THE HISTORY OF THE GARFIELD GOLF CLUB
On the 1st weekend of March, 2004, Garfield golf club members celebrated 75 years since the inaugural meeting the Garfield District Golf Club in March 1929. In preparation for this event, Life Member Paul Wheeler spent many hours reviewing old minute books and interviewing current and past members to enable compilation of the following historical details and commentary.
On March 10th, 1929, thirteen men and one lady met in Garfield to discuss the formation of a golf club. Dr.K.J. McLeod was nominated as Chairman and R.L. Pitches was asked to take the minutes.
At the meeting, Dr. McLeod related exactly what had to be accomplished in regard to the formation of a local golf club. Mr. R. James moved that the meeting decide to bring the matter to a definite position inregard to the leasing of land and the formation of a club to be called “The Garfield District Golf Club”. This motion was seconded by Mr. S. Howell and carried unanimously.
A committee was then elected with the result being:
President – Dr. K.J. McLeod
Vice-Presidents – S.V. Howell and R.L. Pitches
Secretary/Treasurer: L.B. Evans
General Committee – Messrs W. Robertson, P. Ridgway, P. Pratt, W. Waugh, A.G. Mackie.
It was noted that a captain would be appointed at a later date.
Also present at this inaugural meeting were Messrs R. James, E.L. Towt, H.N. Stokes, W. Leonard and Mrs. E.L. Towt. Mr. Robertson moved that all gentlemen and lady present at this meeting be recognized as the foundation members of the Garfield and District Golf Club. This motion was seconded by Mr. Towt and carried.Subscriptions for the following year were set at one pound and one shilling ($2.10) for Members (men) and ten shillings and six pence ($1.05) for Associates (this term was for lady golf club members until the mid eighties).
The club owes a debt of gratitude to these 13 men and 1 lady For their foresight in commencing a club that has given and will continue to give the members of today and the future members a place to combine sport and companionship in the most enjoyable way possible, which all agree was on a golf course.
On April 10 the club signes a lease of 321 acres and 27 perches on the south side of Mont Albert Road, between Brownbill and Gillespie Roads. The terms of the lease being for the sum of five pounds five shillings ($10.50) per annum and permitting the club to enter upon the land under the following conditions:
1 The club had the right to enter upon the above land for the purpose of playing the game known as
2 The club has the right to create the required number of greens (not more than 18) with each green being no more than forty feet in diameter.
3 The club has the right to cart sand onto the said land to cover a depth of two inches for each
green. (NOTE: The so-called greens were sand scrapes as water was not available).
4 The club has the right to erect such bunkers as found to be necessary to complete the golf course but the land or anything thereon must not be interfered with without the permission of the owner.
5 The club agrees not to interfere with the fences erected on the said land.
The first committee meeting was held at the residence of Mr. R.L. Pitches on 18th April, 1929. The
principle business was to deal with nominations and general discussions as to the work to be done at the links. The very first game recorded as held on the links was May 25th, 1929, an exceptional effort as the lease was only signed some 6 weeks prior. It was Men’s Day and 14 players hit off. P. Ridgway recorded the best gross and nett scores of 99-22-77. The Associates held their first event on June 1st, 1929, a 9 hole competition with Mrs. Leask recorded as the winner with 72-12-60.
Joining the club in June, 1929 was Mrs. E.C. Cox, mother of the late Fred, a name that to this day is with the club, that of Life Member Mrs. Fred (Maureen) Cox. Mr. E.C. Cox won the tender for the erection of the club house for a payment of eighteen pounds fifteen shillings ($37.50).
1930 – 1938
Garfield joined the Pakenham Golf Association 1n 1930. Affiliation fees being one pound ten shillings
In the district there were golf clubs at Bunyip (Mortimer’s Hill north of the highway and later at the Bunyip
racecourse), Berwick, Drouin, Koo Wee Rup, Lang Lang, Nar Nar Goon and Pakenham (about where
today’s’ Consolidated school is sited, next to the creek).
August 1930 saw three days of 18 hole stroke for the club championships, and after perusal of scores
recorded, Dr. K.J. McLeod became Garfield’s first Club Champion with scores of 85, 84, 83 totaling 252.
Dr. McLeod was appointed the clubs first Captain at the 1931 annual meeting.
A one day tournament was held on August 29th. Five events were programmed with entry fees of two
shillings and one shilling (20c and 10c), with afternoon tea six pence (5c). No results are to be found, but
receipts for the day totaled seven pounds three shillings and seven pence $14.36).
Garfield joined the Gippsland Golf Association in 1932. Affiliation fees being ten shillings six pence
2 teams were entered the 1932 Pakenham Golf Association pennant.
A meeting of Associates in May 1932 appointed Mrs. McLeod Captain and Mrs. W.J. Robertson Secretary.
At this meeting it was decided that associates completions would be played on Wednesdays. The golf
season would be approximately April to October, depending on weather conditions. In 1933 this was
extended a further 6 weeks.
October 1933 Dr. and Mrs. McLeod resigned, moving his practice to a metropolitan area, and at that
October meeting it was moved Mr. Mackie, seconded Mr. Ridgway, that Dr. K.J. McLeod and Mrs. McLeod
be appointed Honorary Life Member and Horary Life Associate of the Garfield Golf Club. The motion was
Dr. McLeod and his wife were one of the driving forces behind the formation of the club being first
President and first Captain, first Club Champion and first life member.
One letter of note in 1935 to Warragul golf club, thanking them for the invitation to their season opening
day but, but owing to cricket still being in progress, it would be impossible for Garfield to send
1934 Garfield joined West Gippsland Sub District Golf Association in 1934. This being the inaugural year of West
In 1936 affiliation fees were first paid for the Associates to join the Victorian Ladies Golf Union – now
Women’s Golf Victoria.
At the April 1938 committee meeting it was agreed to conduct a 9 hole mixed foursome event with trophies
being golf balls. The Secretary authorised to buy 1 dozen new balls.
At the 1939 Annual General Meeting, details were given to the members of the owners plans to sell the
land on which the course was located. It was agreed that a Special General Meeting would be held in April
to discuss alternative locations. One of these being land owned by Mr. A. Duncan at Thirteen Mile Road –
The location of the current course.
1939 – 1945
The period of World War II was a period where families were broken up, not only for war service, but to
where people were sent for employment to “wherever told”. Girls went farming in the Land Army and men
who weren’t in the services joined the Citizen Military Forces. Many country men and women were sent to
work in city factories, in particular the munitions factory at Maribyrnong and aircraft factory at Fishermans
Sporting clubs suffered, league football was cut to eleven teams. Many clubs curtailed activities,
particularly in 1942 when war reached Australian shores. Garfield Golf Club was no different and was
disbanded in 1942.
1945 – 1947
Now, with World War II behind the people of Australia, service men and women began returning to the
work force and also the sporting arena.
Golf which was previously looked upon as an older persons and elitist sport now became a sport for the
“younger brigade”. In particular as these sporting personnel found they were “too old” for football,
basketball and cycling were looking for an interest that would last and take them into another period.
Naturally golf was a sport to fill this requirement and a new era at Garfield commenced.
On March 22nd, 1945 the 15th A.G.M, was held where it was moved by Mrs. Chappell, that the Garfield
District Golf Club be reformed. This motion was seconded Mrs. O’Halloran and was carried unanimously.
Office Bearers elected at this meeting being:
President – N. O’Halloran
VicePresident – E.L, Towt (foundation member)
Captain – F. Butler
Secretary – N. Sturzaker
Treasurer – F. Rigg.
Committee – T. Lawlor, A. Parish, J. Cocks, C. Chappell.
Annual subscriptions were set at twenty five shillings ($2.50) for Members and twelve shillings six pence
($1.25) for Associates.
The club re-affiliated with the controlling Golf Associations and Union. Members and Associates rejoined
and the club was again in operation. Represented in the club were store keepers, orchardists, farmers,
local workers and a floating population from banks, police, teachers and the clergy.
A new era was about to commence where today’s’ readers will recognise and recall familiar names.
While the club was temporarily disbanded, the land on which the course was located had changed hands
from Mr. Robertson to Mr. Wrigglesworth. A short term lease was arranged with Mr. Wrigglesworth and the
course was set up once more with working bees held on April 7
once more at Garfield.
It appears that the Bunyip Golf Club was having issues with securing land for their golf course and on
Messrs. N. O’Sullivan and J. Cocks attended representing the Bunyip club. There is no documented
outcome of that meeting but it is assumed that the two clubs combined as Mr. Cocks is mentioned as an
active member in later minutes.
A follow up meeting was held on February 20
1. The option of establishing a new course on the property of Mr. Andy Duncan be pursued.
2. On the motion of Mr. O’Halloran and Mr. Parish that Mr. Towt and the secretary, Mr. Chappell, be
appointed to draw up and submit an agreement to Mr. Duncan regarding the leasing of land for the
purpose if establishing a new golf course.
3. The secretary was to write to Mr. Wrigglesworth for permission to remove the clubhouse from the
4. The next Annual General Meeting was to be scheduled in the following month.
The Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday March 4th 1947 at the Garfield Hall with the minutes
Office Bearers President – E.L. Towt
Vice-Presidents – A. Parish and J. Hosking
Secretary – W. Jonas
Treasurer – F. Rigg
Captain – N. O’Halloran
Associatees Committee President – Mrs. Hosking
Vice-President – Mrs. O’Halloran
Secretary/Treasurer – Mrs. Towt
The agreement with Mr. Duncan for the lease of land at Thirteen Mile Road be adopted and
That a sub-committee of three be appointed to layout the new golf course. The three gentlemen
chosen being N. O’Halloran, J. Cocks and W. Jonas.
That the Berwick Shire power grader be hired to form 9 greens (sandscrapes) when the course was
laid out and that the Secretary be empowered to obtain sand for the new course.
That the sub-committee to have the power to engage the necessary machinery to construct the golf
That the Annual subscriptions remain at twenty five shillings ($2.50) for Members and twelve
shillings six pence ($1.25) for Associates.
That, if possible, Opening Day would be held on 17
The following day, Wednesday March 5
duly signed by Andrew William Duncan owner of the 222 acres and 20 perches and the Garfield District
Golf Club on whose behalf the signatures of President Ernest Loftus Towt and Honorary Secretary Cecil
William Thomas Jonas appears. The annual rent to be ten pounds ($20.00).
The Opening Day was held on 17
lease the land was made on 5
A list of competition winners are listed for part of 1947, with N. O’Halloran, W. Jonas, P. Nilsson, E. Towt,
N. Sturzaker being mentioned. Of particular is a July 19
Peter Gleeson (Tynong). Peter would have been a junior, this being his first year of play at Garfield.
This now brings the history of Garfield Golf Club into a new ere where the address has not changed but
the course has changed and expanded.
The history from 1947 is still being compiled and will be added in the near future.