The intriguing goings-on at the Remuera Golf Club as outlined in the Herald on Sunday last week is a microcosm of an inter-generational battle at numerous clubs.
I visit Remuera's fine practice range and notice a lot of dirt has been shifted in the last couple of years.
I also can't help noticing there are not many people under 50. The fact that Dave McGuire, father of Marnie and a man who won't see 60 again, was the club's senior champion as recently as 2005, is another indication of the demographic make-up of the club.
But Remuera is not alone. Golf, because of its time-consuming nature and (some might say) expense, is not a game for the young family man. Therefore most club members are over 40 and at some, Remuera appearing to be one, most are over 50.
People of that age, and that includes me, are settled in their ways and don't react well to change, especially if it is significant and at a place where they derive enjoyment.
But golf courses are living things that need nurturing and constant attention. As they get older, they might need surgery which could involve replacing parts that don't work too well.
Remuera has needed significant work for some time. The greens, built in the 1970s, have often been bumpy. Some holes were swamps in a wet winter and the course was claustrophobic because of trees planted 35 years ago.
So this course, and numerous others in the country, needed upgrading. Greens had to be replaced, drainage installed and trees cut. Titirangi, Manukau, Pakuranga, The Grange and Akarana are among Auckland clubs which have faced similar decisions.
Having been a golf club president and having chaired meetings on course development, I know getting support for such work is not always easy. But living things do not last forever and must be replaced or upgraded.
Those among the veteran class of member are likely to be the most upset about changes. If the project is going to be long, and Titirangi's upgrading has gone on for over a decade, those in their 70s and 80s may feel they'll never enjoy the final result of the changes.
That's an understandable reaction. But members in that age bracket should think for a moment about their golf club, its past and future. They've enjoyed its facilities for decades. If the next generation is to get similar satisfaction, facilities must be upgraded.
Experience is one thing and so is respect for one's elders. But I found that opinions of people over 80 on golf course development were not always helpful.By Peter Williams Email Peter