Philippa Gaye (Pip) Kendall 1951-2016

By John Cousins

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Pip Kendall was a top golfer, always getting involved and helping others. Photo/Supplied
Pip Kendall was a top golfer, always getting involved and helping others. Photo/Supplied

One of the Bay's top women golfers, who went on to make her mark as a selector and manager, has died at her Mount Maunganui home.

Philippa (Pip) Kendall's contribution to the sport, which included her and husband Owen working as a team to promote junior golf, has received wide praise.

The former primary and intermediate school teacher succumbed to a long battle with cancer on Wednesday, aged 64.

"Pip made a tremendous contribution to Bay of Plenty golf in many roles, from player to administrator. She was so respected," Bay of Plenty Golf chief executive Chris McAlpine said.

The arrival of the Kendalls in Tauranga in 1979, after four years living overseas, saw them resume their passion for golf, joining the Mount Maunganui club.

The peak of her playing career saw her selected for the Bay's interprovincial women's teams from 1969-73 and from 1981-84.

Mount Golf Club president Ray Horsfall said Mrs Kendall's long history with the club was both as a representative player and administrator. "She brought a strong focus on the game of golf, particularly junior golf. Her contribution to the club was enormous."

He said she played top-level golf for a long time and worked hard for the women's section of the club, including coordinating the pennants team.

"She was not scared of getting involved and helping out. She will be a big loss to the club and to golf."

Mrs Kendall, nee Dudding, came from a golfing family and received her primary and secondary education in Rotorua before doing teacher's training at Waikato University, with her early postings to Taupo and Stokes Valley.

She showed a lot of promise as a junior golfer and was member of the 1972 Bay team that won the junior national's Booth Shield. Coincidentally, Mrs Kendall was team manager when the Bay won the shield in 2009 - a period when the Bay's junior golfers dominated the rest of the country.

She met her future husband on the golf course in 1971 and they married in 1975, starting a family after choosing to settle down in their former holiday destination of Tauranga. They had two children, Jodie and Brad.

Mr Horsfall said Mrs Kendall was a strong supporter of both her husband's golfing career and Brad, who went on to become a top golfer. "You can't talk about Pip without talking about Owen, they worked as a team."

The Kendalls resurrected the Bay of Plenty Junior Golfing Society to promote the sport at the junior level. It included organising tournaments from which the Booth Shield team was selected. The couple's 10-year involvement with the shield team included several stints as managers.

She also selected the Bay of Plenty's interprovincial women's team on at least four occasions, with the last time being in 2011.

Mrs Kendall and her husband were also regular back-ups for the men's interprovincial team, including the time she caddied for Kieran Muir who has now joined the professional ranks.

Her teaching career included Mount Maunganui Primary School and Te Puke Intermediate.

Mrs Kendall's funeral service takes place today at 1pm at Tauranga Park, Pyes Pa.John Cousins

- Bay of Plenty Times

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