Club History Reproduced from the Goulburn Golf Club 1998 Centenary Project Booklet, The History of Goulburn NSW, By Ransome T Wyatt (1941)
The first stirring in the matter of a golf course for Goulburn were in 1880. Then it was proposed to make links in Clinton Street (Clinton Street west of the Australian Arms was all vacant paddocks). The municipal Council received a letter of protest from J.T. Gannon (Solicitor) on behalf of F. Horn, Mrs Smith and WA. Evans. One of the earliest courses was at “Burrungurroolong” where E.W Kelso and C.M. Shaw made “an apology for a golf course” in the nineties. A “Goulburn Golf Club” was formed in 1898. The opening day was the 18/8/1898. There were eighty (80) members. The “New” links were described as starting “at the back of Mr Helm’s residence, Auburn Street, South, and go over towards South Hill, the residence of Mr W Chisholm. They take a turn back towards Mr Guymer’s cottage, then into the corporation paddock and back to the starting point past Dr McKillop’s cottage, the distance being three miles. There are eighteen (18) holes. C.M. Shaw was its secretary.
There is some little discrepancy between local accounts of the foundation of the Goulburn Golf Club. One account has it that it was brought into being by A.H.C.L. and R.R.Payten, who had previously played golf on their own property. The other states that a meeting was held on the 22/6/1898 at the Bank of Australasia attended by A.B. Chisholm, J.H. Turner, A.E. Sendall, EM. Ibbs, R.E. Conolly and C.M. Shaw. A third account states that the club was formed in 1891/92. Oral arrangements were made with tenants of paddocks extending towards South Hill, and Bethune, a Sydney golfer, came here and laid out a course. This course was only used for a few months.
The club then moved to the present links, but only for two years. It then went out towards Kenmore. Before than, however, the first golf match was played on what are now the present links on the 22/7/1899 against a Sydney team arranged by R.A. Warden. One of the visitors was Hugh MacNeil, a champion of Australia. The first club house was a deserted hut standing about when the old first green was. About 1900 the golf club moved out towards Kenmore using Confoy’s hotel as the club house. After three years it returned to the Eastgrove links where it has been ever since. The second golf house was a cottage at the south end of the links adjoining Eastgrove itself. At this time the golf course was leased from the University of Sydney. Later through the efforts of C.M. Shaw, R.E. Conolly, the Payten Brothers, Alf Riley and others, the present golf company was formed and the ground acquired. At first a nine (9) hole course with sand greens; about 1925 the club put in an eighteen (18) hold course and grass greens. The present golf house has every convenience for members, a caretaker’s residence and a ball room. It was opened on the 25/5/1912. L. Kelly, Open Golf Champion, was given a civic reception when he visited Goulburn in 1933.
Bruce Devlin won the Club title in 1956, 57, 58 and 60, the foursomes with Perce Yrie in 1953, and the mixed with Anne Bourchier in 1958. He won NSW Country Championships (in 1955 and 1957), NSW Country Foursomes in 1954 (with John Powell) and 1957 (Noel Wade, Kandos).
An apprentice plumber with his father, Artie, who lost an arm in a car accident when Bruce was a junior, the Goulburn star competed as an amateur in the 1958 National Open Championship at Kooyonga and finished fifth behind Gary Player, Kel Nagle, Frank Phillips and Eric Cremin. He finished 11th in the following year’s open, won by his closest professional friend, Kel Nagle.
Devlin went on to win the National Amateur Championship in 1959, at Royal Sydney. He then was a member of the Commonwealth Club. He won the NSW Amateur title in 1958 at St Michael’s from Harry Berwick. He won the NSW Foursomes Championship in 1957 with K.F. Pickering (New Brighton) and was NSW Junior Champion in 1957, after being beaten in a play-off by Bruce Crampton in 1953. His 1957 rounds with 69, 72. He also won the NSW Junior Intermediate titles in 1954 and 1955.
Bruce was selected in the Australian Team to contest the Inaugural Eistenhower Cup series at St Andrews with Bob Stevens, Doug Bachli and Peter Toogood in 1958. The team tied with the American team on a combined score of 918. In the play-off Bruce shot 72, Stevens and Toogood 75, Bachli 78, to win by two strokes.
In 1959 Bruce won the Australian Amateur Championship defeating Jack Coogan 2 up in the final at Royal Sydney, then in 1960 won Australian Open Championship as an amateur at Lake Karrinyup, Perth.
1 The Australian 1882
2 Royal Sydney 1893
3 Cootamundra 1895 or
4 Bathurst 1895
5 Wagga Wagga 1895
6 Marrickville 1897
7 Strathfield 1897
8 Wollongong 1897
<strong> 9 Goulburn – 4th Country Course 1898</strong>
10 Killara 1898
11 Richmond 1899
12 Armidale 1899
13 Concord 1899
14 Maitland 1899
15 Albury 1899
17 Hunter’s Hill 1900
18 Deniliquin 1900
19 Tamworth 1900
29 Urana 1900
21 Bowral 1901
22 Grafton 1901
23 Orange 1901
24 Waratah 1901
25 Glen Innes 1901
Goulburn Golf Club’s centenary has produced some interesting facts and happenings, including the following:
It seems that golf was played in the Goulburn district on a number of grazing properties in the 1880s-on such property was “Strathallan” (now occupied by the NSW Police Academy), owned by H.c.L. and R.R. Payten. Three attempts were made to introduce golf to Goulburn residents in the 1890s, but it was not until 18 August 1898 that the Goulburn Golf Club opened its course. On the first occasion, in the early 1890s, a course was proposed on land south of the main street, but Frederick Horn (a noted builder and ex-Mayor) engaged the solicitor J.T. Gannon in a successful protest to the Goulburn. Around 1896 C.M. Shaw, manager of the Bank of Australasia, with the assistance of E.W Kelso, principal of King’s college, laid out what was described as an “apology for a golf course” six miles south of Goulburn on the Gibson property “Burrungurroolong”.
In 1898 an 18 hole course, known as South Hill was laid out “starting at the back of Mr Helm’s residence in Auburn Street South and going back to South Hill, the residence of W Chisholm, taking a turn back to Mr Guymer’s cottage and back to the starting point past Dr McKillop’s cottage, the distance being three miles”.
At the outside there were eighty members of the South Hill course, and the elected office bearers were: President, R.E. Connolly; Secretary, C.M. Shaw; Committee, A.B. Chisholm, J.S. Turner, A. Sendall and EM. Ibbs. It is generally recognised that due to the efforts and enthusiasm of C.M. Shaw he is the “Father” of Goulburn Golf Club.
In 1899 the first interclub match was played in Goulburn against a team from Royal Sydney, about which the Sydney Mail had this to say: The Goulburn caddies, like the genus wherever golf is now, are amusing. The caddie of one Sydney man had to be repeatedly admonished for jeering at the other side, and the caddies usually had with them an admiring string of brothers and sisters, each pleading for the honour of carrying a club. The consequence was that just when a particular club was required the particular section of the parry honoured with its care would be discovered exhibiting the treasure to awe-struck small boys on some remote part of the ground – then there was the outspokenly commendatory caddie, the caddie cynical, the caddie derisive and various other varieties.
In the Royal Sydney team were Leonard Dobbin and R.A. Warden-the latter was described by Dobbin as `a person golf owes much to in the State, through his efforts to introduce the game into regions of the South and West where golf was previously unknown’. These gentlemen stayed on at Goulburn for a couple of days and, together with the committee, completely recast the course by eliminating one hole together and making two new ones.
In 1900, following a disastrous flood, the Club moved to a site near the northern suburb of Kenmore. It used Confoys Hotel as a clubhouse, and operated there for approximately three years, the members justly claiming to have the first abundant supply of amber liquid since the formation of the Club.
Then in 1903 the Club moved to its present location, renting the property from Sydney University, which had acquired the eighty acres as a result of a bequest by Captain William H. Hovell (of Hume and Hovell fame). Captain Hovell had been given the land as a grant from the colonial Governor, and he left it in trust until such time as a university was built in Goulburn; his good intentions tied up the land for thirty-five years after his death in 1875.
The present clubhouse was occupied in 1912 and, to gain access across the Mulwaree River, a swinging suspension bridge was built-it withstood many major floods until eventually replaced by a bridge for vehicular traffic. About this time, 1910, J. Merrilee was employed as professional for a term not exceeding four weeks for one pound per week, his duties being to supervise course improvements and to instruct members on the finer points of the game. It was not until 1925 that the Club engaged a full-time professional, W McKenzie, who was responsible for the design of the new 18 hole grassgreens course that came into play the same year (he was the same W McKenzie who served as professional at The Australian from 1930 to 1964).
Two Goulburn members won the Australian Open Championship whilst they were members of the Club: Lou Kelly in 1933 and Bruce Devlin in 1960. Devlin was also a member of the successful Australian Eisenhower Cup Team for the 1958 event played at St Andrews, and today he lives in the USA where he has continued his golfing career and interests. In recent times another Goulburn golfer, Brett Ogle, won the 1985 New South Wales Amateur Championship and has appeared successfully in national and international events since turning professional. Judy Perkins (nee Mancell) and Leonie Oxley are two outstanding golfers who have come from the ranks of the Goulburn associates.
Although records were not kept until 1904, Goulburn had formed a Ladies’ Club in 1899. Goulburn Associates is thus one of the oldest golfing bodies in the State, and joined the New South Wa Ladies’ Golf Union in 1906. In 1978 the club was the venue for a three-day Golden Jubilee Tournament to celebrate the formation of the Central Southern Golf Association in 1929.
A foundation club, the Goulburn Golf Club is one of the oldest country clubs in New South Wales.It was formed about 1899. Apparently, although the Associates ‘existed’ the first records kept were in 1904eventually joining the NSW Ladies Golf Union in 1906.
The first Championship was played in 1904, the winner being Mrs Thompson. Over the early days, there were several players who won the Championship many times, the most outstanding being Mrs Frances Adams, with a record of eleven titles. As well as being a keep golfer, Frances Adams was a dedicated committee member.
Mrs Mary Hoddle who won the championship twice gave valuable service as honorary secretary for many years, in building the Club.
In 1925 the Associates donated money to complete the grass greens. The Associates President at that time was Mrs Nellie Knowlman, who was very interested in beautifying the course. She personally planted the coloured hawthorns at the back of the 18th Green, and lined the fairway of the 7th with prunus. When in flower in spring, the sight delights players and artists alike.
Among the many cups and trophies donated by members and associates, the most coveted is the Nellie Knowlman Rose Bowl, donated by Mr J.E. Knowlman as a memorial to his wife.
The South Coast and Southern Tablelands Championship cup was donated by Mr L.T. Watson of “Wollogorang” and is played for annually at the Goulburn Associates’ Open bay, and draws top players from many clubs.
The Central Southern Golf Association was formed in 1928 at Canberra. Mrs S.N. Bruce (later Viscountess), wife of the then Prime Minister, donated the Bruce Cup for team members playing off scratch match play between Association Clubs. The first match was played at Goulburn on 29th May, 1929.
In 1931 Mrs Dorothy Baxter of Goulburn donated the Bronze Shield for Association teams playing off handicap.
The first C.S.G.A. tournament was played at Goulburn in 1929 and the CS.G.A. celebrated its 50th birthday in October 1978 with a Golden Jubilee Tournament played over three days at Goulburn, drawing an entry of 300 players.
Goulburn Golf Club’s Associates’ bronze shield team who represented the central zone this season. They won the final from Bowral Country Club at Yass recently, giving Goulburn its first win since 1935. Members of the team from left: Mesdames A. Granger, J. Chalker, H. Hickman, M. Cooper (Captain), M. Hahn and B. Ferguson (August 1973).
Lady Members Most Honoured
Anne Bourchier who’s name appears on several Honour Boards, won 10 single Club Championships also 4 mixed foursomes championships and 7 foursomes championships. Jess Beattie also named on the Honour Board, won 5 single championships, foursomes championships. Jess also won many Crookwell Club Championships.
Shirley Weir, also named on the Honour Boards, won 8 single club championships, 10 mixed foursomes and 3 foursomes championships.
Mrs C Adams, won 3 single club championships during World War One and later won 8 championships.
Una Mitchell, won 9 single club championships Edna Emery won 5 single club championships.
“A” GRADE: Goulburn Golf Club was a foundation member of the `A’ Grade Pennants of Illawarra and Southern Tablelands Golf Association Teams coming form Wollongong, Moss Vale, Goulburn, Royal Canberra and Yass. Competition started in 1948. It was the first time ‘A’ Pennants were played outside the Metropolitan area.
After some years Port Kembla, Federal Canberra, Bowral Country Club, Yowani, Tully Park and Nowra Club joined. With all these clubs the `A’ Grade Pennant was divided into two divisions with the winner of each playing a Final.
With the formation of the ACT Monaro Association it was decided to have one division in this Association, member clubs being; Goulburn, Royal Canberra, Federal Canberra, Yass and Yowani.
One Pennant match In 1949 – Goulburn First: P Todkill lost to F Buckley; J Powell won from J Woods; J Collins won from R McKay; W Hurley lost to M Stringer; W Holloway won from C Barnes; D Urquhart won from G Brandon and J Donnelly lost to Mr McKay – Goulburn Won 4 – 3. “B” Division: B Division Pennants first started in the late 1950’s with the following club teams. Tully Park (the only club with grass greens); Crookwell; Queanbeyan; Braidwood; Yass; Gunning. These courses all had sand greens. Goulburn Club entered in the 1960’s and with the above clubs continued the “B” Division. Other clubs to enter over the years have been Duntroon; Cooma: Fairbairn; Belconnen (now Woodhaven Green); Gloucester (now Capital). Over the years competition has always been keenly contested and all who have taken part have thoroughly enjoyed themselves.