Our History
Development of the Course
A committee was duly elected as follows:
K Hosking
Vice President C Flinkenberg
Club Captain G Ashby
Vice Captain E Teal
Hon Secretary R Kriletich
Hon Treasurer P Botica
N Hayden,
N Dunsmuir,
R Talijancich,
R Pullan,
A Fletcher,
B Hendricks,
K Cooling 
Membership as at 31 October 1990 was:
 Full Playing Male Members  204
 Full Playing Lady Members  79
 Full Playing Students  22
 Non Playing Members  80
A public meeting was arranged and took place in the pavilion of the Waiau Pa Bowling Club on Sunday 19 June 1983 at 2 p.m.  Forty interested persons were in attendance with Mr K Hosking chairing the meeting. A report from a steering committee was tabled and discussed. Therein it stated that the Franklin County Council would make available an area of 27.73 hectares of reserve land to the proposed Golf Club. It was moved that a Golf Club be formed to be called, “Clarks Beach Golf Club”.
The first Annual General Meeting was held on Sunday 20 January 1985. A profit of $21,738 was declared for the period 19/6/83 to 31/10/84, and each year since the club has been able to improve on this initial surplus. All funds have been ploughed back into the development of the course. At first a Skyline garage served as implement shed and clubhouse.
The present Clubhouse was built in 1985. The nine hole course was completed in 1988 and it covered 19.406 hectares. A new implement shed was completed in 1989. In November 1988, the club took over the lease of a further 14.705 hectares, which is presently being development as the second nine holes. Completion of the full 18 hole course is expected by 1993. There were 20 foundation members in the first year who each paid a $20 membership subscription, giving the club funds of $400. Mr Noel Hayden, who has previous experience in golf course architecture at Springfield, Rotorua, and Aviation Club in Auckland, was appointed as course architect and resident professional. An aerial photograph of the reserve area was taken by Whites Aviation to provide the basic information for the layout of 9 fairways, tees and greens. The work of converting neglected farmland with areas which had reverted to scrub and gorse, was formidable, but the members cut the “greens” with their own home lawnmowers, fenced the greens with whatever materials were available at little or no cost, and grazed the “fairways” with sheep provided by a local farmer. With the help of local farmers, who provided their tractors and mowers and tractor blades, the greens were formed with topsoil, the fairways cleared and drained and conditions for play generally improved. The enormous effects and the prodigious amount of voluntary labour can only be imagined by anyone who was not involved in the scrub clearing, drainage, formation of the greens and the building of the machinery shed and the multitude of other tasks which had to be completed.
In the second year, membership increased and it was decided that some sort of building was required so that members could meet after the numerous working bees and after play. A “skyline garage” was erected which housed the equipment and provided shelter. Over the summer months several wet areas were drained by the members using picks and shovels, unwanted trees were felled, and with some help from the council, the first green was properly formed in its permanent location. This proved to be a great success and provided encouragement to the members. In the third year membership increased and with co-operation from Franklin County Council and local farmers more greens were developed and as finance from subscriptions became available, much to the relief of the members, the sheep were eliminated. The first nine holes were completed and with the building of alternate tees on each hole, it became an “18 hole” course. As the greens and general playing conditions improved, membership increased and the skyline garage could no longer provide sufficient space and with the assistance of a grant and a loan from FCC, the present clubhouse was built.
With the formation of the nine greens completed, their maintenance was essential and an irrigation pond was formed at the site of a spring and the watering system was installed by the voluntary labour of the members.
Materials and the second hand pump for the irrigation system were financed by selling advertising rights on the nine holes for $1,000 to each of nine sponsors. Second hand gang mowers were purchased from established clubs who gave invaluable support in many ways to help the formation of the course. Members who had retired from active employment in many skilled occupations provided expertise in the repair and maintenance of the equipment and a roster system was established for the mowing of the tees, greens and fairways. Much ingenuity was used to achieve a high level of preparation and presentation of the course, particularly when tournaments attracting members of other clubs were played. The implement shed, which was built in 1986, was required to house the equipment, which had been upgraded and new machinery, which was being purchased. The “shed” which was purchased from NZ Rail is 2500 square feet and includes a kitchen and shower and is used as a barbecue area for entertainment of competitors who would overflow the clubhouse on tournament days.
The change of economic conditions in 1987 has caused a slowing down of the development of the club and a small decrease in the rate of increase of membership.
Elderly and retired people, of which there are many living in this area, have difficulty in meeting increased costs, and the club has deliberately held subscriptions to the lowest possible level. However, the enthusiastic members of the club have pressed on with the preliminary development of the “back nine”, as the second nine holes are usually designated. The ground for the second nine was in much the same condition as the first nine holes and is very exposed to the elements, but afford spectacular water views from every hole. When developed properly this course would be the equal of any course in New Zealand. With commendable foresight the Auckland District Golf Association has provisionally scheduled the Auckland Foursomes Championship to be played at ClarksBeach in 1997, depending on the completion of the 18 hole course. This demonstrates the potential of the course, recognized by an independent and authoritative body. There can be no doubt that the golf course is an asset of enormous value to Clarks Beach and to the District. It has added untold value to the area and has been indirectly responsible for the increased rateable value of all of the residential area and it has attracted many permanent residents in that it offers recreation and an interest in the course development. The presence of the course has influenced the type of house which has been built, since the people who have taken up residence because of the availability of golf, have built permanent residences as opposed to the batch type weekender, which is favoured in purely seaside areas.
For those local residents who have retired from various trades or who have skills, which are useful in the maintenance of the equipment and the course, it offers the comradeship and satisfaction of developing a useful community asset and turns spare time into a satisfying development.
If the golf course is not fully developed and the reserve land is not utilized and is allowed to revert to its previous state of neglected farm land, the outlook from many of the present houses would be bleak both from an aesthetic and financial aspect. Ratepayers would oppose development costs being levied from rates and would also reject the high cost of maintenance of a facility used by relatively few. The accompanying press cutting gives an indication of the cost of development of a similar facility. (NZ Herald, March 29, 1992) The estimated cost of the clubhouse is one million, leaving two and a half million for the course. These figures give an indication of the enormous value of the voluntary labour and the ingenuity that has gone into the Clarks Beach Golf Club. It will remain as a monument to the early members who have given their time and energies to a facility, which enhances the whole area and will give great pleasure to future generations of residents of the Franklin District.