Selwyn Times: May 15, 2019

StarMedia.Digital

18 Wednesday May 15 2019

Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi

SELWYN TIMES

Dodging the rough, bunkers and coffins

• By Jacob Page

WEDNESDAY’S at the nine-hole

Lincoln Golf Club sees players

dodge more than just bunkers

and the rough: They are dodging

coffins as well.

Each week, with the backdrop

of Lincoln Cemetery, at least 50

golfers ranging in age from 60 to

92 take part in the Wednesday’s

Whackers or as it is dubbed over

a drink on the 19th hole - Coffin

Dodgers Wednesday.

It is an 18-hole stableford

competition, with the best score

in each group often earning a

free ticket into the $2 meat raffle

drawn at the end of the day.

While friendship and banter

are the driving force behind

the initiative, make no mistake,

many are out there trying to

shoot under their age.

Bill Campbell has been a

regular Wednesday Whacker for

more years than he can remember.

“I’m a broken-down brick-layer,

you know? The body is rooted,

but I love the game,” he said.

Campbell, who has been a

member of the club since 1969,

said it was the banter after each

round which kept him coming

back.

“The chat is the guts of the

whole day and the highlight of

my whole week.

“If it’s a nice day, we sit there

and talk s**t and it’s wonderful.

“With Lincoln golf course

played around a cemetery, we

thought we often poke fun at

ourselves and say we’re all Coffin

Dodgers.”

Campbell describes himself as

“a baby in the group” at 77-yearsold.

“Dave Donald (father of the late

former Green Party leader Rod

Donald), is 91 and he plays every

week.

“Ed Henderson is 87 and he

comes out each week and he

shoots under his age almost every

time he plays.

“As I say to him, each year he

gets older, it’s getting easier for

him because he gets an extra

shot.

“I shot under my age for the

first time six weeks ago and that’s

where the competitive nature

begins and ends,” he said.

“People want to score low for

themselves.”

Life member Morrie Henderson,

81, is the designated barman

each Wednesday and said it has

grown from humble beginnings

in the late 80s to early 90s.

“We had the Selwyn veterans

who met on a Thursday once a

month and the thing was you

could only join when you turned

60 and you had to put your name

down at 55 to be eligible because

there was so many people playing,”

he said.

“So a few people started playing

on a Wednesday and what

was half a dozen has, over time

become 50 people.

Henderson said he had been

a member for 53 years and is a

proud Coffin Dodger.

“Above the bar, there’s a row of

photos with life members on it

and of course there’s only three of

us left now I think and I believe

that’s where the name Coffin

Dodgers took off from – there’s

no respect whatsoever,” he said.

“Back in my early days if you

were 60, you dressed old, you

looked old, you were old but

these days if you retired at 60

SPORT

PUTT: Norm Stokes, 80 and

Tom Scahill, 92, are part of

the Wednesday golf round

at Lincoln, which is played

around the cemetery.

you’re doing well.” Henderson

said it allowed people to stay active

and give wives a well-earned

break from their husbands.

“The important thing isn’t the

game, the important thing is that

you’re able to walk on the right

side of the turf so enjoy it while

you can.

“If I only play a round a week,

I’d rather play on a Wednesday,

than a club day on a Saturday

because it is less competitive.

“Still, if you ending winning

the raffle, there can be hell to

pay,” he said.

•More sport, pages 20-23

Ants Gray Bill Campbell Morrie Henderson Ivan Fletcher

Ed Henderson

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