It is with much sadness the we advise of the passing of Rhonda Watson OAM, the first ever inductee into the South Australian Golf Industry Hall of Fame.
The Board of Golf SA wishes to pass on condolences to Sue & Bob Tuohy and family on the passing of Sue's mother a true a legend of South Australian golf.
The family will be having a private service.
Rhonda was inducted into the South Australian Golf Industry Hall of Fame on Sat 29 October 2011.
Please refer to the below highlighting Rhonda's many achievements.
*Hall of Fame Induction – Sat 29 Oct 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen it gives me great pleasure to announce the first inductee into the South Australian Golf Industry Hall of Fame is: Rhonda Watson
When Rhonda was a young teenager she wanted to achieve her personal best at “something”.
Besides attending commercial art classes mixed with 9 to 5.30 work – Rhonda played a variety of sports including netball, table tennis and tennis. It was golf however that really caught her attention with the young Rhonda being introduced to the game at the then National Park Golf Course, which she frequently visited with her family and friends.
After spending time as a member of the Kensington Park Golf Club, Rhonda joined Glenelg Golf Club in 1948 as a Junior – an introduction that was kindly arranged by Mrs Marjory Taylor.
At Glenelg Rhonda was to be taught by two of the club’s legendary professionals –
firstly Fred Thompson and then Murray Crafter, who was to coach her for the next 18 years.
Rhonda once said, “the most pleasant time to play golf is just as the sun rises and complete a round in two hours”.
In 1951 Rhonda commenced her first year of 26 years playing for Glenelg in Pennant Competitions.
In 1968 she won a Gold Laurel Wreath Brooch for playing par golf at Glenelg and in 1969 won the Champion of Champions Trophy. Watson won the Glenelg Club Championship 13 times.
Not only did Watson dominate club level golf but was the states leading player throughout the 50’s and 60’s.
Over a 17 year period from 1952 to 1968 Watson won 12 State Amateur titles – an Australian record – in the process equaling Lady Britten-Jones’ record of 10 state titles, drawing personal congratulations from Britten-Jones herself which was to remain one of her proudest golfing achievements.
During this period – Rhonda was the first lady to obtain a scratch handicap in South Australia
which she achieved in 1959.
Watson represented SA for many years and in 1956 represented Australian for the first time in the Tasman Cup in New Zealand – saying that the month long tour of New Zealand, was a maturing
experience, adding to both her knowledge of people and the game of golf.
She went on to represent Australia in 1962 and 66’ and in 1970 was appointed
Having finished her representative career, Rhonda put a particular emphasis on playing
State Women’s Open Meetings – not only expanding her own golfing knowledge but also introducing her to the many facets of golf administration which she was to eventually pursue at both state and national level.
In 1964 Rhonda was approached to stand for Vice President of the South Australian
Ladies Golf Union and was appointed President for the maximum 3 year term from 1969 to 1971. During this period she was also a Glenelg Associates Committee Member, followed by Vice-Captain, Captain and President of the club.
In 1974 the Executive of the SA Ladies Golf Union asked her to be Honorary Treasurer of the association – a role she held for 4 years.
Rhonda has been awarded:
– Life Membership of the Glenelg Golf Club, the first lady to be honoured in this way
– Life Membership of the South Australian Ladies Golf Union
– And The Medal of the Order of Australia in 1978 for services to golf
Ladies and Gentlemen, unfortunately Rhonda cannot be here tonight but accepting the award on her behalf, her daughter Sue Tuohy.