By PHILIP CHANDLER
In several English children’s books and a kids’ TV series, The Wombles are furry creatures who do good.
Similarly, The Wombles Golfing Society’s a Queenstown-based group of roving golfers also doing good — raising $10,000 for the Wakatipu Junior Golf Club over the past eight months.
Local golfer Steve Brent, chair of the junior golf club’s charitable trust, got the idea for the Wombles society after last year’s Covid lockdown.
Members travelled once a month to a different golf club around Central Otago, for their own fun but also to help the clubs they visited.
About 95 golfers joined up, though usually about 20 golfers played each month.
Aside from their joining fee, members fundraised along the way — for example, setting aside $10 on top of the green fees they paid each time.
By the end, they’d raised $8800, which one anonymous member topped up to $10,000.
Brent says many Wombles — some from as far away as Auckland — joined purely for the fundraising.
He announced their donation at the junior club’s end-of-season prizegiving at the Queenstown Golf Club’s Kelvin Heights clubrooms last Sunday, to a generous round of applause.
Junior golf club coordinator Simon Boland says it’s ‘‘hugely valuable’’, especially as it had
been harder to raise money from community trusts since Covid.
The funding will go towards coaching, travelling to tournaments, especially for the dozen or so ‘junior pros’, and towards securing Boland’s role.
Up to 140 kids belong to the club along with about 35 parents.
Numbers had reduced with families leaving the area due to Covid, ‘‘but we’ve had a good resurgence in the last three months’’, Boland says.
The club’s a sort of ‘virtual’ club as it’s hosted by several local courses.
‘‘It’s not anyone’s club, it’s everyone’s, which is one of its strengths.’’