Bigger and better
The George and Knysna Herald of 24th May 1968 reported that:
“Knysna is to have an 18 hole golf course soon. The Town Council has agreed to the extension of the present site bounded by Howard Street in the north, Kennet Street in the east, Wilson Street in the south and Heads Street in the West.
“Mr. R L E Condon, President of the Club and Mr. H M Hulett, Captain, completed the negotiations with the Town Council last week. The present nine hole course will now be re-designed and incorporated in the general layout of the new 18-hole course. Mr. Hulett told The Herald today that this does not affect the club’s future plans for an additional 18-hole course. ‘We are still looking for suitable land. This project might be launched within 10 years’, he said.”
According to Mr. Hulett the number of golf players in Knysna was growing every year: “A few years ago some 20 players took part in a Saturday afternoon game. Now-a-days there is a draw of at least 60. Many are young people,” he added. “A meeting of members will be held in the near future to discuss the various aspects of the new 18-hole course.”
Max Hulett played a major role in organizing the construction of the new nine holes. The official opening was reported on in The Herald of 30th March 1971: “At the official opening of the new nine holes at the Knysna Golf Club, a plaque in memory of the late Mr. Harald Thesen was unveiled by Mrs. Hildur Stent on behalf of the Thesen family. Mr Thesen had donated R20 000 towards the building of an 18-holes golf course. The club president Mr. Jack Finkelstein welcomed a large crowd to the unveiling and the official opening of the new nine holes of Knysna golf course.
The ceremony was held on Saturday afternoon, after the first round of the Knysna Hotel Cup had been played. Mr. Ernest. A. Meyer, the Mayor of Knysna, in his speech said that, although the golf club owes the new nine holes primarily to the generosity of Harald Thesen, the emphasis should be on the man and not the money. He knew Herald Thesen as a good citizen and he defined this as being one who contributes more to life than he takes out of it. He likened life to a game of golf saying it was not one’s ability to keep out of the rough that was so important but one’s ability to get out of the rough.
The Mayor extended the Town Council’s hearty congratulations on the Club’s elevation to an 18-hole golf course. The most pleasing aspect was that the extension had been achieved mainly through its own endeavours. The new nine holes had been built ‘departmentally’ which was a fine achievement. He paid particular tribute to Club Captain Max Hulett whose devotion and hard work had made the nine holes out of vlei, bush and wild grass. In this regard he had “confounded the critics and astounded his friends.”
The Club President Jack Finkelstein also paid tribute to the hard work and fine endeavours of Max Hulett, saying that the 18-hole course was not only a benefit to the club, but to Knysna as well.
When the late Mr. Frank Dickens who lived on Leisure Isle left a 13th of his estate to the Club, the decision was made to improve the current second hole, which, with the neighbouring sixth fairway, bore the brunt of the occasional floods and salt from a high water table. Work on these two holes has paid dividends providing a grassed fairway, which was snatched from an impending wasteland.
The second green was moved to its new location in 1992. 1991 heralded a new era with radical changes envisaged for the golf course. A new aspect of budgeting for developments and maintenance was put forward with a view to keep up with the increasing interest in the sport and the mushrooming golf estates along the Garden Route.