Article written by NZ Golf:
Pire Wehi was the winner of the Volunteer of the Year award at the most recent National Golf Awards. He hails out of Rangitikei Golf Club and is passionate about giving back to his club.
Here is what winning the Volunteer of the Year award meant for him and Rangitikei Golf Club:
“I felt really honoured to have received the award. It was something I didn’t expect as I was simply taking up a role where I tried to help the club. I was both overwhelmed and extremely proud at the same time.
The club was very pleased for me. It gave them some exposure and as a small country club that was hugely beneficial. Any sort of recognition that I was given was a great reflection on Rangitikei Golf Club as well. It meant a tremendous amount to both me and the golf club.
How long have you been involved at Rangitikei Golf Club?
I got involved just over 20-years-ago when my son started playing. I used to pick him up and drop him off to golf as he was really keen on the game at the time. I eventually started managing the junior team they had there, and I started noticing some areas around the club that needed attention so I thought I might be able to help them along. One thing led to another and all of a sudden, I found myself on the committee and I was taking on various roles which led me to becoming the president of the golf club after I continued offering my services.
What is it about the golf club that makes you want to stay involved and keep helping out?
We are a small club and we rely on volunteers, sponsorship, and grants to help keep the golf club alive. We must do everything that we possibly can to help get the club thriving. There were periods where the club was struggling financially and were operating at a loss. I became president of the golf club and I looked at what needed to be done and in my first year we made a tiny profit, the following year we made bit more of a profit, and my third year as president we were very profitable. We managed to become financially very stable.
I’m a people’s person. I like to get out of the office and talk to people which has helped me get a lot of sponsorship and grants. I’ve actually managed to raise over $700,000 through grants and sponsorship so I’m really pleased with that.
I also make a point of welcoming visitors to the club; I sometimes will give up my own golf to welcome new people to the club to make sure that they have a positive first experience at Rangitikei Golf Club, I’ll also have a drink with them after their golf as well. It’s just the way I am, and I try to do everything I can do to help get the club thriving. This place means a lot to me and I love helping where I can.
What’re you have in the pipeline for Rangitikei Golf Club?
I’m still the president of the club and there are always things that we need to do. We have got some new machinery and we are looking at getting some more. Upgrading our facilities is also a big one. We’re looking to get some new carpet in the club house so it’s just a matter of ticking one thing off at a time. There are various things happening and something could come up that need’s attention tomorrow. I just like to take each day as it comes and making sure myself and the club is prepared for what might pop up. I take great pleasure in watching the golf club thrive and I hope that I can keep doing that.