New Zealand Golf Magazine

CHARLIE REID PLAYS A LOT OF GOLF!

How many rounds of golf would you like to play in a year? For some of us with young families, 10 would be nice. For those with a bit more spare time, 25 seems about right. If you play once a week that's 50 and if you're playing 100 rounds of golf in a yea

- WORDS BY MATT RICHENS

We talk to Charlie Reid about his love of the game and the number of rounds he plays.

Charlie Reid played 233

times last year. Up from the 214 he played in 2015. And those are just the rounds he played in New Zealand, he plays in Australia, too. The 74-year-old, who plays out of Christchur­ch's Waimairi Beach, loves golf. Clearly, he plays nearly every day. And he plays well.

Poor weather is pretty much the only reason he doesn't play seven days a week and even then he would, he just doesn't have anyone to play with when it hoses down.

“It doesn't worry me, I'll play in the wind and the rain. Golf's a game you should play in all conditions, it's the challenge,” he said.

And there's usually plenty of people willing to play with Reid, he's as genuine a guy as you're likely to meet. We want to say he's liked by all, but Reid didn't like that so we'll say he's liked by most.

Since the dotgolf system was put into place in September 2000, he's played 3460 rounds of golf in New Zealand and another 400 in Australia. That was when this correspond­ent caught up with him last month. You could probably add another 10 before the first of June.

Let's just put those numbers into perspectiv­e because 3860 is too hard to fathom.

According to a recent call from New Zealand Golf, Reid is in the top five of rounds played in New Zealand since the dotgolf system was introduced.

That's 16.75 years ago. Since then, he's played 230 games a year on average – or 4.5 times a week.

But he's been playing for nearly 55 years so the real number is much, much higher. Plus, he's been a single figure handicappe­r for 50 of them. He's was out to an 11.2 when this interview was conducted, but that's largely due to playing in every condition and, of late, the golfing weather Gods have been far from nice in Christchur­ch.

Reid wasn't always a 4.5 times a week kind of guy and only got into golf seriously when a he chopped off part of his finger at work.

He's a goals man and bettering

Clearly, he plays nearly every day. And he plays well. Poor weather is pretty much the only reason he doesn't play seven days a week and even then he would, he just doesn't have anyone to play with when it hoses down. “It doesn't worry me, I'll play in the wind and the rain. Golf's a game you should play in all conditions, it's the challenge,” he said.

himself and being the best he can be might not be a goal he's written down or talked about, but it's one that clearly drives him, even subconscio­usly.

Until only a few years ago, he'd beaten par every year too. He credits playing in every condition to teaching him “a thing or two” and his repertoire of shots is remarkable.

His career low round was a 66 at the par-70 Kaiapoi course. He'd been a member at Rangiora and he, his brother Dick and a family friend had been spotted in an annual RangioraKa­iapoi fixture by Canterbury rep and golfing stalwart Jim Monk.

“He said he'd seen us play and thought we showed some promise so invited me, my brother and our friend Darcy Horler out to Kaiapoi to ‘give us a few tips' and help us with course management.

“I shot 66 and all three of us beat him off the stick, I'll never forget that.”

Golf has introduced him to a number of people too, most notably, New Zealand Open champions Bob Glading and Sir Bob Charles. Reid was proud to call Glading his friend and the storytelle­r positively beamed when regaling stories of playing with him.

“He wrote to me when I was doing golf tours on the Gold Coast and asked if I wanted him to do some coaching. He was brilliant, everyone loved him, he'd tell stories about Lee Trevino, Bobby Locke and Gary Player. We got to know him and we kept in touch and he stayed with us in Christchur­ch. You know, he broke 80 when he was 92 and he still carried his bag. No trundler, he carried it on his shoulder. What a man.”

He owns plenty of Player's golf books and like the South African, nine-time major winner, Reid's longevity is impressive. At 74, he still plays as often as he can and never uses a cart. So, what's his secret? Well, there isn't one really; he just loves golf, has a wonderfull­y supporting wife with whom last month he celebrated 50 years of marriage and he keeps fit.

They say the average round of golf takes in about 10.6km of walking. Well Waimairi Beach where Reid plays most of his golf has been redesigned and rebuilt since Christchur­ch's 2011 earthquake­s and while it's tricky and one of this correspond­ent's favourite courses, it is shorter than average at 5677m off the blues.

It's odd to turn up to Waimairi and not see him. He organises the Thursday tournament­s which have taken off under his watch – but that's hardly surprising given his recent history in organising golf.

If you're a keen golfer, chances are you've heard of Charlie's Golf Tours. Well, this is the same Charlie. He's not involved in the company now, he sold it only after vetting candidates to find the perfect people to continue his company.

Playing all those rounds of golf surely means holes in one doesn't it. Well even that story is great. Reid had played golf for about 48 years and never made an Ace. Like many of us, he assumed it probably wouldn't happen for him before he landed one at the 17th at McLeans Island near Christchur­ch, in 2011.

Then in May 2013 he got another one. Then another. Two in the space of three days. He holed out at the 111m eighth at Waimairi then two days later on the 145m 11th at Pegasus.

"It's funny how it happens isn't it? I didn't get one for years and years and then I get three and two of them in three days. “I think I've had my share now," he said at the time. But he wasn't done. He's grabbed another in November last year at the 158m 17th at Waimairi.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

 ??  ?? Waimairi Beach Golf Club.
Waimairi Beach Golf Club.
 ??  ?? Charlie Reid, 74-year-old, who plays out of Christchur­ch's Waimairi Beach.
Charlie Reid, 74-year-old, who plays out of Christchur­ch's Waimairi Beach.
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