The Brisbane Golf Club – Since 1896

History

1896

A group of eleven met at the AMP Chambers on the corner of Queen and Edwards Streets, Brisbane Scan11509on 4 November 1896 and decided “that a Golf Club be formed in Brisbane to be called The Brisbane Golf Club.” It was decided to ask His Excellency The Governor of Queensland, Lord Lamington to be the first President and to establish the course at Chelmer, between Honour Avenue and the river, upstream of the Indooroopilly Bridge. It was announced that upwards of thirty gentlemen had expressed a desire to become members.

On 12 December 1896 on a typical sultry Brisbane summer day, Lord Lamington formally opened the course only 5 weeks and 3 days after the foundation meeting. So began golf in Brisbane, capital of the colony of Queensland. Other golf clubs had already been formed in the provincial centres of Townsville on 4 January 1893 and Toowoomba on 26 August 1896.

 

1897

The first inter-club match was arranged for May when a party from Toowoomba visited.

In June a simple rectangular building set on high hardwood stumps in accordance with the prevailing distinctive Queensland architectural style of the time was opened. The original Club House still stands and is now used as a residence.

In July the committee approved the admittance of ladies as members on the basis they could play on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays but they were not able to use the Club House. Brisbane players won.

 

1898

The first club championship was won by Dr Robert Thompson, a leading ophthalmologist.

First meeting of the Lady Members and election of a committee – first use of the term “Associates” appeared in the Associates’ minutes of 13 May 1899.

 

1899

As there was no security of tenure at Chelmer, there was a concern that residential development would eventually force the club off the “links”. In November 1899, a sub-committee was established to investigate and report on any properties that might be procurable for a new course.

 

1900

Refusal of Colonial Secretary to recommend granting of prefix “Royal” to the club on basis it would only be granted in future to associations having national or charitable objects.

First Queensland Amateur Golf Championships (men and ladies) conducted by the club – won by members, Dr Carvosso and Mrs Cameron.

 

1902

Mrs Eden elected as the first Associates’ captain.

 

1903

In September 1903, authority from members was obtained to relocate from Chelmer to Yeerongpilly and the committee pressed ahead without delay. The major land purchase, 100 acres, was completed at £17 an acre.

 

1904

Official opening of new clubhouse and course at Yeerongpilly. 

 

1905

Willie Thompson became the club’s first full time professional.

 

1906

Ernest Albert Gill was the first member of The Brisbane Golf club to win a national title when, at the age of 24, he won the Amateur Golf Championship of Australia at Royal Sydney.

Rules amended to provide for an elected captain – first occupant, W.A.B. Shand. Previously, an annual competition was held for the title of captain.

 

1909

The Club House was destroyed by fire during the evening of Thursday 29 July 1909. The cause was believed to be due to rodents gnawing on wax vestas (matches) left in one of the lockers.

 

1910

The new Club House was opened in 1910.

 

1912

The oldest Honour Board event for the ladies, The President’s Cup, was established.

 

1914

Queensland Golf Association formed under sponsorship of the club.

 

1916

Joe Kirkwood, who the trophy for the Australian PGA, The Joe Kirkwood Cup is named after, becomes the Professional at The Brisbane Golf Club.

 

1921

Michael Thomas Stafford became the Professional, a position he would hold for forty nine years, three months and six days.

 

1922

Machinery Shed relocated from near clubhouse to present site near 4th tee.

Approval given to extending length of course to over 6,000 yards – first major upgrading since the moveScan11613 to Yeerongpilly.

First time sheet for Saturdays introduced.

 

1923

Practice fairway area purchased.

 

1924

First Queensland Ladies’ Golf Championship conducted by the Q.L.G.U. held at Yeerongpilly – won by Dot Hood of The Brisbane Golf Club.

 

1925

The Club hosts the inaugural Queensland Open Championship which is won by Sydney golfer, Harry Sinclair.

 

1926

Dr Alistair McKenzie, who also designed Augusta National, was engaged to advise on changes to the design of the golf course.

The Club hosts the inaugural Queensland PGA Championship which is won by Arthur Spence from the Royal Queensland Golf Club.

 

1927

The Yeerongpilly Cup was established and was for a competition among amateurs and professionals. The first winner was a local member, Stan Francis, who played off a four handicap.

 

1935

After beginning with an Honorary Secretary in 1896 and making the role part-time paid in 1927, the Secretary Manager role becomes a full time job. Later ,in 1987, the title was changed to Chief Executive Officer, but changed to the current title of General Manager in 2008.

 

1936

First contested election for the office of president with the incumbent, Sir Edward Macartney, defeated by R.E. Nixon-Smith.

 

1939

War is once again declared and the committee immediately decided the course would be made available as often as possible to raise funds for patriotic purposes. The Red Cross Society, Australian Comforts Fund, Golfers’ Patriotic Fund, Queensland Ladies Golf Union War Chest Fund, as well as others, benefited greatly from these charity days.

 

1943

The eastern section of the Club’s land was resumed to realign Fairfield Road to where it now runs.

 

1950

Club joins Brisbane District Golf Association.

 

1953

The reconfiguration of the layout into two loops of nine holes occurs. From the outset and until then, the course was played as a straight run of eighteen holes – now described as the Championship Course.

 

1954

The ladies have the honour of holding the first national tournament with The Brisbane Golf Club hostingScan11600 the Australia Ladies Championship.

Position of Associate President established – first occupant, Mrs S.F. McDonald.

 

1957

Nearest-the-Pin competitions introduced.

First Queensland Junior Championship, sponsored by past captain, George Mocatta, held at Yeerongpilly – won by S. Mackay.

 

1960

A.H. Colledge wins his 15th Club Championship, which still remains the most Club Championships won by an individual.

 

1963

Sydney architect, Al Howard, was engaged to advise on the course but only concept was obtained from his short appointment.

Total membership exceeds 1,000.

 

1966

Australian Amateur Championship held at Yeerongpilly for first time.

 

1967

The Claiming Cup, an annual competition between The Brisbane Golf Club and Indooroopilly Golf Club is contested for the first time. The trophy is a large pewter mug which is kept in the losers’ club house.

 

1974

Most of the course was flooded in the Australia Day weekend floods.

 

1976

Secretary Manager, Bob Nixon-Smith, retires; after 17 years in the post. Bob remains the longest serving Secretary Manager.

 

1978

The George Mocatta Trophy is established along with the A.H. Colledge Trophy.

 

1983

The Boyce Trophy is established to commemorate the contribution of the Boyce family to the club.

 

1986

The club installed its first computer system which has been upgraded over the years to cover all aspects of operations.

 

1987

The Brisbane Golf Club became incorporated under the provisions of the Associations Incorporations Act.

 

1990

Total membership exceeds 1,500.

New machinery shed completed at cost of $216,500 – the third on the site.

 

1991

Queensland Open conducted at Yeerongpilly for record 18th occasion.

 

1993

The Tennyson Room was first opened and Tom Arnott, a club member, wins the Australian Amateur Junior Championship.

 

1996

The Brisbane Golf Club celebrated its centenary year and The Fairway is Mine written by Bruce Richter, was published. Other highlights of the year included the Centenary Ball which featured three marquees being set up on the first hole for 1,000 guests; the design of a club flag and centenary tie; and the club hosting numerous golf events.

 

1998

Computer generated timesheets were introduced giving members quick access to information on handicaps, results, trophies and credits available.

 

1999

The West Course, a third nine holes separate from the main course, was closed to play.

 

2000

Metal spikes in golf shoes were completely banned and arrangements were made with the Golf Shop to have the studs changed over for a free set.

 

2001

Brett Morris commenced as course superintendent with ten years’ experience in golf course management at clubs in Queensland, Fiji, Iran Jaya and America. He had a Level 6 (highest) accreditation with the Australian Golf Course Superintendent’s Association, and whilst in the role, obtained a degree of Master of Agriculture (Turf) as an external student of the University of Sydney.

 

2004

Golflink is launched, an Australian Golf Union initiative to have all the club’s handicaps on a national online database. The Brisbane Golf Club was selected as one of a number to trial the system before it was adopted Australia wide.

Murray Lott was appointed as the Professional. Murray did his apprenticeship at Royal Queensland and Royal Sydney, tried his talents on the professional circuits as well as caddying for the likes of Peter O’Malley, Stephen Leaney and Nick Faldo. He was named the 2006 PGA Club Professional of the Year and then won the 2007 Australian PGA Club Professional Championship.

Brett Morris resigned as course superintendent to take up a scholarship to study for a Ph. D in Turf Management at The University of New South Wales. His assistant Ben Cavanagh was appointed to the position.

 

2008

Joe Janison becomes the new PGA Professional taking over from Murray Lott.

 

2009

PGA Professional, Ryan Haller, shoots a new course record; of 65 beating the previous mark of 66 recorded by Lee Eagleton in 2004.

 

2011

Brisbane was again devastated by flooding and at The Brisbane Golf Club, only the Club House and 10th and 11th holes weren’t flooded. It took 22 days to re-open the golf course for 18 holes.

The refurbished Tennyson Room and the new Jacaranda Gardens were opened.

 

2012

The green replacement program to Champion Ultradwarf Bermuda grass commences.

 

2013

Mitch Hayes appointed the course superintendent of The Brisbane Golf Club.

 

2014

The Brisbane Golf Club was ranked (and remains) in the Top 100 Golf Courses in Australia according to Golf Australia.

The Brisbane Golf Club hosts the PGA Legends Tour for the first time.

Geoff Kuehner appointed the general manager of The Brisbane Golf Club.

 

2015

Holes 2 and 8 are refurbished. These two holes are the last on the golf course to be converted to Champion Ultradwarf Bermuda Grass and the green replacement program is completed.

It’s confirmed that the Isuzu Queensland Open will return home to The Brisbane Golf Club in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

 

2016

For the first time in 20 years The Brisbane Golf Club is ranked in the Top 100 golf courses according to both Golf Australian and The Australian Golf Digest. 

The Brisbane Golf Club hosts the Australian Mens Teams Interstate Series which New South Wales wins after defeating Queensland in the final. 

Cashless competition fees are launched. 

The Brisbane Golf Club celebrates its 120 year anniversary at a dinner held in the Tennyson Room with 120 guests in attendance. 

The Brisbane Golf Club hosts the Isuzu Queensland Open for the first time since 1991. Amateur Brett Coletta wins the title.

The Brisbane Golf Club is voted Queensland’s favourite golf course by Golf Australia Magazine and the fourth favourite golf course in Australia. 

 

2017

The Brisbane Golf Club starts work on its new practice chipping/putting area adjacent to Hole 10.

Publications

One publication on the history of The Brisbane Golf Club has been published.

The Fairway is Mine: One Hundred Years of The Brisbane Golf Club of The Brisbane Golf Club. BRUCE S. RICHTER (1996)

The book has sold out.

*Refer to the course tour for further historical information, specifically relating to the golf course.