The Newcastle area’s oldest club, Waratah, has just celebrated a century of golf on its current site near Lake Macquarie.
A milestone few other clubs in the district, if not across the State have reached. Waratah, or as the early members referred to it simply as “The Creek”, was established at Newcastle in 1901.
Originally named after Waratah Reserve (now Dangar Park), when the parcel of land it sat on changed hands for the princely sum of $35,000 in 1920, the club found a home in the virgin scrub bordering the shores of Cockle Creek.
The new layout, one which many players back in the day could already visualise, was borne out of hard graft of members and their hands. A clubhouse was also erected, importantly for its proximity to the railway station and the all-important tram line.
Officially opened on December 3rd that year, the celebrations were momentous.
There have been many outstanding performances by Club products, Ken Johnston, Col Johnston (Club Patron and Life Member), Beryl Tobin OAM (Club Patron and Life Member), Nathan Green, and Blake Windred.
To top it off, Waratah boasts a current Australian age champion, Tristan Moanaroa, who has qualified for the Age Division 2022 Champion of Champions to be played at the Lough Erne Resort in Ireland for the 2022 WAGR Invitational.
W.E. ALEXANDER (A VARDON EVENT)
The W. E. Alexander, a Vardon Event and named after long-time distinguished President, is the Club’s premier event and is contended by the district’s leading amateurs and professionals.
Names of NSW country’s outstanding golfers are on the winning list: Peter O’Malley, Lucas Parsons, Leigh McKechnie, Nathan Green, Blake Windred, Dimi Papadatos and Col Johnston (Club Patron).
The Frith Cup, named in honour of the Frith family’s contribution to Waratah Golf Club, has been contested annually since 1951.
Women golfers from district clubs vie to win this coveted trophy.
Many people have offered long and distinguished services to Waratah Golf Club. Since its inception, and descendants of those first members have continued contributing to the Club.
As with all golf courses, there have been times of crisis. Waratah has been through floods, drought, fire, earthquakes, exceptional storms, and the COVID pandemic. The Club has survived and emerged with improvements.
A century is a milestone worth celebrating, a time to reflect on past achievements, and a nod to the future to maintain the prestige of Waratah Golf Club.
A celebratory Golf Day took place on December 3rd, precisely 100 years from when the club officially opened, clearly no better date to use.
In addition, a dinner celebrating the centenary was also held. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, numbers were limited. Representatives from across the district, Waratah Golf Club, Patrons and Life Members, and officials from the local council were in attendance.