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The major role of the Golf Society of Australia is to manage the Heritage Collection and Library on behalf of Golf Australia.

The Golf Society undertakes the role of ‘Museum Committee’ on behalf of Golf Australia and is responsible for GA’s heritage collections.

The broader objectives of the ‘Museum Committee’ are:

  • Develop the Golf Heritage collection, including managing the acquisition of items of golfing significance.
  • Develop golfing records/databases as appropriate.
  • Manage the preservation of the physical items in the Golf Heritage collection.
  • Document and catalogue the Golf Heritage collection.
  • Support the development and installation of Golf Heritage displays.
  • Provide historical expertise on Golf Heritage.

 

  • Description of collection material

The collection is made up of various golfing material culture. The collections covers 19th to 21st centuries. It is primarily an Australian golf collection, yet there are international items of Australian significance and relevance. The items include:

  • Equipment – clubs, balls, tees and bags in a range of styles and types over time. Clubs used by important Australian golfers.
  • Trophies and medals – competitive, participatory and presentation.
  • Photographs – golfers, winners and significant events. For example, sets of photographs from each Australian amateur and open championship.
  • Apparel and golf fashion – range of styles or used by significant golfers or worn in major events. For example, a Royal and Ancient Golf Club Captain’s jacket and medal.
  • Ephemera – score cards, tickets, programs, rule books etc
  • Books – printed material relating to all aspects of golf tuition, courses and course design, biographies and auto-biographies, club histories, handbooks and golf magazines.
  • Historical accounts – written by notable people, or about events and places and golf experiences. This includes personal scrapbooks and diaries.
  • Artwork – original, limited edition or reproductions images representing golf.

 

Aims and objectives of collecting activities:

  • To acquire a rounded and comprehensive collection of golfing related material culture.
  • To cover within the collection: all Australian golfing, all Australian states and territories, all eras, all levels, all genders, through a wide variety of artefacts.
  • To prioritise a single representation/copy of any object, judged according to its value to the core areas covered in the collection.
  • To acquire items that have a direct and meaningful connection with people, events, or representation of Australian golf culture.
  • To acquire items that come with documentation demonstrating provenance and the items history.

 

Collecting priority themes:

  • Famous Australian players, or international players who have Australian relevance.
  • Important historical figures in golf in Australia.
  • Early development of the game in Australia.
  • Representation of women in golf at all levels and all periods.
  • Australian golfing culture and lifestyle.
  • Other non-playing areas of golf culture – administration, press, design, technology etc.
  • Victorian golf history.
  • The story and history of the PGA.
  • Sand belt golf history.

You can read the full Acquisition and Disposal Policy here.

Exhibition

Items from the collection are on display at the Australian Golf Centre, Sandringham Links and in the Clubhouse at Moonah Links on the Mornington Peninsula 

Burtta Cheney display cabinet in the Thomson Room

Burtta Cheney display cabinet in the Thomson Room

History of Golf

Some of the clubs in the Museum

  • Clubs used by Louis A Whyte, first Australian Amateur Champion (1894) in canvas bag with wood ‘carry stand’
  • Clubs used by Warren Bennett, 100th Australian Amateur Champion in 1994
  • Club used by P C Anderson, winner of British Amateur Championship 1893
  • Clubs used by Doug Bachli, the first Australian to win the British Amateur Championship, in 1954
  • Putter used by Peter Thomson in 1956 British Open
  • Driver used by David Graham to win the US Open in 1981
  • Pitching wedge used by Kel Nagle in Centenary British Open in 1960
  • Sand iron used by Greg Norman in British Open 1986
  • Set of irons used by Ossie Pickworth, four-time winner of Australian Open
  • Driver used by Betty Kernot to win the Australian Ladies’ Amateur Championship 1937 & 1938
  • Clubs used by Lindy Goggin, Australian Ladies’ Amateur Champion 1971, 1977 & 1980

Other items in the collection

  • Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews Captain’s Jacket and medal
  • Trophies won by Harry Williams, W A Higgins, Alf & Peter Toogood, Mona Macleod, Judith Percy and others
  • Selection of golf club making equipment
  • the Moncur Collection – series of films of golf in Australia in 1950’s and 1960’s
  • Don Lawrence Collection – scrapbooks, photographs and press-related material
  • The Library collection includes books on tuition, biographies & autobiographies, club histories, handbooks and bound series of Australian golf publications
ball display

Items sought for the Museum

  • Clubs – range of styles and types over time, including those significant for their style, maker or use, unique and unusual designs
  • Balls, tees & bags – different styles and method of manufacture, etc
  • Medals & trophies – significant events and winners
  • Apparel and golf fashions
  • Score cards – courses, course records and other significant scores, changes to courses, etc
  • Courses design and green-keeping, including design, construction and management
  • Rules – records of rules, changes and decisions
  • Books and other printed material relating to all aspects of golf
  • Material relating to golf tuition
  • Club records, including published histories
  • Historical accounts written about and by notable people, or about events and places

Some images of the display cabinets and Library in the Thomson Room at the AGC 

Other images are of items held in the collection and the display cabinets at Moonah Links Resort on the Mornington Peninsula 

Hover over image for description.

Captain's Jacket
R&A Captain’s Jacket worn by Dr Harold Gardiner-Hill, Captain in 1956

Library and Magazines 

Several International magazines are held in the Collection.

Through the Green – Journal of the British Golf Collectors Society (BGCS)

A list of all issues held is being created. Indexed issues are available.

GolfikaMagazine of the European Association of golf historians & collectors

A series of the magazine dated from 2008 -2022 has been kindly donated by member John Lovell

A list of all issues held can be found here. Note it is not Indexed.

https://golfsocietyaust.com/wp-content/uploads/Golfika-magazines-listed.xlsx

For your research or just enjoyment, if you wish to read any of the magazines, please contact the Secretary to arrange a visit to the Australian Golf Centre. The publications cannot be taken offsite.