Waimarino Golf Club was created from a joint venture of The Raetihi Golf Club and the Ruapehu Golf Club located in the area of Ohakune and Rangataua. The first meeting held on 26 March 1926 saw the election of Mr P. C. Murray as president. It was decided at this meeting to purchase the land at Makarunui which at the time was owned by the Waimarino racing club and the committee was made up of four members from the Raetihi area and four members from the Ohakune, Rangataua area. Initially, the course started with 10 holes. Much work was needed to prepare the course and many hours of volunteer work, in the form of working bees, took place. The land at the time was given to a local farmer for grazing and the only stipulation was that the cattle and horses were removed for competition days. The sheep were allowed to stay.
During the early 1930s the Great Depression had a marked effect on the club’s development. Declined Membership in the club went through a stabilizing period. New holes were deferred. As the effect of the Depression weakened the club began to recover and by 1937 had reached its best membership since 1927. According to records, the course on club days was only just able to cope with the numbers playing. Then in the early 40s the club came under pressure because of World War II. The Committee leased a large area of the course to local market gardeners to help meet expenses incurred by the club. Members even sowed swedes and carrots on behalf of the club on areas not leased out. During this time fees to members were also lowered. It was thought that the prudent management by the committee of that time allowed the club to survive. Near the end of the 40s the club had begun to return to prosperity and plans were being made and put into action for an 18-hole course.
Through the next decades the club continued to flourish. The steady growth of the club was assured by shrewd decisions and hard work by the existing committees. In the Sixties a new clubhouse was built on the site where we stand today. The building was later extended in the Seventies, and this building is now our clubhouse. The new clubhouse was made possible through the maturing of an insurance policy taken out by A.E. Webb in the 1940s; he took out a policy on his son to help cover the mortgage on the property.
Evidently, farming has been a very important part of the financial building of the Waimarino golf club. We no longer have stock on the course, and we don’t lease out any of the fairways for cropping. The club is attracting a far wider range of people and currently employs a full-time greensman.
The 1990s have seen major changes in the club and around the course. The changing philosophy of the committee has experienced expansion never seen before. The committees have been prepared to go into overdraft to see that club has continued to develop at a faster pace. As a result, irrigation has been supplied to all the greens, new mowers have been bought; a motorbike and roughs mower, new extension to the club in the form of golf cart shed and a green keepers workshop.
Twilight golf has been a major contributor to the Waimarino golfing calendar since the beginning of the 1990s. Running from Mid November until the middle of February. Twilight has contributed much to our golf club. From humble beginnings there were between 40 to 50 golfers up to the current season where over 80 players compete every Thursday evening.
Our course is now equal to any in the area. The greens and fairways are well maintained by National standards and our record for well-run tournaments is renowned. This is evidenced by NZGA asking us to host the New Zealand North Island Under 19 Championships in February 2003. The best of New Zealand’s juniors competed and we received many accolades for the management and course presentation.