12 April 2018
It’s 30 degrees in their home town of Townsville but Christchurch’s rain and hail and almost-freezing temperatures hasn’t scared these Golden Oldies golfers.
The Willows Croc Spotters from North Queensland are used to far scarier circumstances – their home golf course includes a resident saltwater crocodile.
The team of three husbands and their wives; Nevill and Wendy Mersky, Lloyd and Elspeth Jones and Gary and Robyn Underwood, are in Christchurch to join forces with other sports enthusiasts for the Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration.
Mr Mersky says the team, who are all members of the Tropics Golf Club in Townsville, take their name from the salt-water crocodile that lives on their course.
“They (the crocodiles) are protected unless considered dangerous,” Mr Mersky says.
“The one on our course was recently spotted stalking the greenskeeper so if they can catch it, it will be removed.
“The only catch (no pun intended) is that it moves between the 15 lakes and ponds on the course so locating it can be problematic.”
Mr Mersky, a New Zealand Army veteran, is originally from Blockhouse Bay in Auckland. He and his wife moved to Australia in 1987 and lived in Mt Isa where he had an engineering business maintaining the underground loading equipment.
Teammate Gary Underwood previously played Golden Oldies Rugby for the Mt Isa Mongrels, who are here again in two weeks for the popular Rugby section of the six-sport programme.
“I jumped at the chance to play Golden Oldies golf after all the fun and mischief I’ve had at rugby festivals gone by,” he says.
The team teed off at 9am this morning when temperatures were a brisk 5 degrees and confirmed this is by far the coldest weather they have ever played golf in.
Some 5,000 players and supporters are taking part of this year’s Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration, organised by Vintage Sport and Leisure with support from ChristchurchNZ.
The six-sport festival is running from April 1 – 29.