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May 3 Commonwealth GC

By Historians Forum No Comments

The first Forum for the year was held at The Commonwealth Golf Club which, unfortunately for them, celebrated their Centenary in 2020. In recognition of this achievement the Club released a history titled ‘The First 100 Years’. The author, Charles Happell, was our guest speaker and provided thirty members and guests with an engrossing presentation of what he describes as the ‘colourful and vibrant’ history of the Club.
Aided by an unpublished document, written by noted historian Joseph Johnson, Happell delved into the characters and circumstances that make Commonwealth a unique Club. This uniqueness is perhaps best illustrated by the rejection of the overtures of one of the great ‘Golden Age’ architects Dr. Alister MacKenzie. The succinct note from the Club to MacKenzie declining his services is one for the ages.
That Commonwealth could reject such overtures and yet still boast a golf course of undoubted quality is without question due to the efforts of one man, Charles Lane. Lane was the dominant force in the Club and in 1926 he went on a self -funded six-month study tour where he spent time in the US with Walter Travis and in the UK with Harry Colt. No doubt he returned brimming with ideas and thus it is no surprise that the Club rejected the services of MacKenzie.
This was but one of the engrossing stories in the book that Charles spoke about. Further chapters that were touched upon dealt with other important figures such as Bill Edgar, Harry Williams, Eric Routley, Sloan Morpeth, Louise Briers, Rick Wines, Jarrod Lyle, Marc Leishman and others too many to mention.
Charles’ book is a worthy addition to the annals of Australian golfing histories and Commonwealth should be justifiably proud of it. Thank you to both Charles and the Heritage Committee of The Commonwealth Golf Club, led by its Chair Ian Pearce, for making their contribution to the first forum of the year such an interesting and insightful event.
Charles gave some insight into how such a book is produced, particularly in researching and verifying a club’s history, collating the photos, member stories and the importance of proof reading. He complimented his talk with a power point slide show.
Charles willingly took questions from the floor and his responses were assisted by members Virginia Gorrell, Ian Pearce, and Stephen Spargo.
The second speaker on the program was Paul Burgess, Woodlands GC member, long time GSA member and a regular contributor to forums. Paul gave an interesting talk about a misplaced trophy and how it found its way back to Woodlands Golf Club.
The following extracts are from Paul’s talk …
A couple of years ago a stranger arrived at the club to donate a baseless trophy in the form of an elegant silver cup inscribed

Woodlands Golf Club City of Mordialloc
Coronation Cup Won by S.L-Anderson 12-5-1937
Presented by Cr Edwards Mayor

Exactly how he acquired it is unknown and regrettably his name and details were not recorded at the time.
It was decided to have a new base fitted and a local trophy maker was given the order to fit a new one so it could be displayed at the club.
Somehow the order was overlooked and forgotten about until recently when the cup was again returned to the club, but still without a base or stand.
The trophy has now been remounted courtesy of Mike Smith, a member with wood making skills who crafted a new base.
The earliest mention of the Coronation found to date in Victorian golfing circles was when Royal Melbourne Golf Club applied on the 8th of October 1936, to the Victorian Golf Association for two Coronation Medals.
Then in February 1937 the VGA asked its affiliated clubs to celebrate the coronation of King George VI suggesting they conduct special events on 8th May which was the Saturday preceding the Coronation scheduled for Wednesday, 12th May in London, England
It is worth noting no mention of medals has been found in newspaper golfing results reports.
Apparently not all clubs agreed to go along with the V.G.A. suggestion, though from the results in a Melbourne newspaper “The Herald” many metropolitan and country clubs did hold special Coronation Day competitions.
Commonwealth Golf Club responded positively to the V.G.A. declaring Coronation Day would be there opening day for the season and hosted a mid-week Open Scratch Event on Wednesday 12 May 1937.
Woodlands Golf Club responded even more patriotically by conducting a bogey handicap event for members with the prize being the “Coronation Cup”. It was the only trophy so named like that and records show Mr S. L. Anderson, off a handicap of 2, won it with a score of 3 up.
Mr Anderson joined the club as a junior two years previously and was obviously a handy golfer as in the same year, club champion
Paul brought the trophy along for us to see, and in a nice gesture to acknowledge the reference made to Commonwealth GC and their Coronation event, he presented Ian Pearce with a framed account of the early beginnings of the Coronation Cup.

Historians Convenor – Tony Rule
Honorary Secretary – Kim Hastie

Richard Fellner wins the 2021 Presidents Trophy

By 2021, Presidents Trophy No Comments

On a fine day at Royal Melbourne, our popular Presidents Trophy returned to its regular venue with players enjoying the course in great winter dormant conditions.
Secretary Kim Hastie welcomed the field, acknowledging regular players, the several past winners and the new members attending.
With a condition of 7 clubs only, nine holes of stroke was played in the morning with the top 4 nett scores progressing to the matchplay in the afternoon.
With the help of the Pro Shop, the top four scores were determined and announced at lunch.
For the sudden death matchplay, play was on the East Course and results came quickly.
Top qualifier with a score of Nett 37 was Guenter Oechsle, playing fourth qualifier Geoff Knight (38 c/b) with Guenter winning on their first hole.
In the other match, second qualifier John Trevorrow (38 c/b) played third qualifier and 2017 Runner up Richard Fellner (38 c/b) and despite playing from two bunkers Richard prevailed on their first hole.
So, finalists Geoff and Richard progress to their first hole the 3rd East (due to the 2nd being out of play) Richard set himself up with a great drive while Geoff found himself short right.
Richard followed up with great iron into the green and a favourable bounce saw him sit comfortably for two and a certain Par, and Geoff could not match the shots and Richard wins his first Presidents Trophy.
After golf drinks were enjoyed as President Graeme Ryan presented the trophy to Richard
We expect to see Richard participating in many more events as he informed us after 15 years as Editor of the Inside Golf Magazine he has retired from the role.
Our congratulations to Richard for the many years heading up and producing the widely circulated publication.
The Society thanks all staff involved for a successful and enjoyable day at Royal Melbourne.

Kim Hastie Hon Secretary – July 2021

The Walter Travis Hickory Tournament

By Hickory No Comments

Maldon Golf Club Sunday 18th July 2021

Walter Travis

Born in Maldon – 10 January 1862

5th Annual Hickory Players Tournament

Maldon Golf Club

Sunday July 18th 2021

10:30am Registration
11am Hit-off
$10 entry
Scratch and Handicap

Enquiries:
Simon Sheedy
0408314662

Peceptual
Schenectady Putter
Trophy to Scratch Winner

Australasian 12 Hole Hickory Cup 2021 report

By Hickory No Comments

Australasian 12 Hole Hickory Cup 2021

The fourth consecutive year of the ‘Cup’ was played in April.
Usually comprising three rounds of 12 holes, this year’s event was modified to a single round of 18 holes.
With Covid-19 restrictions looming and travel unlikely, to keep the event alive, a decision was made to run a “ Remote Cup “ by inviting International golfers to play their rounds at their own courses on day as close as possible to the same day as the Australian players.

There were teams and individual players representing Australia from Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland and they competed against Internationals from three US states and New Zealand.
Unfortunately, a strong entry of 13 Canadians had to withdraw due to the country’s own lockdown restrictions.

In the field of 86 players, there was increased interest from Professionals with total of 11 playing including 6 Australians.

The format was Stableford, as it was felt by using each player’s official world handicap it accommodated differences in the lengths and Par of the courses played in a manner stroke play could not.

For this year’s event, a section for Women was introduced with a team from Melbourne and Arizona USA competing and it is anticipated the numbers will grow in future events.

Around the remote locations as players got under way and results started to come in
several posts and photos appeared on Facebook pages, showing players enjoying their rounds and embracing the 2021 modified event.

The Americans performed well but it was Australia’s Professional Tim Sayers playing at Bankstown GC Sydney winning the scratch event for the fourth year in a row.
In the team events the USA were convincing winners.

Locally here in Victoria the host club was The Valley on the Mornington
Peninsula and on a superb Autumn afternoon 27 players enjoyed their 18 holes.

At the after golf function, players enjoyed a splendid dinner as results and presentations were made.

To close the day, the playing group gave thanks and a round of applause to The Valley Golf Club and its staff and particularly to acknowledge organisers, members Peter Stickley and Brenda Rogers, whose hard work ensured this innovative way to run the 2021 event was successful and contributed to the growing interest in hickory golf.

Peter Stickley

Results:

Professionals
1st Tim Sayers 36pts Australia
2nd Jim von Lossow 34pts USA
3rd Corey Cruikshank 30pts Australia
4th Lee Hunt 29 Australia

Hickory Cup (Scratch)

Winner Tim Sayers 36pts Australia
Runner up Jim von Lossow 34 pts USA

Teams Events

Winners Men: 94 points
Jim von Lossow USA
Andrew von Lossow USA
Paul Murphy USA
Tom Carstens USA

Runners up Men: 90 points
Tyler Barron USA
Mark Taylor USA
Ryan Camp USA
Ron Sebold USA

Winners Women: 58 points
Rylee Stovall USA
Playa Schultz USA
Abbey Shutte USA
Raylee Bowers USA

Runners Up : 49 points
Brenda Rogers Australia
Kim Hastie Australia
Shelley Turek Australia

Dinner at Kingston Heath Golf Club – Dinner postponed a rescheduled date to be advised

By 2021, Events No Comments

Dinner at Kingston Heath Golf Club
Kingston Road, Cheltenham

Dinner postponed a rescheduled date to be advised

The Committee takes pleasure in inviting you to our second dinner for the year.
Joining us for the night will be the Director of Courses at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Richard Forsyth
Richard has overseen the course preparation of two President’s Cups at Royal Melbourne in 2011 and 2019.
Hear what goes on behind the scenes to create playing conditions that Tiger Woods described as “beyond a dream”
Please join us for what promises to be an enjoyable evening.

March dinner report – Metropolitan Golf Club 23 March

By 2021, Events, Dinner No Comments

A well-attended first dinner for the year, saw members and guests enjoy some Metropolitan Golf Club hospitality.

The committee was incredibly pleased when James Sutherland CEO of Golf Australia accepted the invitation to speak at the dinner.

James quickly had his audience engaged, sharing some facts and figures about female participation numbers and the recent general playing increases that clubs have seen since golf came back after covid lockdowns.

His insight into where Australian golf sits compared to other large sports and the ongoing challenges the game faces gave us all something to think about.

After his talk James took questions from the floor.

President Graeme Ryan and committee thank James for generously giving us his time.

Read more as Committee member John Trevorrow recaps James Sutherlands talk.

Speaker – James Sutherland CEO Golf Australia

A sport for all

“Where have all the female golfers gone?” That was one of the challenging questions posed recently by James Sutherland, the new CEO of Golf Australia.

Mr Sutherland, in a speech to a Golf Society of Australia dinner at The Metropolitan GC, identified two crucial challenges facing all golfers and clubs: how to inspire more women and the next generation of young people, to discover and enjoy the game.

He said 20% of all golf club members across Australia today are female. In 1970, this figure was 34% and the zenith for women club membership was 1993 when 114,000 women across Australia were paid-up members. By 2019, this figure had fallen to 77,000 – a drop of more than 33%

“It is part of our ‘social licence’ as custodians of this great game to do better,” he said.

Mr Sutherland, who spent 17 successful years as CEO of Cricket Australia, was reflecting in late March on his five key observations after six months in charge of Golf Australia. As well as the challenge of falling female participation, he identified:

Golf is thriving. But is this real and sustained, or a fool’s paradise?
Club competition rounds played are up 20% and membership is up by 42,000 golfers after the Covid-affected year just past.
“We have to wait and see if these newcomers are here to stay beyond Covid,” he said.

Golf is a fragmented sport, but what is its potential?
Mr Sutherland believes exciting times are ahead with a national alignment and strategy. Golf Australia plans to run a survey of key people involved in the game. And the imminent move into the new Australian Golf Centre under construction at Sandringham, which will house Golf Australia, the PGA of Australia, and Golf Victoria, offers better collaborations.
The centre, funded by a $15.3million investment from the Victorian Government, includes a revamped Sandringham course plus practice and tuition facilities, and is due to open by late July.

We golfers are getting older
The average age of female club members in Australia is 63.9 years. The average male is 54.7 years old.
“Our number one KPI should be to attract new kids to play golf. All Golf Australia and PGA people, and all members of clubs, need to be doing more to attract and inspire the next generation of golfers.”

Tournaments are important, but are they good or bad for business?
He said that having to cancel important tournaments, including the 2020 Australian Open and 2021 Women’s Australian Open, were among the major decisions forced on Golf Australia because of the global Covid pandemic.
Mr Sutherland said such calls were met with a range of reactions.
“When you’re faced with the obvious health concerns, but also the commercial realities of putting on a tournament that might not meet some of our stakeholders’ expectations, it becomes a very delicate balancing act.
“Tournaments have traditionally been the shop window of golf to many, so it becomes imperative to think outside the box to keep golf front of mind.”
He left the audience pondering the challenges by asking: what was the biggest single television audience for golf in Australia? The answer was the first episode of “Holey Moley” – the reality TV show which features sudden-death matches on a super-sized mini-golf set whose resident pro is Greg Norman. Its first Australian episode attracted one million viewers.

“Many of these people were new eyeballs for golf. We have to ask ourselves what we all can do to make golf more appealing to younger players and to a wider participation,” he said.

Now THAT is food for thought.

John Trevorrow

Historians report Commonwealth Golf Monday 3 May

By 2021, Events No Comments

The first Forum for the year was held at The Commonwealth Golf Club which, unfortunately for them, celebrated their Centenary in 2020. In recognition of this achievement the Club released a history titled ‘The First 100 Years’. The author, Charles Happell, was our guest speaker and provided thirty members and guests with an engrossing presentation of what he describes as the ‘colourful and vibrant’ history of the Club.
Aided by an unpublished document, written by noted historian Joseph Johnson, Happell delved into the characters and circumstances that make Commonwealth a unique Club. This uniqueness is perhaps best illustrated by the rejection of the overtures of one of the great ‘Golden Age’ architects Dr. Alister MacKenzie. The succinct note from the Club to MacKenzie declining his services is one for the ages.
That Commonwealth could reject such overtures and yet still boast a golf course of undoubted quality is without question due to the efforts of one man, Charles Lane. Lane was the dominant force in the Club and in 1926 he went on a self -funded six-month study tour where he spent time in the US with Walter Travis and in the UK with Harry Colt. No doubt he returned brimming with ideas and thus it is no surprise that the Club rejected the services of MacKenzie.
This was but one of the engrossing stories in the book that Charles spoke about. Further chapters that were touched upon dealt with other important figures such as Bill Edgar, Harry Williams, Eric Routley, Sloan Morpeth, Louise Briers, Rick Wines, Jarrod Lyle, Marc Leishman and others too many to mention.
Charles’ book is a worthy addition to the annals of Australian golfing histories and Commonwealth should be justifiably proud of it. Thank you to both Charles and the Heritage Committee of The Commonwealth Golf Club, led by its Chair Ian Pearce, for making their contribution to the first forum of the year such an interesting and insightful event.
Charles gave some insight into how such a book is produced, particularly in researching and verifying a club’s history, collating the photos, member stories and the importance of proof reading. He complimented his talk with a power point slide show.
Charles willingly took questions from the floor and his responses were assisted by members Virginia Gorrell, Ian Pearce, and Stephen Spargo.
The second speaker on the program was Paul Burgess, Woodlands GC member, long time GSA member and a regular contributor to forums. Paul gave an interesting talk about a misplaced trophy and how it found its way back to Woodlands Golf Club.
The following extracts are from Paul’s talk …
A couple of years ago a stranger arrived at the club to donate a baseless trophy in the form of an elegant silver cup inscribed Woodlands Golf Club City of Mordialloc
Coronation Cup Won by S.L-Anderson 12-5-1937
Presented by Cr Edwards Mayor
Exactly how he acquired it is unknown and regrettably his name and details were not recorded at the time.
It was decided to have a new base fitted and a local trophy maker was given the order to fit a new one so it could be displayed at the club.
Somehow the order was overlooked and forgotten about until recently when the cup was again returned to the club, but still without a base or stand.
The trophy has now been remounted courtesy of Mike Smith, a member with wood making skills who crafted a new base.
The earliest mention of the Coronation found to date in Victorian golfing circles was when Royal Melbourne Golf Club applied on the 8th of October 1936, to the Victorian Golf Association for two Coronation Medals.
Then in February 1937 the VGA asked its affiliated clubs to celebrate the coronation of King George VI suggesting they conduct special events on 8th May which was the Saturday preceding the Coronation scheduled for Wednesday, 12th May in London, England
It is worth noting no mention of medals has been found in newspaper golfing results reports.
Apparently not all clubs agreed to go along with the V.G.A. suggestion, though from the results in a Melbourne newspaper “The Herald” many metropolitan and country clubs did hold special Coronation Day competitions.
Commonwealth Golf Club responded positively to the V.G.A. declaring Coronation Day would be there opening day for the season and hosted a mid-week Open Scratch Event on Wednesday 12 May 1937.
Woodlands Golf Club responded even more patriotically by conducting a bogey handicap event for members with the prize being the “Coronation Cup”. It was the only trophy so named like that and records show Mr S. L. Anderson, off a handicap of 2, won it with a score of 3 up.
Mr Anderson joined the club as a junior two years previously and was obviously a handy golfer as in the same year, club champion
Paul brought the trophy along for us to see and in a nice gesture , to acknowledge the reference made to Commonwealth GC and their Coronation event, he presented Ian Pearce with a framed account of the early beginnings of the Coronation Cup.

Historians Convenor – Tony Rule
Honorary Secretary – Kim Hastie

Australasian 12 Hole Hickory Cup

By Hickory No Comments

Australasian 12 Hole Hickory Cup

Temporary Format 2021

In order to assure where possible the continuation of the Cup during 2021 and to avoid cancellation of travel arrangements, the Cup will be played in Melbourne with games also played in remote locations both Nationally and Internationally.

YOU ARE INVITED

DATES

Melbourne 30th April 2021 (12 Noon)

The Valley Golf, Sport and Leisure

10b Country Club Drive, Safety Beach 3936

International and remote Australian locations April 16-29 to suit

Results must be registered by 12 noon Est 30th April

Scoring – Stableford utilizing the British Golf Collectors Society handicap coversion rules.

Replica clubs may be used and balls of your choice.

Competitors must have personal insurance and agree in no event to make claim for injury or losss from Organizer/s of the event.

Period dress encouraged – please send photos with results (not compulsory).

Each team is encouraged to include a Professional.

PRIZES:

  • The CUP – best gross winner will receive a same size replica with name engraved.
  • • Gross Runner Up.
  • Men’s Team – best 2 net scores each hole.
  • Men’s Team Runner Up.
  • Women’s Team – best 2 net scores each hole.
  • Women’s Team Runner Up.
  • Professional Purse minimum 4 places depending on the size of the field.

Click here to download the application form.