The course and the clubhouse may have helped the Mount Maunganui Golf Club win the club of the year award, but its general manager says it is the people that make it.

The Mount club was named Club of the Year at the National Golf Awards announced today.

An independent judging panel including sport administrators, media, professional golfers, golf administrators and sport governors selected the finalists and winners for the awards and winners will be a recognised at a formal dinner at the end of this month.

Mount Maunganui Golf Club general manager Michael Williams says the club is proud of the achievement.


"We had to fill out a form for the award and it hits when you write everything down, just what you have done in the year.

"It is the people that make it and it is them that create a positive experience. We are a decent size staff, but like a lot of clubs we still rely on volunteers. Each year we have a volunteer barbeque and the invite list is over 100 people."

Williams says the facilities are also a major part of the club's success.

"You have to offer good facilities to members and visitors, and this club has been here since the 1930s and it is well established. Our crew do a really good job of keeping the course in great condition.

"Last year we were able to upgrade our club house which added weight to our application.

"We refreshed the building and took the catering in house as well. Golf is our main purpose, but it supplements the golf well."

Membership at the club is over 1000 players and diversified membership options have seen that number reached after being at just over 700 players five years ago.

"It is nice to be recognised and we are trying to be the premier club in the Bay of Plenty region. We have the right people in the right areas doing the right roles."


Not to rest on its laurels, the club is looking at ways to evolve with one of the major changes happening at ground level.

"The core of the course is there and it is quite technical," Williams says. "We are trying to fine tune what is already a good product. We have been working on the greens and that has included changing the grass type.

"For the past four years we have been putting in the same type of grass used at Augusta National, which is McKenzie Creeping Bent Grass. It requires less water than other grasses and it seems to survive quite well in the environment here."

The awards:
Club of the Year: Mount Maunganui Golf Club.
Manager of the Year: Michelle Campbell (Hastings).
Administrator of the Year: - Des Topp (Golf Managers Association, NZ Golf Industry Council).
Volunteer of the Year: Pire Wehi (Rangitikei).
All Abilities Golfer of the Year: Parker Aluesi (St Clair).
Community Coach of the Year: Mary Gard'ner (Paraparaumu).
Professional Coach of the Year: Marcus Wheelhouse.
Professional Player of the Year Female: Lydia Ko.
Professional Player of the Year Male: Ryan Fox.
Finalists: Danny Lee, Nick Voke.
Amateur Player of the Year Female: Wenyung Keh.
Amateur Player of the Year Male: Daniel Hillier.