geraldine Todd, Lynette Chamber beat Paddy Craig 4/3, Tina Van Engelan squared with Shona MacGregor and Glenda Templeton beat Rosemary Vickery 2/1.

Tuatapere’s next challenge will be from Waikaia next month.

Have a Go at Golf These School Holidays

Golf Southland is offering school-aged children the chance to have a fun go at golf these school holidays.

A have a go session, filled with fun games designed to introduce kids to golf, will be held on Friday 4th October from 10am to 12noon at Greenacres.

All gear is provided and the cost is $10 per child. To register contact Tracey at Golf Southland; email [email protected]

Queens Park Ladies Club Championships

Robyn Boniface has won the Queens Park Ladies Club Championships, defeating Naoko Anderson 8/7 in the Silver final. Helen Ischia defeated Linda Suddaby on the 37th hole to win Bronze A1, Helen Cawthorn defeated Gloria Sinclair 2up to win Bronze A2, and the Bronze B title was won by Amanda Bowie who defeated Brenda Adamson 6/5 in the final.

Southland Junior Strokeplay

The Southland Junior Strokeplay will be played on Friday 11th October at SBS Bank Invercargill Golf Club.

With two sections – an 18 hole championship (open to all players aged under 19 years that have handicaps) and a nine-hole event (open to players aged under 19 without a handicap) – this is an event for all junior golfers.

Entries are open until 4th October, please email Tracey at [email protected] or Invercargill Golf Club at [email protected] to enter.

New Golf Southland Junior Development Officer Ready to Tee Off

Golf Southland’s new Junior Development Officer, Tracey McLeod, is preparing to swing into her new role with a Have a Go at Golf Day aimed at school-aged children.

The fun-based session will run from 10am to 12noon on Friday 4th October at Greenacres – Tracey’s home course – and is designed to give youngsters an opportunity to take part in fun games and get an introduction to golf.

The Have a Go Day is all part of Tracey’s new role as Junior Development Officer, where she is charged with getting young Southlanders involved with and enjoying the game of golf.
The keen sports fan has played numerous sports, including golf, football and indoor bowls, and was eager to take her shot at this new opportunity.

“I love sport and the chance to work in sport, especially in golf, it’s a dream job for me,” she said.
“To see kids out there, playing sport and having fun – rather than sitting on devices – that, for me is really important.”

“Golf is such a great game for all types of people, and I think for children in particular, it’s got a lot of advantages. It can be individual, or played in a team environment, you can go and play when you like and it’s easy to just go out and have a hit. It’s also a game where you can challenge yourself, you don’t necessarily need to be competing with other people all of the time.”

For Tracey, her first priority was ensuring kids have fun.

“They’ve got to enjoy it, that’s the main thing. If they have fun, and they enjoy the experience, that’s key, that’s what will get them playing more.”
Tracey already has a solid calendar of events lined up, with the Have a Go Day to be followed by the Southland Junior Strokeplay Championships on October 11, the upcoming Primary School Zone Tournaments which attract hundreds of players, and a number of school-based sessions already locked in.

Further to her work with junior players, Tracey was also keen to look at other initiatives that would encourage more people, including families and females, to play golf.
Golf Southland spokesman John Griffin said Golf Southland was thrilled to welcome Tracey to the role and he looked forward to seeing her continue the great work started by Liam Balneaves who formerly held the role and is now on the Golf Southland Board.
“It is great to have a local woman who loves golf in the role and we think she has a huge amount to offer,” he said.

“She has a background in junior sport, and is really keen to make the golf experience a fun one for all of the kids she works with. It will be great to see her continue to develop our junior programme.”

Registrations for the Have a Go At Golf Day can be made by emailing [email protected]