Charles and David Howden brought their golf clubs from Scotland when they emigrated to New Zealand. They were both passionate players but there was a problem.
There were no golf courses in New Zealand.
Charles and David were from Edinburgh, Scotland, the home of the modern golf game.
Charles was born on October 25, 1838 and David on May 1,1846 to Peter Howden, a wine merchant and Jessie Ritchie.
Charles came to New Zealand in 1871, aged 23, and began working on sheep runs in Otago. He later started a wine and spirit business in Dunedin and started the New Zealand Distillery Company making whiskey. But after it closed, he turned to golf.
In 1871 he and some friends started a golf club and Howden became the first Club Captain of the Dunedin Golf Club (later the Otago Golf Club). In 1872 the City Council gave permission for a course to be laid out and it was Howden who was the designer.
It closed down and Howden returned to Britain on business but on his return in 1889 there was renewed interest in golf.
Meanwhile in Wellington brother David helped set up the Hutt Golf Club in 1892. Golf was first played at the Hutt Park Raceway.
During attempts to create a club in Wellington, David and Ethel Duncan (one of the first woman golfers) had their eye on land at Miramar. They and others leased the land from the Crawford family who owned it and created the golf course with an official opening in 1895.
Later the club left that course and created the one at Heretaunga in Upper Hutt.
One of the oldest golfing trophies in the South Hemisphere, the St Andrew’s Cross, presented by Charles to his club on St Andrew’s Day for an annual competition is still going.
While Charles is called the father of golf in New Zealand - it took both brothers to establish the sport - and many golf courses around the country.
Charles died on August 28, 1928 and was cremated at Waikumete in Auckland. David is buried at St John's Church in Trentham, Upper Hutt.