‘Golf is a game for life’

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY SARAH SCULLY

When John Hob­day’s fa­ther in­tro­duced him to golf at 10 years of age, it sparked a life­long pas­sion for the sport.

Mr Hob­day had no idea his in­ter­est in golf ad­min­is­tra­tion and grow­ing the pur­suit would one day see his name added to the Queen’s Birth­day hon­our roll.

The re­tired Nhill lawyer has won an Or­der of Australia Medal for his ser­vices to golf.

Mr Hob­day said he was shocked to learn of his ac­co­lade.

“I’m not sure you ever ex­pect some­thing like this,” he said.

“It is a big hon­our. It means I was ap­pre­ci­ated for a lot of the things I did.

“I have other friends who have achieved the same hon­our and I never thought I’d do the same as them.

“It was def­i­nitely hard not be­ing able to tell any­one.”

Mr Hob­day joined Nhill Golf Club in 1966 and was elected a life mem­ber in 1994 fol­low­ing stints as pres­i­dent, trea­surer and cap­tain.

He is a for­mer sec­re­tary and trea­surer of Wim­mera Dis­trict Golf As­so­ci­a­tion and has been a Vic­to­rian Golf Foun­da­tion trustee since 2007.

Mr Hob­day’s big­gest achieve­ments in golf have stemmed from his ser­vice to Golf Vic­to­ria, for­merly Vic­to­rian Golf As­so­ci­a­tion.

“I was in le­gal prac­tice at Nhill for 40-some­thing years,” he said.

“When I re­tired I be­came more in­volved in golf ad­min­is­tra­tion in the Wim­mera dis­trict, then as a mem­ber of what was Vic­to­rian Golf As­so­ci­a­tion and is now Golf Vic­to­ria.”

Mr Hob­day was elected to the VGA coun­cil in 1993, be­came pres­i­dent in 1997 and was in­stru­men­tal in a five-year amal- gama­tion process, which saw the VGA merge with Women’s Golf Vic­to­ria to form Golf Vic­to­ria in 2010.

“Bring­ing the men’s and women’s com­pe­ti­tions to­gether was one of the best things to hap­pen to golf,” he said.

“I was very proud to be a of that amaz­ing out­come.

“I was also the first pres­i­dent of Golf Vic­to­ria.

“Since the Vic­to­rian Golf As­so­ci­a­tion was founded in 1902 I’m the only per­son from the coun­try to be pres­i­dent.”

Life mem­ber

part

Mr Hob­day be­came a Golf Vic­to­ria life mem­ber in 2010.

“Golf Vic­to­ria’s motto is: “Golf is a game for life.” It’s an im­por­tant motto and some­thing I would like to get out to ev­ery­one,” he said.

“Even if you have to adapt how you play due to age or in­jury, such as play­ing nine holes in­stead of 18, it’s still some­thing ev­ery­one can be in­volved in – up un­til 90 years old if you’re fit enough.

“It’s an im­por­tant sport for keep­ing fit, es­pe­cially as we get older.”

Mr Hob­day said his OAM was sig­nif­i­cant for Vic­to­rian golf.

“I think the hon­our also means some­thing for the sport,” he said.

“Peo­ple have al­ways been aware of golf but I think in­ter­est in it is grow­ing.

“A lot more school chil­dren are tak­ing up the sport, Golf Vic­to­ria is work­ing to get more women in­volved and they are also send­ing out golf pros to work with peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity.

“It’s im­por­tant to find ways to make golf more ac­ces­si­ble to the com­mu­nity.

“It is a sport you can play for life.”

• More Queen’s Birth­day re­cip­i­ents, pages 12, 13 and 14.

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