Date: May 17, 2016
Author: Dave Tease, Golf NSW

Rewarding life for volunteer Smith

Denis Smith says it’s the serenity of the place he enjoys; he reckons you can just feel it.

“I get a lot of enjoyment from the place. I’m out in the fresh air with the animals, kangaroos, and the birdlife,” Mr. Smith said.

The Grenfell Golf Club member loves what he does, and is part of an enitrely volunteer membership group who keep their course in tip-top condition. Smith often dedicates four or five days a week to the task.

“Some days I can be out here seven hours a day,” he said. “In the Summer months we come out early in the morning to turn the sprinklers on and then come back late in the afternoon to look after the sand greens.”

Like any other club that survives on volunteer labour, Grenfell is happy to take on anyone keen to help, and Denis will be happy to show them the ropes.

“It’s the lifeblood of our club. If anyone puts up their hand to volunteer to help, well, you never knock them back. There’s always something they’re capable of doing,”

“It’s a good bunch of guys to be with too,” he laughed.

Mr. Smith is one of an army of volunteers that keep so many of our State’s golf clubs alive. Without the selfless dedication of folk like him, many of them and the communities they live in would suffer.

“In places like this we can’t afford to pay for ground staff. Here we do everything,” he said. “In country towns it’s all volunteers. I do Meals on Wheels and drive the Community Transport bus as well.”

Mr. Smith retired around 18 months ago and took the opportunity to relocate to the country town. He loves telling friends back in the big smoke what he does all day when they ask.

 “I moved up here and bought a house for cheaper than what I could’ve bought a car parking space in the CBD back in Sydney for. I tell them nearly every day I’m out working in the open. I stay pretty active,” he said.

Staying active and involved in his community is what keeps Mr. Smith going. Donating his time to help others brings plenty of rewards to him.  

“You’ve got to volunteer. You’ll get a lot out of it,” Mr. Smith smiled.

Golf NSW thanks all the volunteers.  We would not be able to enjoy our game without our valuable volunteers.  Send us your volunteer story so we can pay tribute to our amazing volunteers – #NVW2016

National Volunteer Week 2016