Wynnum Golf Club’s opening ceremony, 1924. Lord Mayor, Ald J Greene, is pictured in the centre of the front row. Photo: Supplied.
FROM THE WYNNUM HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Last year marked the centenary celebrations of the local Wynnum Golf Club (or WGC). At our November 2022 meeting, society member (and also WGC member) Michael Beard spoke about some of the highlights of WGC’s first 100 years.
Brisbane residents started playing golf in the late 1800s. The arrival of Governor Lord Lamington – a keen golfer – in April 1896 helped promote the game in our city.
It wasn’t until 1921 that community members here in Wynnum resolved to establish a golf course in the Wynnum-Manly area. Shortly thereafter – on 19 July 1922 – a meeting was held at the Wynnum Town Hall, and the Wynnum Golf Club was formed, with the then Mayor of Wynnum (Ald. John Greene) as the Club President.
Within months, the site for the golf course had been chosen: a piece of swampy land known as Lovekin’s Paddock (or Lovekin’s Estate), which was part of the WGC site as we know it today. The Wynnum Town Council bought the land and granted WGC an initial 21-year lease. Wynnum Golf Club’s nine-hole course was opened on 29 March 1924 by the then president of the Queensland Golf Association (and WGC Member), Mr JW Brook. At the opening, Mr Brook spoke very highly of golf and also of our beloved Wynnum-Manly when he said, “that it was fast becoming recognised that any community desiring to be acclaimed progressive must have a golf course and that the district was to be congratulated on being thoroughly up to date”.’ Well played, Wynnum-Manly!
An imposing two-storey timber clubhouse was constructed and opened by His Excellency the Governor of Queensland, Sir Mathew Nathan, at a gala event on 14 February 1925.
In subsequent years, additional land was purchased, and the nine-hole course became a standard 18-hole course. Manual labour – volunteered by humans and the WGC’s resident Clydesdale horse ‘Larry’ – was invaluable in the early development of the course. The 18-hole course was opened officially by the then Lord Mayor of Brisbane (Ald. Roberts) on 15 September 1928. In 1929, the annual membership at WGC cost two guineas.
Since its opening, the course has been upgraded a number of times, including for layout, greens, irrigation and drainage.
Wynnum Golf Club is listed on the Brisbane City Council’s Local Heritage Places website as a place of local heritage significance (relevant criteria: historical, representative, aesthetic, social). WGC is the third oldest championship course in Brisbane (after Brisbane Golf Club and Royal Queensland Golf Club).
From a piece of swampy land to the beautifully landscaped and wildlife-friendly course we know today, and from 91 members in 1924 to more than 1,400 today, our local Wynnum Golf Club has had a successful first 100 years. Happy Birthday to Wynnum Golf Club!
This article includes research by society member Michael Beard.