HAVING spent his whole life devoted to the sport he loves, Nhill resident John Hobday has been honoured with an Order of Australia Medal for his services to golf.
The 73-year-old lawyer said he was shocked by the recognition.
“It was a big surprise and definitely not something that I ever considered would happen,” he said.
Mr Hobday said he had his first golf lesson at the aged of 10.
“I’ve lived in Nhill my whole life and my parents always played golf,” he said.
“When I was a kid they sent me to the golf course to have a hit.”
Mr Hobday was recognised for his contributions to the sport during his time as Golf Victoria – formerly Victorian Golf Association – president between 2007 and 2016.
“I’m quite proud of what I achieved at the state level in golf,” he said.
“I was probably the first country person to be elected chairperson of Golf Victoria, which was a big honour and a big change.”
He said he had many successes during his time spent in the role.
“One of the great achievements was when we were able to amalgamate to cover men’s and women’s golf,” he said.
“It was pretty revolutionary, and it’s just gone from strength to strength from there.”
In 1994, Mr Hobday was given life membership of his beloved Nhill Golf Club. He has been a member of the club since 1966.
“Golf is a game for people of all ages,” he said.
“We’re trying very hard to get golf into schools because it really is a game for life.
“It can be competitive as well as social, and it’s a great way to get fit.
“Another thing we’re trying to do is make nine hole events more popular so more people can play.”