Dylan Bagley has no qualms about breaking into a sweat because he knows hard yards don't necessarily guarantee toilers success but without that he wouldn't have a chance in life.
"It's the sign of all the hard work I've put in for all the time I've been playing, especially this year," says Bagley who the Eagles Society of Hawke's Bay Inc named the HB Junior Golfer of the Year on Thursday.
The 17-year-old, who received a $500 cheque at the society's 40th charity golf tournament at Napier Golf Club to raise funds for children with disabilities, said that level of discipline saw him tailor how much food he ate, the hours he put in gym sessions to tweak his template and turning his practices into quality hours rather than into an endurance exercise.
The Karamu High School year 13 student practises three times a week after school and frequents the gym on the remaining two week days but pretty much lives at the Hastings Golf Club, where he's a member, at the weekend.
The close to 30 hours a week shift has seen Bagley whittle down his handicap to +1.8 since he moved to Hawke's Bay with parents Fay and Rick Bagley, from Taupo four years ago.
"Receiving this award will help my resume for coaches to see and select me," said the teenager, who had scouted universities and played at age-group tournaments in the United States in mid-June for almost a month.
Varsities in New Jersey, Missouri and California had stuck a chord with him in between taking in tourneys from Texas to Utah and then San Diego.
He won the FCG Global Cup, an under-19 two-round tourney, in San Marcos, Texas, after carding a bogey-free, five-birdie blitz 67 in the opening round and then following it up with 74 to finish three-under to claim the title by two strokes from Taiwanese amateur Jui-Shen Lee.
He had finished in 38th position at the junior worlds (U19) played over two courses at Palm Desert where a "bad back nine" of two double bogeys had proved costly in 54 holes.
The reigning Maraenui Open champion is indebted to his parents, who run the Anchor milk franchise in the Bay, especially his mother.
"My mum drops me to games. She still plays and got me into it," says Bagley, who was into myriad team sport before golf captured his imagination at 5.
"I was a hockey, soccer and swimming representative," said the right hander who joined the Bay junior rep ranks from the Bay of Plenty one with ease before mixing it up with the Hawke's Bay senior men for his third term.
He had a six-year hiatus from 2007 after his mother had to go to work in Christchurch with the Earthquake Commission.
"Dad [helps] but mum was the real reason why I got into golf so when she finished with in 2012 I got back into it again," he said of Fay who had enrolled him into a junior programme in Taupo.
Bagley finds accountability in golf where individuals can seldom blame anyone or anything else for a poor round as opposed to a collective environment where one pays for the mistakes of others.
Under the tutelage of Hastings PGA professional Brian Doyle and thriving under the mentoring of society member David Lawrence during competitions, he's finding a lot more consistency in not just his game but his attitude to life.
Lawrence told the society gathering Bagley had also grasped that golf wasn't just about playing the game but also building better people.
Bagley said Doyle had sharpened his mental fortitude in trying to tame the man-made fairways.
"I don't try to attack the pins all the time now and try to minimise mistakes and things like that," he said. "You can improve in all aspects of the game but, I guess, I've improved a lot since I started altering how I practise."
Bagley's thinking big, hoping to carve a niche through the an American scholarship before claiming conference honours.
"My goal at college is try to play on a PGA Tour before I finish," said the amateur who has his sights on turning professional.
Adept at school, he intends to pursue tertiary qualifications in business studies as an insurance policy if his golfing aspirations doesn't materialise.
Bay society president Allan Connor — after observing a minute's silence for the late Sir Brian Lochore, founder member and patron — presented chief guest Halberg Foundation CEO Shelley McMeeken a record $18,000 cheque from the fund raiser here. That took the society's 40-year contribution to $380,000. The auction on Thursday night raised $3400.
The Eagle Society of New Zealand (Inc), which hit the $5 million mark this year, embraces 15 regions of which the Bay is one with 104 members, comprising active, non-active and honorary affiliates. It is a non-profit society which also helps Bay clubs with visits, helps with national amateur championships involving men, women and juniors, fosters and promotes junior golf in the province and boosts the Halberg Trust's fund drives to support Bay recipients.
The Halberg Trust was founded in 1963. It is best known for its annual Halberg Awards to honour sporting excellence. The guiding principle of the trust is to enhance the lives of disabled people by enabling them to participate in sport. The society is the backbone on which this trust has been built.
Its tourney started in 1980. An entry in a Bay society committee meeting on December 8, 1979, states: "J Humphries spoke of the efforts made by other societies to raise funds for this charity. The committee generally felt that the Hawke's Bay society should make an effort to establish this tournament on an annual basis at one of the 18-hole courses."
The inaugural tourney raised $3500. In 38 consecutive years it has amassed $346,260, averaging $9112 a year.
The Bay branch inducted two more female members on Thursday night — Marilyn Forrest, of Porangahau/Waipukurau clubs, and Yvonne Parry, of Waipukurau — to join incumbents Janice Roberts and Elizabeth Bell.
"I'm very proud to be asked to be an Eagle as it's a new era because it's always been men and now the women have been asked so I'm very honoured to be one of them," said Forrest, who joins husband Allen in the society.
She has served the Waipukurau club for more than 30 years, including as club captain in her fourth term now and two terms as president.
Forrest has conducted junior coaching programmes at the club and is a former HBPB senior women's and masters rep.
"Allen was the secretary of Eagles here so I was always involved with that and the last [national] convention where I ran the golfing side of things with four courses played on every day so i's a big thing," she said, revealing she would do that again when the 2022 event will be staged here.
Parry, an 18 handicapper, has served the Waipukurau club for 24 years, including 21 on the main committee.
"It's a huge honour because I had never expected anything like that ever in my life so to be nominated, seconded and voted in on a very male-dominated society is amazing," she said.
The livestock farmer said was named administrator of the year and received the service to golf award at the Central Hawke's Bay Awards last year.
"I'm a hard worker, I'm now the secretary [of Waipuk club] and I've also in charge of the catering for the last two and half years so it's great to be recognised for all the voluntary work I've done for the club."
Parry said she was proud to accept the society membership on behalf of countless women who had and were selflessly adding value to their clubs.
"There are a lot of women out there who go unnoticed so I'm honoured that I'm one of all those women they picked out of the all the clubs to be an Eagle," she said, delighted to continue that with the society and Halberg.
The national body will appoint its first female secretary, Judith Capstick, of Auckland, at its annual conference in Christchurch early next year with Bay incumbents Jeremy Ballantyne and president David Howie stepping down after their two-year term.