One of New Zealand’s greatest-ever sportsmen, Sir Bob Charles, launches his first comprehensive biography tonight at a gala event in the brand new clubhouse at the Royal Auckland and Grange Golf Club.
Pushed along to complete his biography by the Covid-19 lockdown from early in the year, Sir Bob has worked with friend Geoff Saunders to put together a 321-page in-depth study of his life which includes over 160 photographs.
Sir Bob embarked upon a career that no New Zealander had chosen before, that of a full-time touring professional golfer. He competed in the “golden age” of professional golf in the 1960s and 1970s, and acquired the title of the “best putter in the world”.
“The origins of the book go back ten years with my good golfing buddy Geoff Saunders who suggested it, it was slow starting but I guess covid lockdowns did us a favour and accelerated the production of it so we got serious at the beginning of this year and here we are, eight or nine months later with it done,” Sir Bob commented at a special media briefing today.
“The result is something I’m very proud of.”
“It’s factual, there’s no make-believe in there, most of it is positive, I said to Geoff I don’t want any negativity or controversy in the book.
“It’s the story of my life, a little bit of talent and a lot of luck and I think you’ll read how lucky I was to achieve what I did and to have a life, like I did.”
With his 1999 knighthood and his elevation to the Order of New Zealand in 2011, he has been honoured not only for his success as a golfer but also for the way he has lived his life.
“We were very fortunate right from the start because my Mother kept a scrapbook going back to 1953 when I first started playing rose bowl golf and interprovincial golf,” Sir Bob recalled.
“I was only 17 at the time but I did get some news coverage back in 1953 so we had a media record of my career, so we were very thankful to my Mother for that and it made life for Geoff a lot easier.”
“I am proud of what Geoff has done and the end result.”
Sir Bob Charles – The Biography is on sale now and can be purchased here.