Goulburn Golf Club's centenary has produced some interesting
facts and happenings, including the following:
When the Mulwaree and Wollondilly Rivers flooded simultaneously
in 1974, water flowed back from the junction of the rivers near the jail, reaching
a height of 50 centimetres up the legs of the club billiard tables on the top floor.
The then secretary-manager, Keith Sharpe, sighting a tiger snake attempted to swim
in through a top floor window, killed it with one blow. He used a three iron to
achieve the feat.
TN. (Tom) Powell, father of former club champion, John,
who himself features on our championship boards, became greenkeeper in the 1950s,
having been the Department of Agriculture's district fruit inspector for years. He planted many trees, as did ex Secretary Manager, Keith Sharpe, including willows
alongside the 18th tee, one of which now houses one of the club possums.
The current practice fairway, running alongside Blackshaw
Road, was used through to the 1950s by Thos Williams Pty Ltd, produce merchants,
as a rest paddock for their horses. During the war years, when petrol rationing
was in vogue, these horses were used by members and volunteers at weekends
to pull the fairway mowers. Members kept the club operating during these hard years
with their voluntary labour.
The Golf Club for years sponsored a strong tennis club,
which used two courts situated in the area between the existing 9th green and the
Before additions were made to the club house, the main
entrance to the upstairs portion was via a wooden stairway on the northern side
of the building. One existing photo shows 50 members of the local RSL grouped on
and around the stairs
after one of their annual Crossland Cup golf days in the 1930s.
People have not always gone by vehicle or foot to the
club house. On a number of occasions, especially during the big floods, officials
and staff used a rowing boat to get to the club house to move equipment and to check
the property. Secretary Manager, Keith Sharpe and the then president John Lowe used
the latter's boat during floods in the 70s.
And there are two other forms of commemoration on the
course. One plaque at the 4th tee commemorates Ray ("Curley") Harvey, one of Goulburn's
finest sportsmen, who holes in one from the tee (then the 6th) in 1964. The other
is for Jack ("Cracker") Collins, a brother of former secretary manager, Ken, at
the 8th tee. Both plaques have well tended gardens around them.
Locals and visitors alike either love or hate Goulburn
Golf Club's Island Hole (the 8th). The hole, with the Mulwaree River forming channels
on two sides, is reached from the course proper by a concrete bridge.
Golf and tennis club members were served afternoon teas
upstairs and, in fine weather, they would take their tables and seats to an outside verandah overlooking the existing 10th fairway.
In the 1950s when former chemist, Charles Malone, was
the first part-time manager, the club's first licence was obtained and drinks were
served in the downstairs section, now the professional's shop.
In the 20s and 30s, youngsters would line up near the
putting greens seeking out players requiring caddies. Some local residents who caddied
for as low as the equivalent of 20 cents a round, still tell stories of those days.
The Cowling brothers and John Powell were among those who served their time as caddies.
“Plus fours” were the order of the day for members.
In the years between the two world wars, the area between
Rocky Hill and the existing 5th and 6th fairways was used as a brickworks by the
Stubbings family, whose home was on the corner across May Street from the 5th tee.
Horses working a turntable pulled trollies of clay from the pits to near the 5th
tee, where the kilns were
The l lth green (formerly the 2nd)) at one time had
a water pond at the front of the green.
The members' tee then was near the present women's tee. The 5th hole (formerly the
7th) was a par 4, having two very large gum trees 50/60m in front of the green.
The distance of the hole is 136 metres, taking the ball over the river. There is
an out-of-bounds fence behind the green. The late Jack Collins, well known Goulburn
barber, who was a single figure player for many years, was one golfer who could
always tell a good story about "The Island", which in the former layout was the
10th. He was playing in a club championship and was leading - till he reached the
water hole. He took 14 and, in desperation, took a kick and gave his bag a push.
It ended up in the river. Jack didn't realise for a moment, seemingly being quite
prepared to leave his sticks "in the drink", then it struck him. His car keys were
in the zipper pocket - so he had to calm down and make the rescue. Needless to say,
he didn't win that title, although his name appears a number of times on the record
There were 2 first class Tennis
Courts adjoining the Club House on the northern side which were very popular with
members. After a few hard sets it was the main event was to go to the Club House
and enjoy afternoon tea on the balcony overlooking the Golf Course.
Progress took over with the building of the Dining Room onto the Club House
and room for Car Parking.