- Hall of Famer and one of New Zealand’s finest ever amateur golfers, the late Stuart Gwyn Jones
A coveted junior golf scholarship set up by the late great Stuart Jones once dubbed “The Emperor” has been transferred to Hawke’s Bay Foundation to ensure it continues growing in perpetuity.
The SG Jones Junior Fund was launched thirty years ago as a legacy left to the Hastings Golf Club by arguably New Zealand’s finest ever amateur golfer. In life, as in passing, Stuart Jones had a passion for developing the game of the juniors.
Hastings Golf Club General Manager Michelle Campbell recalls Stuart even in his latter years, taking a keen interest in the younger generation of players coming through.
“He was such a lovely person who would always be watching the juniors and what they were working on in their game and how they were improving. He would regularly offer nuggets of advice so it’s no surprise that when he finally stepped away from representative golf, he would contribute back to the sport he loved.”
Having held the fund since Stuart’s passing eleven years ago, Michelle explains the time felt right for the Club to invest with the vision of growing the principal funds and distributing only the interest each year.
“Our reasons for doing so were twofold. Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s reputation has certainly grown and it’s a great way to keep the funds locally whilst maximizing the Foundation’s wonderful community reach.
“I think its important that whilst we still honour Stuart’s contribution and intent for the scholarship, that it gives us an opportunity for the fund to grow with the advantage at Hawke’s Bay Foundation, for other donors to add to it – ultimately enhancing junior development within Hastings Golf Club.”
Funds are distributed annually to an up and coming junior member to assist with coaching fees, equipment, tournament entries and travel expenses.
Winning the award in 2018 has been a launchpad not just for Dylan Bagley’s golfing career, but his academic aspirations too.
“In 2018 I was fortunate enough to be awarded the SG Jones Junior Fund. I used the money to enter and travel to the 2018 New Zealand Amateur and the 2019 New Zealand Age Group Championships where I placed third in the Under 19 Age Group.
“In 2021 I was awarded a golf scholarship to attend Missouri Southern State University in the United States of America. This semester I have a scoring average of 72 with a low score of 67. In 2022 I received a MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) Excellence Award which recognises sporting and academic achievements. I am also completing a Major in Accounting with a Minor in Management.
“I sincerely appreciate the help that I received from the SG Jones Junior Fund and the Hastings Golf Club to help me achieve my dreams.”
Michelle Campbell says it’s wonderful to see a previous recipient go on to achieve on an international stage.
“Access to this scholarship is extremely valuable for any junior needing financial assistance to enter more tournaments and really get themselves immersed in golf, whether it be within Hawke’s Bay, any national age group championships, or go on to develop themselves abroad like Dylan has.”
Michelle says since the pandemic, golf clubs throughout New Zealand appear to be experiencing a post COVID boom.
Membership at Hastings Golf Club sits at 1,265, 100 of which are juniors. Junior membership is a growth area for the club and Michelle believes greats of the sport like Stuart, are helping the upswing in interest.
“There’s no doubt, Stuart’s stellar career is revered by many, young and old. We want to continue his legacy and by transferring it to a trusted organisation in Hawke’s Bay Foundation, is a fabulous opportunity for more exposure and to contribute to the growth of junior golf.”
Stuart Jones’ record remains unparalleled and spanned many decades. As New Zealand’s most decorated amateur player, he represented New Zealand from 1953 to 1975, which included seven appearances at the World Teams Championship. He won two professional events, a Canadian amateur title and seven New Zealand Amateur titles and was awarded an OBE in 1977.
If you, or someone you know, would like to make a gift to the SG Jones Junior Golf Fund via Hawke’s Bay Foundation, please visit: