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Great approach to taking a break

Last Friday, I took the day off and played golf in the annual Cockies and Stockies Classic at the Riversdale Beach Golf Club.

This year was special because it was the Neil Cobb Memorial. Neil, or Cobby as he was known, was a well-known Wairarapa stock agent and golfer. He started the event more than 20 years ago to get farmers off the farm in the quiet period that is May. His claim to fame, in my eyes certainly, is that he is the only stock agent I’ve struck who could look at a beef animal in the paddock and tell you its carcass weight with uncanny accuracy.

The Cockies and Stockies involve farmers and stock agents from around the Wairarapa. You’re told that ‘wives, partners and staff are welcome and that non-handicappers can play Ambrose in groups of four’.

That means that anyone with a minimum of co-ordination can come along and enjoy the day whether they are a good golfer or not. It is incredibly well supported by Wairarapa businesses, which was great to see.

It has been one hell of a year on the farm with drought, abysmally low prices, unsympathetic banks and costs going through the roof.

All these problems were forgotten at the golf.

As expected, there was the good, the bad and the downright ugly when it came to the actual game of golf, but no one seemed to care. The food supplied by the Riversdale Golf Club ladies was exceptional as was the organisation of the event. Water flowed at pace, most of it with a brown colour. There was tea and coffee as well.

There were rewards for good golf, average golf, and spot prizes, all of which were donated locally. No one would have any excuse for not enjoying themselves.

Local farmer Davey Moore is one of the organisers. He was really pleased with the day.

“The aim is to get farmers off the farm, doing something that may be different and mixing with others,” he told me.

“The local Rural Support Trust is firmly behind the event.

“Next year we’re considering having an ambrose tournament for good golfers and those who aren’t as confident. It will be more of a fun day.

“For future events, if you’re a farmer or stock agent and want to get involved, please let us know.

“It’s a great day out,” he said.

It certainly was a great day out.

There was a really good mix of young farmers and those not so young.

It was inexpensive. You received a great lunch, good afternoon tea and a great round of golf for just $40.

The prizes were exceptional and farm-oriented. A Stihl chainsaw was donated and raffled.

The overall winner was local Jason Le Grove, but most players received prizes.

And as far as my contribution was concerned? As with many of my current efforts, it was marked more by enthusiasm than ability.

    Alan Emerson is a semi-retired writer, farmer and businessman living in Wairarapa. He writes a weekly column for Farmers Weekly and has written and/or edited five books.

Roger Parker
Roger Parker
Roger Parker is the Times-Age news director. In the Venn-diagram of his two great loves, news and sport, sports news is the sweet spot.

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