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

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENTS - 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.

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.