Golf in NSW – History
The first reliable report of Golf being played in the Colony of New South Wales occurred at Grose Farm, Sydney in May 1839, on a patch of ground that now forms part of the campus of the University of Sydney and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
Australia’s oldest active golf club is The Australian Golf Club at Kensington. The Club was established in 1884, but was around informally as early as 1882, with members playing at Moore Park.
Royal Sydney Golf Club was formed in August 1893 and was originally known as the Sydney Golf Club. Its first home was on the southern shore of the Parramatta River at Concord. The Club was granted the prefix “Royal” by her Majesty Queen Victoria to celebrate the opening of the newly built clubhouse at Rose Bay in 1897.
Royal Sydney and The Australian governed the game of Golf in the Colony prior to Federation before the game’s popularity began to spread.
The Suburban and Country Golf Association of New South Wales was founded in 1902. One of its roles was to arrange and control suburban interclub matches, select combined teams and arrange matches between metropolitan and country clubs.
The NSW Ladies Golf Union (LGU) was formed in June 1903. It was originally made up of five clubs, but grew to 20 clubs by 1910. The LGU was renamed Women’s Golf NSW in 1996.
The New South Wales Golf Council was formed in 1906. The council consisted of nine delegates with the aim of representing golfers across New South Wales, managing the State’s Championships, the representation of NSW in interstate golf matches, and dealing with all matter of disputes that may be referred to it from affiliated clubs. It consisted of nine delegates representing The Australian Golf Club, Royal Sydney Golf Club and the Suburban and Country Golf Association.
The NSW Golf Association & Country Golf Association of NSW came into being in February 1949 when the need for a better golf administration structure arose. It was made up of representatives from The Australian GC and Royal Sydney GC, The Suburban and Country Golf Association and Sydney clubs divided into three groups. Committees oversaw Rules and Bylaws, Affiliation, Match, Country golf, and Handicaps. The Suburban and Country Golf Association become known as the Country Golf Association until 1960.
Golf NSW was registered as an entity in June 2009, and formally came into being in July 2010 when the NSW Golf Association (NSWGA) and Women’s Golf NSW (WGNSW) merged to form Golf NSW, a unified body to govern the sport across the State as one brand. The organisation’s mission is to foster the game for all amateur golfers in NSW.
Further information about the history of golf in NSW and across Australia can be found at The Australian Golf Heritage Society or by visiting their website: www.australiangolfheritage.org.au