Welcome to the second edition of Arrowtown Golf Club’s new quarterly newsletter

After a very hot and dry summer the course has recovered exceptionally well. However, the extended dry spell exposed the vulnerability of our water supply and we will continue to investigate various options to ensure that we have a secure water supply going forward.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has provided a $2500 grant for scoping work on Shanahan’s Cottage in a bid to protect its historical value. As members will be aware the cottage is an integral feature of our course and steps are being taken to preserve it for future generations of golfers. A heritage architect and stonemason will also make input into the project.



An interpretation panel outlining the history of Shanahans, designed by Lakes District Museum director and golf club member David Clarke, will be installed alongside the ruins.


We have been extremely busy with green fee players in the last few months and Steve and his team are doing their best to avoid inconveniencing our members. Our forward bookings for next spring/summer are very strong which bodes well for a good revenue stream for next financial year.


Members who saw the TV programme, The Golf Show, should be very proud of our course. The presenters gave us a great review and this will continue to ensure that we will be a “must play” in the area.

Yours in golf,

Bill Giller



Sunrise Balloons was a surprise visitor at Arrowtown Golf Club in late March landing on the practice fairway


From the Manager’s Office

The Mount Michael Central Otago Autumn Classic, played on five courses including Arrowtown in April, was a great success from both an organisational and financial point of view.

Four hundred and forty competitors played in often challenging conditions and Arrowtown was the focal point with registrations at the club prior to the start of the event.

Arrowtown will host the registration function again next year and we plan to make it “bigger and better” to provide the golfers, who come from all over the country as well as Australia, with a memorable Central experience.



The Wanaka team might not have won the Irish themed best dressed prize at the Mount Michael Classic but they were a dashing sight!




In Brief:

  • The renovation of the golf club entrance has been carried out and the committee and staff car parking area, and around the club house and cart shed, has been asphalted
  • The club house roof painting project has been completed
  • Check out the golf shop for new winter arrivals. Pure wool men’s and women’s jerseys featuring the club logo are proving popular along with other distinctive clothing, golf bags, trundlers and other accessories. Bring along your vouchers!

Steve Paape



From the Greens Office

PGG Wrightson is currently marketing brown top grass sourced from the Arrowtown golf course, worldwide, which is a coup for the club.

The company sampled the brown top from our greens and liked what they saw which has led them to grow and sell the seed internationally under the distinctive label Arrowtown.

The club should feel very proud that we have been singled out for the superfine variety we grow. It is exciting to think it will be used on golf courses around the world.

Members will have noticed the work being undertaken on the 18th hole. We are realigning the path from the 17th to make it easier to access, as traditionally it’s been tricky to negotiate with trundlers.

We are still carrying out work on the 6th tee and the path leading to the green and have created a wetlands area to the right of the tee using swamp grass removed during construction. Already ducks and other birds are moving into the new sanctuary.

As winter approaches our team is focused on winterising the irrigation systems and putting the greens to bed. To achieve this, we are making sure the greens have a good covering of grass and effective drainage, to help withstand frost and cope with the wear and tear. Long-time club members will recall when number one hole was constantly out of action in winter but now, thanks to our management practices, we are able to make the hole playable during the colder period.

Rick Machray
Course Superintendent





Construction work at the 18th hole



DotGolf Arrives

After ten years of service the club’s original auto score system has been superseded by the new DotGolf system.

This puts Arrowtown on the same system as all the other golf clubs in the Central Otago district.

DotGolf will be up and running by the middle of July, but members won’t notice any significant change, apart from the new look card and the different method of recording scores.

The club’s autoscore system has been donated to the Balclutha Golf Club.



2018 Men’s Club Champions



FROM LEFT: 2018 Senior Champion Chris Yallop defeated Ryan Cardno.
2018 Intermediate Champion Brad Smith defeated Tim Clarke.
2018 Junior A championship Noah Novacek (10) defeated Drew Findlay.
2018 Junior B Championship Bill Churstain defeated Claudio Viana



Calling All Sponsors

The annual sponsors’ day golf tournament at Arrowtown is scheduled for Sunday May 20 @12.00pm.

The event is open to all sponsors, with teams of four playing an ambrose competition.

A meal will be served following the prizegiving.

The sponsor’s tournament is the club’s way of thanking its supporters for the contribution they make to the successful running of the facility.

Plans are underway for the upgrading of the tee sponsorship signage and examples, along with cart sponsorship options, will be on display at the clubhouse during the tournament.



2018 Women’s Club Champions



LEFT: Dale Dagg (right) 2018 Silver champion and runner-up Maria Arhanic.

The Bronze I championship was decided at the 34th hole when Carole Smith (left) hit the perfect shot to hole-in-one and take the match from Sarah Pearson

RIGHT:  Karen Blackler (right) beat Norma Mathieson to win the 2018 Bronze II title.

In the Nine Hole division Maryann Taylor defeated Rosanna Beal and Jeri
Elliott defeated Maureen Johnson to win the flight.



Inspired by Golf

Golf has always been in Rick Machray’s blood.

Arrowtown Golf Club course superintendent since 1996, he first learned the game following his golf pro father, Doug, around on the North Shore golf course.

“I was just a nipper when I first picked up a club and have vivid memories of it. I spent a lot of time on the driving range and when I was around 11 or 12-years-old I started playing in the junior competition at North Shore.”

Rick’s two brothers Andy and Roy also shared the golfing passion with Andy becoming a golf pro and Roy involved in golf course construction projects in the Middle East.

For Rick however, his golfing focus turned to course management and he undertook a Diploma in Turf Culture while working at the North Shore golf club and later as second in charge at the neighbouring Pupuke golf club.

“In those days you had to have two years practical experience before doing the diploma which was a good thing.”

Soon he left for the U.K. and while there worked on courses in East Sussex but he missed his favourite sport of mountain climbing, which lured him home to the South Island. He eventually moved to the Wakatipu to work at the Queenstown Golf Club at Kelvin Heights, finishing there in 1995, to take on the role of course superintendent at Arrowtown.

“There have obviously been huge changes at the Arrowtown course in the past 22 years. When I first arrived, we had no irrigation on the course and it was covered in broom. In the early days we also relied a lot on volunteer help on the course because the club was still very small.”




Rick’s original shed was in the carpark and the clubrooms were only just being built in 1996.

“It’s certainly a different course now but throughout my time here the vision has been to retain the historical nature of the course which is reflected particularly in the stonework, noticeably around the tees.”

On Rick’s watch Arrowtown won the 2012 PGG Wrightson Turf Environmental Award after finishing runner-up to Cape Kidnappers in 2011. The Southern Turf Managers Association award for the best presented course was also awarded to Arrowtown in 2009 and 2013.

Rick is currently vice president of the Association, a role that he will continue with as he joins the committee of the national body, the New Zealand Golf Course Superintendents Association.

“I am also chairperson of the Permanent External Advisory Committee, a committee which oversees the Otago Polytechnic’s sports turf course and am enjoying making a contribution to the industry which I have been so much part of.”

Rick believes Arrowtown Golf Club punches above its weight.

“We have created a course which is nationally and internationally recognised and my team and I are very proud of that. We are always mentioned in the same circles as The Hills, Millbrook and Jack’s Point and we certainly stack up well against them as a leading South Island and New Zealand golf course.”

Rick still loves golf but is very much a social golfer theses day – and while he no longer climbs the local mountains he has discovered fresh interests in mountain biking and hunting.



2018 Women’s Pennant team



The Arrowtown women's pennant team was runner-up to Ardleigh at the
zone final at Wanaka.

Pictured are the team and caddies - Back: Pauline Shirley, Jo Neep, Dale
Dagg, Gabrielle Martin, Kath Andrew, Sarah Pearson
Front: Jo Booker, Zeta Burgess, Kristin Guthrie, Shirley Palmer


A Couple of Aces



The champagne was flowing in the clubhouse on Thursday (May 10) when Carole Smith and Trudy Weinberg both scored a hole-in-one. Carole holed her drive on the 16th, just two weeks after she aced the same hole during the club championships! Trudy who has recently joined the 18-hole club had her winning shot on number one. Congratulations on a fantastic result!