A CASUAL hit around the Timboon course sparked a lifelong passion for recently-inducted Warrnambool Golf Club life member Gerard Lynch.
Lynch, 67, first hit off the Warrnambool tees in 1975, eventually rising to president.
His 42 years’ service to the club which produced US PGA Tour event winner Marc Leishman was recognised on Tuesday night.
The father-of-three, who grew up on a Grassmere farm and played 300 senior games for his town’s football club, was shocked to be awarded Warrnambool Golf Club life membership.
“I was a little bit late, sat up the front and didn’t know anything about it,” Lynch said of the annual general meeting announcement.
“I was a bit lost for words, it was a bit of a surprise.
“It is a very frustrating game but I probably enjoy the people who play golf and it is really pleasing here at Warrnambool that we have such good juniors.
“To see people from 96 years old playing golf down to 12 or 10 is really good.”
Lynch plays off a handicap of 12 – his career-best is seven – has scored two hole-in-ones and rates the seventh hole at this home course as his favourite.
But the former president, who held the role between 2008-13, is just as proud of his role in the club’s advancement off the greens.
The sub-division housing development, which is hoped will help boost the club financially, and the development of the Shipwreck Coast Golf Classic run in partnership with Port Fairy rate highly.
“The relationship has improved between Port Fairy and Warrnambool and I was one of the people who approached Port Fairy and said ‘let’s have the Shipwreck Coast Classic’,” Lynch said.
“Vinnie Gleeson was another one who was on the committee then. It’s (the two-day event) going really well and seems to improve every year.”