The then Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Ward, readily approved the idea, but it was clear that much work would have to be done and the task of transforming a wilderness into the fairways and greens with the machinery of the day was a massive one, with much of the work done by volunteers.
Initially, only nine holes were open for play, but such was the popularity of the game that a second nine were inevitable. These were opened in 1918, carved out of very hostile country. The scrub was so dense that the Native School headmaster got lost while investigating the area and had to be rescued by a late night search party.
The first Clubhouse measured a modest 14 feet x 12 feet and was erected in nine days. The more luxurious building we now call home was built in 1930.
The course was later remodelled by Charles Redhead, a golf course architect whose work greatly influenced New Zealand courses at that time. Redhead served three terms as President of the Club and is also regarded as the man who brought veterans golf to our country.
Rotorua has been visited by many famous golfers over the years, including seven-time major winner Gene Sarazen in 1934 and Bobby Locke (four major championships) and Australian legend Norman von Nida in 1938.