The First Years of Nambour Golf Club
The First Sixty Years of the Nambour Golf Club: 1926 – 1986 In the year 1926 the Town Elders of Nambour, in their wisdom, decreed the town was now ready for a new idol – Golf. Golf a “Game” played by humans of all sexes having physical appearance of adulthood (to date no analysis of mental maturity has been ascertained). A description of golf is not necessary in this narrative, for St. Andrew ages ago gave to the world the rules, regulations, ethics, etc., few of which are understood by present date devotees. For what Andrew was sainted is lost in history, suffice to say that the game requires large expanses of ground, preferably hilly with unpredictable slopes, hidden sand and random waterways.
Armed with this knowledge, Nambour’s Elders, many of whom deserved to be named and will be, located and leased an area of land, fitting the above description, in National Park Road. Portion of this land is now occupied by “The Church of Christ” which, of course, proves the theory that the ultimate destiny of a golf course is that of hallowed ground. This area was commonly known as Midgley’s Paddock. Colonel Midgley, the lessor, no doubt had his life filled with much mirth from a spectator point of view. Par for this course was 30 and membership about the same. As promised, some Elders will now be named and thanked for inflicting on future generations “The Nambour Golf Club”. No attempt has been made to compile this list fully, chronologically or with any endeavour to place more importance to any dividual for his actions now inherited by the followers. The names could also be interpreted as a past Who’s Who of the district. Frank Whalley, E.B. Fox, Bob Malloy, Walter Tiplady, Vic Nash, E.R. (Honey) Hocking, Bob Allars, Arthur Fittock, Bert Delpratt, Edgar Wells, Jock Randall, Sam Johnson, Syd Hall, Eddie Aspland, Di Rees, Major Bollingbroke, “Daddy” Walden, George, and Lettie Chadwick, Lou Detheridge (nee Walden), Dr. F. Short, Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Saxby are but some of the people who showed the foresight for that which are now, on occasions, enjoy. Many of the above have their names on our honour boards as Presidents, Secretaries or Club Champions. Di Rees was president no less than eleven times, Jock Randall many times champion and “Daddy” Walden our first patron.
Syd Hall although known to play in competition, preferred to play alone. Rumour has it the he won two of these lone matches – on both occasions he forfeited. In May of the year 1933 a new era was born. From out of the unknown emerged the Club’s first professional, Jack Baguley. Pro’s are expected to have magical powers and so did our Jack. Over the years he has managed to turn his black wavy hair into a fine mane of silver grey, furthermore, he turned many a frustrated Sunday hacker into a frustrated competition golfer and along the way turned out many outstanding champions, probably best known, Glen Cogill. Jack improved the standard of any seeking his advice. Jack earned his keep not only as a Pro (after all, balls sold from 18c to 30c each – woods up to $3-75 and irons up to $2-50 each), but he was also general handyman, greenkeeper and barman, helped in the latter capacity by rostered members, few of whom were known for their sobriety at the end of their rostered turn. It was not until 1962 that a paid greenkeeper, Col Robinson, was appointed to relieve Jack of the task. In 1985 Col was awarded Honarary Life Membership for his long and meritorious services.
Jack Baguley remained club pro until 30th June, 1977 – over forty years of dedication and earning respect and friendship which lives to this day. Jack and his wife, Clarice, now live under arrest on part of the present course. Elders, now including Jack Baguley, were ever active during this period, locating fresh pastures and homes for the now growing club. The history appears to read in 10 year cycles, for in 1936, 10 years after foundation – the Nambour Golf Club opened on new territory at Woombye on a course leased from George Reynolds – his dairy farm – wire protected the greens from wandering cattle. Could this be why we still have a lot of bulls on the course? The club’s life at Woombye was also 10 years, any of which were occupied with Word War Two. Surely the world would be a safer place if political leaders were keen golfers. Think of all the pars, birdies and bogeys that could have been shot instead of potential golfers.
Ten years from 1936 our home again moved. Harold McKenzie, then of the E.S. & A. Bank, located our present site – J.T. Low’s holding paddock. The rumour that it was too steep for his cattle is without foundation. A nine hole course with a par of 36 was officially opened in October, 1947 by Tom Strong, then the president of the Wide Bay and Burnett Golf Association. Ten years again. Many happy games were played on our nine holes, champions emerged, membership flourished. Norman Von Nida and Jack Baguley played an exhibition round, Jack eventually convincing Norman the seventh hole had been correctly measured. Members were known to have resolved arguments often after dark on the second green (in front of the now 10th tee). Allegations of other activities on the same green after dark have never been proved. The year 1967 our club matriculated to an 18 hole golf course. Much wheeling and dealing with the Forestry Department had to take place before this was possible. The club’s thank must go to the late Roy Charlton for exchanging a large portion of land which he owned, with the Forestry Department, to enable an eventual solution. Players having trouble on the back holes should remember they are playing in forest. Nearly two periods of ten years brings us to the present. Twenty years fun, progress and success. We should indeed thank those who had the foresight to become our respected Elders of 60 years hence. Thanks too, to those who followed – Gordon Charles, Les Edwards, George Parmenter (once known to fall asleep while putting on the ninth green), Allan Horsfall, Byron Carolan (50th Anniversary President), Roy Edwards, Bruce Ferrari, Mexican Mick Hudson, Col Grimes (our present President), and many others. No official or unofficial history of the Nambour Golf Club could be complete without mention of other happenings within the club during it’s life. Our Associates, although supporting from the outset did not have the status of having a president until 1948. Until then they were led by a captain, a title that may sound fearsome but captains or presidents, they enjoyed the respect of both Associates and Members alike.
The contributions made to this club by our Associates from it’s very beginning, has been one of the fullest co-operation and the same to-day when our associates have again changed status and can become Members. Male Members may be heard to mumble “Funny looking Fella” but all hold you in the highest esteem. Our First Lady President (1948) was Mrs. W. Milliner. The honour board in the clubhouse shows the list of captains who preceded Mrs. Milliner thus making their contribution. The Presidents who followed strengthened even more our Associates. Flo Edwards was captain in 1946 and 1947 and president in 1962 and 1963, and Associate champion eleven times between 1937 and 1968. Flo still attends Thursday afternoon presentations – such is the spirit of new and old friends “our Associate Members”. The mention of the name Edwards, naturally brings to mind Mr. Sunshine Coast Golf – Les Edwards himself 1937 – 1982. During his lifetime – Life Member, President, Secretary, Club Champion and Patron. One could suspect that Flo’s lifelong habit of being at the golf club was the only opportunity to see Les. As Les has his one Zone Championships and competitions named after him, plus many other tributes to his enormous influence on golf in our Zone and in particular in Nambour, little more need be reported for no member old or new can escape his shadow. Perhaps not so well known is the occasion when on the way home from a Nambour Club visit to Woodford, Les requested the car driver, an unpopular job as one had to remain reasonably sober, to stop, whereupon Les proceeded to throw his bag and clubs in the creek. Much was the amusement of the privileged few who saw him retrieve them next morning. The famous legend of the golf swing according to the same Les Edwards, was to imagine a pole running through the body and out through the top of the head – upon this pole a golf swing was built. The above is a censored version of Les’s description. Also censored out is his description of the correct stance to adopt when addressing the ball.
As with Les, honours have been bestowed on other colourful members. One such member after temporarily losing a passenger from his car on the way home from a Gympie visit, was told what to do with the nearly lost members golf clubs, said member was unable to play golf for two weeks. The member who interred the clubs was later to become President, Life Member and to-day is our very popular and respected Patron, Gordon Charles. Ten years is a minimum of a cycle in our club, so our nine years, so far, greens director, Allan Horsfall, already a Life Member, has at least one year to go. Most of the tremendous improvements to our course over the past ten years are a tribute to the careful and considered endeavour of Allan. After that praise, surely a foolscap page of trees that need removing will meet with favourable consideration. After an 18 months service to the club by popular Professional, Mal Robertson, we saw arrival on 8th February, 1980 of our Pro, Andrew Mellish, once again heralding an era of progress, for after struggling in the very small Pro Shop for many years, he now attends to the club needs in his larger and imposing new shop. Andrew, himself a Top Golfer, is master of the recovery shot, but why he thinks it is better played from two fairways away is his own secret. Peter Heiniger, Andrew’s popular assistant, is proof that even in professional ranks as with amateurs, there is room for golfers and lefthanders. Another example of our progress is the now well attended and particularly successful Junior Club, pioneered by members such as Cec O’Halloran, Hec Christensen and many others who gave much of their time and experience fostering this aspect of our club. The future of any club depends on the younger generation eventually taking over the reins and the foundations have been well laid. May our juniors always remember as do older members, enjoyment of the game comes first and achievement follows. In 1982 T.A.F.E. golf courses were commenced. Many new members have been gained from this innovation. The patience shown by Andrew Mellish with these rookies is much to his credit. This year marks another milestone in our history – The Nambour Golf Club is being incorporated, thus relieving the Trustees of their responsibilities. For over twenty years Allan Horsfall and Gordon Charles have stood in this capacity. They will lose their title but our respect and gratitude will be theirs forever.
Today, members competition days are on Wednesday and Saturday, Associates on Thursday, Juniors on Saturday morning, many Sunday events and social golfers populate the course every day. Club membership now exceeds 400 – a far cry from the original 30 or so. Employment is provided for a Manager/Secretary, bar staff, greenkeeping staff, a Professional and his assistant, a Casket agent and from som e of the profanities heard on the course, probably staff to compile a special Golfer’s Dictionary. To the Past Patrons from our first Patron, “Daddy Walden”, through to our present Patron, Gordon Charles, to our Past Presidents, Captains, Secretaries and Committees, to our former staff and to former members, Associates and Juniors, we, the current members, owe so much for the manner in which they conceived, founded and developed a friendly golf club over the past sixty years – and a friendly golf club is the Nambour Golf Club in 1986. So ends a brief summary of the Clubs first sixty years, but no member of this club or citizen of the district would doubt this is just the opening saga. When the club celebrates it 70th, 80th or 100th Anniversary the then members will thank not only the 1926 to 1986 Elders, but those who will come after them to continue the progress and success of a club of which we can all be proud.
THE NAMBOUR GOLF CLUB. KEN OVERELL – 1986