One Of Australia’s Most Influential Golf Clubs
One of Australia’s most influential golf clubs began with an assembly of ‘golf mad cranks’ at the home of Marrickville Doctor Charles Adam Patrick in 1897. Now, more than a century later, it is a club with a host of traditions, the third-oldest in Sydney, and unique in that it has existed at three different sites.
Under its original name of Marrickville Golf Club, it was a 12-hole course amid what were then the estates and grand homes that dotted the hills of Tempe. One of these was the notorious ‘cliff hole’, which required a lofted iron shot to carry up the rocky face of a 15-metre cliff.
Membership at Tempe was restricted to men, of whom many were bookmakers, jockeys and hoteliers.
Subscriptions were all of 10/6, or just $1.05 a year.
The club moved to a new site at Arncliffe in 1907, also prompting a change in name. Bonnie Doon was the title of the grazing property the club purchased – land included in Cook’s original charter of Botany Bay – and that was the name chosen by a majority of members.
Now the club boasted an 18-hole course and a grand homestead for its clubhouse. The membership was opened up, and even ladies were allowed to play – with certain restrictions.
Following World War II, expansion plans for Mascot aerodrome included land occupied by 13 of Bonnie Doon’s 18 holes.
Members again picked up their clubs, this time moving to the present site at Pagewood. Taking over the much younger New Metropolitan Golf Club in 1947, Bonnie Doon’s 850 members now played on a pure links-style course of wide fairways and natural hazards, carved out of sandy heath and banksia scrub.
In the years since, the nature of the course has changed, the membership has grown and facilities have developed to bring the club up to Group One standard. But the character of ‘The Doon’ has remained – ‘first and foremost, a golfer’s club’.
TOM E HOWARD :: MORE THAN A TROPHY
|1920||Best Amateur (301)||The Australian GC|
|1922||6th||Royal Sydney GC|
|1923||Winner (301)||Royal Adelaide GC|
|1924||26th||Royal Melbourne GC (Sandringham)|
|1925||2nd||The Australian GC (by 2 stokes to Fred Popplewell)|
|1927||15th||Royal Melbourne GC (Sandringham)|
|1929||7th||Royal Adelaide GC|
|1931||8th||The Australian GC|
|1932||11th||Royal Adelaide GC|
|1933||5th||Royal Melbourne GC (West)|
|1934||29th||Royal Sydney GC|
Thanks Tom, for leaving us with this trophy and another proud link to golfing history in Australia.