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Course and Club History

 

Much of the area known as Osborne Park was impenetrable being overgrown with blackberries, lantana and noxious weeds.  Whilst some have described the area as virgin bushland, it had been logged twice by timber mills since 1900, severely in the 1920’s.  The cliff face alongside the 7th fairway was created in the 1930’s by the operation of a quarry.  As a result most of the cliff was there before the Golf Course.  Part of the 1st fairway was a rubbish dump.

The existing workshop area adjacent to the Greenkeepers Cottage was an illegal panel beaters’ workshop, and remains of many car bodies are buried under the 7th fairway.    Adjacent to the 7th green were 2 tin huts in which large families lived - squatters’  huts from the Depression with no connection to sewer, electricity or gas. Some internal walls were made of paper while external walls were just a single sheet of galvanised iron.

Some of Osborne Park north of Richardson Street was the original Osborne Park dairy which was operated by the Turnbull family until the end of WW II, when it was closed down by the State Government because it was too close to the City of Sydney.  In the 1930’s a farmer from Reserve Road Artarmon used to drove his cattle up Whiting Street across the Pacific Highway and down Osborne Road to graze in the area.

Richardson Street, McMahons Road and Stevenson Street had already been gazetted for housing.  Much of the land had been subdivided and the sewer laid ready for residential development.   The application to Council by the Golf Course Committee enabled Council to have the land resumed, thereby preserving the area for future generations.

“Since the closure of the Lane Cove Golf Course at Riverview, residents were forced to travel to other municipalities where courses were so crowded it was almost impossible to obtain a game at weekends” (Lane Cove Advertiser, June 1960).

 

1950 – 1960’s - APPROVAL FOR GOLF COURSE & CLUB

Mid-1955 - First Discussion - The possibility of building a golf course in the Osborne Park valley was discussed with Jim White during morning tea at the home of Alderman and Mrs Henningham.

16 September 1955 - First Public Meeting - 45 people attended. A plan of a possible 9 hole course was displayed. A Steering Committee was formed and the plan was then submitted to Lane Cove Council.

6 February 1956 - Land Rezoning Application - Council met Committee, actively supported the proposal and applied to Cumberland County Council to have the area rezoned as open space. Council Engineers, Neville Cunningham and Jack Hartman, were of great assistance at this time.

Early 1960 - Land Release - Sufficient land was released in the valley along River Road and up to First Avenue to enable a firm proposal. The proposal was supported by Council, and the Mayor agreed to chair a public meeting. Plans were prepared and displayed.

23 June 1960 - Lane Cove Advertiser’s front page article “A Golf Course for Lane Cove’” publicised the next week’s meeting.

30 June 1960 - Second Public Meeting - The Mayor, Alderman A.E. Griffith, chaired a public meeting at Lane Cove Town Hall attended by over 200 people. It was resolved to form “The Lane Cove Country Club” and a provisional club committee was elected with the Mayor as Patron.

2 September 1960 - 850 Applications for Membership were received. Acceptances were closed due to limits. 458 names were accepted with over 200 on the waiting list.

12 December 1960 - The Inaugural Meeting of “Lane Cove Country Club” was held at the Masonic Hall. Provisional members were signed up on payment of 5 shillings. Jim White was elected as President, and two Councillors, Arch McKinnon and Tim Cowell, were elected as Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

April 1961 - Council Approved Submission in Principle for Construction of the Golf Course. The Shell Oil Company agreed to provide 1500 cubic yards of filling to be deposited on the site from its Gore Bay works.

May 1961‘Lane Cove Country Club Ltd’ was registered as a Company.

1961 - Members Debentures Issued – 1st Issue – both compulsory and voluntary Debentures. These were listed in the Balance Sheet 1963 – £11,625 – Unsecured Debentures.

1961 -  Lane Cove Council won the 1961 A.R.Bluett Memorial Award for the Shire Council that had achieved the greatest relative progress in the State. This included making 40 acres of Open Space available to Lane Cove Country Club for a golf course.

April 1962 - First Annual General Meeting held. Social activities commenced with plans for golf, tennis, ten pin bowling, squash and cards.

September 1962 - Land Lease Approved by Government.

December 1962 - Land Lease Signed by Club for 20 years - 1962 to 1982.

1963 - Construction Commences

The early plan was for an 18 Hole Golf Course, with the second 9 holes planned to be built north of River Road towards the Pacific Highway in Lane Cove Bushland Park. A later plan was for the second 9 holes to be built south of River Road towards the harbour in Gore Creek Reserve. Plans were drawn up for both.

April 1963 - Land Lease from Council was formally handed over by Mayor Ald. R.J. Brickhill at AGM.

Approval to commence full scale earthworks was given.

July 1963 - Liquor Licence was granted.

August 1963 - Sketch Plans for the Clubhouse were submitted and approved by Council.

September 1963 - The Bowling Green Contract was signed and construction commenced.

October 1963 - Golf Course Grading was completed and soil spread, greens were being formed, water services were installed and boundaries were being surveyed.

21 June 1964 - First Meeting Of ‘Associates’ Golf Section - 75 attended.

Elected : President - Mrs I Goulding

Captain - Mrs G Robertson

Committee Member - Margaret Tanner

1964 - Golf Course Opens

25 July 1964The Club House was opened by Mayor Ald Mrs M G Propsting:

287 Members

237 Associates

20 Juniors

7 Cadets

Total 551

August 1964 - The First Part of the Golf Course was opened to members. A par 27 short course of the “pitch and putt” variety, built on an area south of Richardson Street, was opened by the President of the NSW Golf Association, Mr Les Graham.

1964The First Bowling Green was opened. ”Lane Cove Country Club Newsletter” commenced.

1 Jan 1965The Golf Course was opened to the Public.

1965-66 - Course Beautification included the planting of 400 trees and shrubs.

The First Club Championship was held.

The Second Bowling Green was completed.

“Gumnut” Newsletter commenced.

13 May 1967- The New Golf Course Layout was Opened by the President of NSW Golf Association, Mr Les Graham - a full 9 hole, par 32 golf course of 2,140 yards, now extended as far as First Avenue.

1967 - A New Pro Shop, built by volunteers was completed.

Loan from Lane Cove Council of $20,000 – repayable over 10 years (fully repaid).

Bank Overdraft approved - secured by Guarantee - $65,000.

Members Debentures outstanding - $47,000.

Drought - hand watering.

1968 - Women Members Were Admitted As Full Members Of The Club following change of the Constitution.

 

1970’s

1972 - Extension to the Clubhouse – Women’s Golf purchased trophy cabinet. – Total - 641 Members.

May 1972 - Council decided against the Application to Extend the Course to 18 holes into Gore Creek Valley.

1973 - 4th Green damaged by Disease - needing to be rebuilt.

753 Playing Members

281 Social Members

Total 1034

1974 - 2nd Members Debenture Issue – 5 years repayable – over $25,000.

There was a major problem with the Richardson Street Bridge which had to be demolished for safety reasons.

1975Council Agreed to the Piping of the Creek between the 8th and 9th Fairways. Council contributed $6,000 for drainage pipes. The Club, through the services of President Keith Whatman, planned to proceed with excavation and to lay these pipes in position, with the Council Engineer’s supervision.

Extensive Flooding resulted in closure of the Course for several periods.

Burst Sewer main below creek bed adjacent to 2nd tee severely polluted the lower part of the course. Health authorities closed the Course for 3 weeks.

New 4th Green was opened.

1977 - Drainage pipes were now in place between 8th and 9th fairways.

19793rd Members Debenture Issue Successful – exceeded $30,000.

 

1980’s

May 1983Lane Cove Council took over Management of the Golf Course. Members were allocated “block playing times” with payment of annual green fees to the Council. Golf Course costs ($75,000) were eliminated from the 1983 Financial Accounts.

The Lease for Club House Land was signed - 1983 to 2003.

1983 - 6th hole was reconstructed - new tee and green.

1984 - Improvements to the Course included changes to the 2nd and 11th greens and to the 8th and 17th greens.

1984 - Bowls Club was disbanded with most members transferring to other local clubs.

Tender was accepted for construction and management of 5 synthetic tennis courts,

1985 - Tennis Courts were Completed and Opened.

1986 - Club House improvements included the newly decorated Associates Room.

1987 - BBQ area was constructed with a totally new covered deck.

1988 - Club House Improvements cost $24,000.

Members Debentures outstanding were reduced to $6,000. Bank borrowings were reduced to nil.

1989- First Pro-Am Held – The 1989 ABC-Premier Taxis Pro-Am Tournament. Peter Jones won with a one-over-par 65. The Club donated $6,000 to Charity - to the Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home.

 

1990’s

1990 - The water hazard between 8th and 9th fairways was eliminated. Members’ Badge Numbers were renumbered for a second time.

1991 - Second Pro-Am was held with a donation of $7,000 to Lane Cove. Community Aid. The Auditorium was refurbished and fire services were upgraded.

Steve Wells and Paul Paterson commenced management of the Pro Shop (A.S.P).

1992 - Construction of Practice Nets - cost to Club $12,000. First computer was bought.

1993 - A New 20 Year Lease of Public Land was signed by Lane Cove Council and approved by the Government.

All Debentures were fully satisfied.

A special rebate was introduced for Senior Members 65 years of age with 20 years continuous membership.

Associates became Lady Golfers.

“Course Rating” was used instead of ‘”Scratch”.

1994 - A Building Levy was established for new development.

Mrs Nicolette Thorpe became the first Lady President of the Club.

1995 - A new office was created for the Office Administrator, the old one became the Handicapper’s Office.

1996 - The size of the “Gumnut Room” was reduced when the poker machines were removed from the Auditorium to a designated space. Storage was improved and the dock and bar areas were enlarged.

1997 – Men and Women achieved equal status as Playing Members.

1998 - Improvements to the Club House cost $153,000. The lower auditorium was added and the deck was fully roofed. The “Gumnut Room” became the “Members’ Room”. Stage 2 Extension to the Club was officially opened with a Cocktail Party.

1999 - The 35 year Anniversary of the Club House was celebrated with a dinner and plaque unveiled by the Mayoress. There were now 535 Members including 200 Social members.

 

2000 - Onwards

2000 - The 17th green was back in play, but was soon declared unplayable due to deterioration, as the first rebuild in 2000 was not successful.

GST was introduced.

Following Helen Prentice’s address to Council in late 1999, in early 2000 the ”Lane Cove Golf Course Committee” was formed (Council, Club, Pro-shop) to make recommendations to Council for the safety and urgent upgrade of the Course. Council approved $250,000 over 3 years for the irrigation of the golf course. Irrigation of the top part of course was finalised much later.

GolfLink computer system was introduced. Lane Cove became part of an integrated Australia-wide handicapping recording system.

Friday night “Nine and Dine” was introduced.

2001 – The Members’ Room was converted into a restaurant.

2001 - Kit & Lucy Foo commenced “Kit’s on River Road” restaurant.

2003 The Club House Lease was renewed - 2003-2013

The underground fairway watering system installation was commenced by Council - $220,000.

A wheel chair ramp and a safety rail were installed in the Club House.

2004 - Drought - hand watering by ground staff and volunteers. Drainage work was done.

A Benchmarking Exercise (comparing LCCC with other local Courses) was conducted by Darren Jones (Board Member Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association).

The Club celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Opening of the Club House.

2005 - GMAC (Golf Course Management Advisory Committee) to Council was formed to improve the course to Benchmark Standard. It was comprised of representatives from the Council, Councillors, the Club and the Public, as well as the Greenkeeper.

Lane Cove Golf Course Plan Of Management 2005 was prepared by Enviro Links Design Pty Ltd.

Leasehold Improvements - change to Accounting Standards - Amortisation of Club House asset required over remaining period of lease - ending 2013.

Bob Batho was appointed Greenkeeper.

The greens were much improved and significant work was done on repairing and upgrading other parts of the course.

The Lane Cove Tunnel air monitoring structure was installed near 3rd green/ 4th tee. The Tunnel operator committed to pay $35,000 for the privilege. Only $14,000 was paid as the Tunnel was not financially viable - this money went to upgrade the 3rd and 7th tees in 2006.

2006 “Links” - the Club newsletter commenced.

Golf Australia was formed.

The 3rd and 7th tees were enlarged and renovated.

A new garden was constructed near the 6th tee.

Wire safety fences were erected along River Road.

Bore water analysis found water too saline for greens but safe for fairways.

Dennis & Josephine took over operation of the restaurant – “Reef Restaurant".

2007 - The Club House foyer, kitchen and restaurant area were upgraded.

Jazz on Friday commenced.

2008 - A new 13th tee was constructed.

2009 - Competition Levy was introduced.

The Club Social Committee was set up.

Blunts Player of the Month” started.

Golf Australia decided on USGA Course Rating System and Handicapping System.

New Point of Sale Computerised Till System was installed.

2010 - Reconstruction of the 17th Green commenced in February and it was reopened for play in September.

Project Up-light - In ground up lights were installed under trees between 8th and 9th fairways.

Golf NSW was formed.

The new Handicapping system was introduced. Lane Cove Golf Course was rated in October 2010 and now also included a rated short course.

Kit & Lucy Foo opened “Fairway 9 Restaurant”.

Tony Larwood opened “The Right Place” BBQ on the deck at weekends.

2011 - The air monitoring station for the Lane Cove tunnel was removed.

Solar electricity generation panels were installed on the roof of the Club House – 5 kw capacity.

Changes to the Constitution - The 3 year limit on the term of President was deleted, the term now being open. Other changes were made to comply with legislation requirements and to reflect current operations.

2012 – “OneGolf” competition booking and results computer system was introduced.

2015 – “Fairway 9 ceased operation.

The Club BBQ area was extended into a BBQ/Café operation trading as “Tee 4 Two” under Club Member, Dave Martin.

2015-16 – New caterer “Hayworth” took over function and bistro catering - ceased operation mid-2016.

Refurbishments completed with the assistance of the NSW Government’s CBPP grant and volunteer labour from Club members.

2016 – Panel of 4 caterers appointed for function catering at the Club.

Club name officially changed to Lane Cove Golf Club - new logo designed.

2017 - New Club website and Social Media programme launched.

TODAY - 11 Hole Golf Course - 9 fairways with 2 alternate greens and 2 alternate tees, played as 18 holes - par 64 - 3913 metres.

 

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