One Club, Two Great Courses Either Side of Waikato River

Press Release – Riverside Golf Club

Waikatos newest golf club – the result of a merger between Lochiel and Narrows golf clubs – will take its name from the mighty Waikato River, which flows past both their courses.Media release
(embargoed 5.15pm Tuesday 30 April, 2013)

One Club, Two Great Courses Either Side of Waikato River

Waikato’s newest golf club – the result of a merger between Lochiel and Narrows golf clubs – will take its name from the mighty Waikato River, which flows past both their courses.

Members of the two clubs cast votes for their favourite name earlier this year and Riverside Golf Club was the most popular choice. It was originally suggested by five members – Geoff Spooner, Gary Chalmers, Catherine and Ian McIntosh and Robyn Maisey.

But before announcing the final name to members, the clubs’ officials commissioned a graphic designer to come up with a logo which was not only new and fresh but picked up on the natural colours and distinguishing features of the new club.

The young designer Tom Jenkin noted that Lochiel, at its northern point on the fourth tee, and Narrows at its southern point, at the fifth tee, were less than 1.7kms from each other.

Using Google Maps, he replicated the shape of the river and illustrated two clubs either side with the colour of the courses – green (for fairways and greens) and golden brown (for bunkers and soil) and a flagstick in a hole. Gold is also a strong longstanding colour reflecting the tradition of golf and of the two courses.

TSB Bank Narrows Golf Club president John Bridle said the logo was striking and innovative, reflecting the new club’s purpose.

Lochiel chair Matt Laming said when the merger committee looked at it, they were convinced the designer had come up with something very special.

The tag line adopted for the Riverside Golf Club is ‘one club, two great courses on either side of the mighty Waikato River.’

“We’ve now got a name, a presence, a vision – it’s given us something tangible that we can go with,” said Laming.

It has been quite a journey for the two neighbouring golf clubs. Lochiel was formed and incorporated in 1938 and Narrows in 1935.

Both clubs have solid memberships – approx 550 members at each club. They own their own courses, have supportive sponsors and solid balance sheets.

“When we first started talking about a merger, it wasn’t because we were in trouble but we know that golf, like many sports, faces challenges in attracting and retaining members,” said Bridle.

“Lochiel and Narrows are no different. We’ve been competing with each other all these years and it just seemed to us that it didn’t make sense to continue to do that.”

Laming said by merging, members had the opportunity of playing 365 days a year at either course.

“Having 36 holes is a unique value proposition for members that no other club in the Waikato can replicate and in fact only two other clubs in New Zealand can including Harewood, which will have a reciprocal club arrangement with Riverside Golf Club,” said Laming.

The members would have access to greater buying power, better sponsorship support and by sharing staff and resources, make the clubs more viable.

“We know other golf clubs around New Zealand are looking at what we’re doing with great interest. It’s fair to say that we probably have too many golf clubs in New Zealand. In Waikato for example, if you stand in the middle of Victoria St in Hamilton, you have a choice of 20 golf clubs within 30 minutes drive,” said Bridle, who is also president of Waikato Golf.

Waikato has 40 golf clubs for a population of about 385,000.

In addition to a new logo, Riverside Golf Club also has its own website and is on Facebook. Anyone who “friends” Riverside Golf Club in the next month goes in to a mystery draw for a major prize.

https://www.facebook.com/riversidegolfclubnz
ENDS

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