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Martinborough Golf Club has tumbled down

February 13, 2024 February 2024, Sports No Comments

Martinborough golf’s clubhouse: down and on the way out.

The demolition of the Martinborough Golf Club is complete. In the last days prior to Christmas a fully-insulated pole shed, much like a top end farm outbuilding, was erected to act as both office and temporary clubhouse.

New septic tanks, internet connectivity, power, water, and Porticom loos were installed.

On December 29 the windows of the old clubhouse were removed for recycling and transported to a new home at Tora. “It is so good to be able to reuse this material,” says Neil Bramley from Tora. “These will become my new glasshouse.” 

The next step was for a certified removalist to clear the asbestos. When completed, an independent surveyor assessed the site and pronounced it safe to proceed. The building site was fenced in readiness for Holmes Construction to establish the new clubhouse site.

Holmes Construction started work on January 23 within the fenced-in area. Barring weather events, the completion date is set for November 26, 2024.

“The new design will be a very strong building at over 150 percent of the Building Code,” says John Thomson who is managing the project. “We are thrilled to be working with Holmes Construction. They are a very ethical firm and provide a lot of support for community projects.

“We are also working to a very tight budget. However, we have been able to contain some of the costs through credited operators who are providing a lot of their time voluntarily. That is one of the benefits of a small but very supportive community.

The building is planned to be multipurpose, catering for community use as meeting venues or for functions, as well as acting as a Civil Defence hub.

“With water on the premises, space for parking, and plenty of room for tents, the Golf Club is ideally placed to function should there be an earthquake or other calamity. The other bonus of this particular site,” says John, “is that it is above the flood plain.”

The following timeline illustrates just how far the Golf Club has come since its inception.

  • August 1908: 10 people attended a meeting in the Oddfellows Hall to set up Martinborough’s first golf club. Initial membership fee was 5 shillings for the short season remaining. Play took place at Waiura, the home of Mr John Martin.
  • The Golf Club moved to George Pain’s property, with Pain’s garage used as a temporary clubhouse.
  • A further move, to the Huangarua River. However, the land was used for grazing and meant the club closed for lambing and the summer months.
  • 1924: the first clubhouse was built, with six members each providing 100 pounds for its construction.
  • 1948: Members lobbied the Racecourse Trustees (Featherston County Council) for the lease of the land on Todds and Hinekura Rd. Their request was granted.
  • 1949: The new course was officially opened in April. The Horse Sports Annual competition continued to be held until 1957.
  • 1974: February 6, the clubhouse was destroyed in an arsonist’s rampage throughout the South Wairarapa. Another house was set up to serve as a temporary clubhouse until the new one was constructed. It was built for $83,000. A further $200,000 was paid for furnishings and enabled a caretaker’s flat to be added.
  • 2015: the Golf club received notification that the clubhouse was registered as an unsafe structure. At 15 percent of the current code and below the 33 percent threshold, it needed significant earthquake strengthening,
  • 2023: January 3, demolition of the current clubhouse began.  

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Martinborough Golf Club has tumbled down

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