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December 2023

Golf Historians forum – Monday 20 November Latrobe GC

By Events, 2023 No Comments

Latrobe Golf Club is one of three Melbourne clubs celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2023, and a group of GSA members and guests enjoyed a fascinating history forum at its Alphington clubhouse in late November.

The club has updated its history book  ‘Riverside Masterstroke’

Thanks to the hard work of club members Paul Robinson, June Senyard, Brendan Mathews and the late and much-missed Murray Cropley. These four dedicated members added to the earlier history written by former champion player and member Garry Mansfield.

Those at the forum heard the fascinating story of how the club has developed on a 19th century estate once known as ‘Lucerne Farm’

established by early settler Thomas Wills. A grand oak tree planted in 1842 by daughter Kate Wills still spreads its stately boughs beside the 7th green. Known as the Noble Oak, it is the club’s emblem.


Brendan Mathews and Paul Robinson told the forum guests about Latrobe’s evolution from buying a 9-hole public golf course on the old estate, expanding to 18 holes and even developing a 5-hole short course called ‘The Island’ on land surrounded by a loop of the Yarra River between Latrobe and neighbouring Green Acres GC. It opened just a year ago.


They pointed out the site at the top of the clubhouse carpark of the rundown Lucerne mansion which was demolished by Whelan The Wrecker in the 1960s. They proudly described the clubhouse as a social melting pot popular with sporting and racing identities. One former member was a noted SP bookie, and there is a theory that the Great Bookie Robbery might have been hatched in the front bar by shady characters overhearing talk of large amounts of bookies’ cash at the Victoria Club.


GSA member Peter Stickley was a special guest at the forum, and told of being a young assistant pro at Latrobe in 1958-59 under club pro Stan MacGeorge. Stickley used to ride his bike to work from Balwyn to Alphington and had fond memories of his kindly boss. Peter brought a group of historic clubs to display at the forum and explained how he restores old hickory and steel implements. He also donated to Latrobe a left-handed driver stamped with Stan MacGeorge’s name.

After the forum, 10 players enjoyed 9 holes of hickory golf around the picturesque front nine.


Peter Stickley joined the hickory group.


The Noble Oak tree       

Brendan Mathews and Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson with Secretary Stella Cugley and President Kim Hastie

Doug Bachli Trophy and AGM – Monday 13 November 2023

By Events, 2023 No Comments

Annual Meeting Day report – November 13th at Victoria Golf Club.

The day began with players competing for the Doug Bachli Trophy, named in honour of the founding president and life member of the Society and champion amateur golfer.

30 players teed off in delightful afternoon weather, although increasing winds and firm, sanded greens challenged the field. The Trophy (and men’s winner) went to Justin Ryan with 36 points. Men’s runner-up was Andrew Clifford. Women’s winner was Wendy Pullar, with Jenny Picking runner-up.

The AGM was attended by 31 members and saw some changes in the committee personnel. Morag North retired after serving the maximum of 6 years on committee, and President Kim Hastie and all members thanked Morag for all her untiring work. Ian Rowell also retired from committee after a number of years sharing his history skills. Grant Nicholson was elected to join the committee, and his expertise with the collection’s software Mosaic will be greatly appreciated.

The meeting also elected past president Graeme Ryan as a Life Member of the Society. Kim Hastie outlined Graeme’s achievements since joining the society in 2009, in particular his work with Golf Australia which has led to GA annually funding the collections curation work; forming strong relationships with golf history groups in other Australian states and internationally; and introducing a Young Member category to try to ensure the society’s longevity. He was elected unanimously as a life member, and Graeme thanked all for the significant honour. “I shall wear it with pride”

Following the meeting members enjoyed the traditional end of year Cocktail Party.

DBT winner Justin Ryan with President Kim Hastie

Womens winner Wendy Pullar

President Kim with Morag North