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Strathbogie Golf Club

1924 - Club Formed

As told by the club's oldest living member, James (Jim) Gibson, in March 2014, to mark the club's 90th anniversary.


The club was formed on 17 April 1924, with golf having been played prior to that date but not as a club.

Initially it was a 6 hole course, then 9, in what was called the home paddock, with 6 holes in Simpson's Paddock and 3 holes in what is now Brownlee's Paddock. The original club house was built in 1932 and the name on the gate was "Mossgiel".


Prior to that the local store verandah was used for gatherings. The club house was used as an observation point from 1942 until 1945.

During the war only 9 holes were used in the home paddock, until 1954. In 1969, the golf club purchased 50 acres and steers grazed on the land to help pay for the course. Sheep were on the course until about 2000 to help pay for improvements.

The club house was enlarged by purchasing two buildings - the Bogie South and West school rooms.

1960s - Scorecard
1980s - Course Build

In 1984 the club approached the new owners for ground to get another 9 holes, but course architect Dick Pendlebury suggested the club forget the home paddock and build the entire course where it now stands.

Those owners considered putting up a hotel / motel complex, but that did not eventuate and after some discussion, the club was to develop the course with some payment from the owners.

1991 - Clubhouse Move

In 1991 the existing clubhouse was moved to the new premises and enlarged and altered.

In 1992/93 a ten-year lease was entered into by the club.

In 1994 council wanted to sell the old paddock but members objected. (It was put in the council's name in the 1970s so the club might get some grant money.)

2004 - New Course

In 2004 the club finally bought the new course from the owners for $300,000 and the old course was sold as well as surplus blocks on the new course. The extra money was raised from members and local citizens. 

Grass greens were started on the new course in the 1990s and were completed in 2006.

1980s to Present - A Brief History

Golf has had more than a 100-year history in Strathbogie. Five holes were put down by DP Simpson and J Morley in 1920. A few years later a club was formed and six holes were put down in the paddock on the corner of Main Street and Armstrong Avenue where the club remained for some sixty years. Eventually it became an eighteen-hole golf course, with nine of the holes being across the creek and on the other side of the road.


In 1984 the golf club had to vacate the nine holes over the creek in Trevor Simpson’s paddock. The same year, Tom Simpson’s land was sold behind the Memorial Hall. An approach was made to the new owners to purchase approximately 50 acres to establish another nine-hole course. Designer Dick Pendlebury from Wangaratta was approached to give a feasibility report on what land would be needed. His report did not recommend another 9 holes, but a new 18-hole course offered unlimited potential.


Negotiations with the new owners successfully concluded with an exchange of the land on their side of the road for the old golf course. A new high standard golf course was to be developed with grass greens. A hotel-motel with cabins, and a country club with subdivisions of the old course and adjoining blocks above the new course was planned. It was expected to be $2 million project. Dick Pendlebury was then employed to design the new course.


Dick was impressed with the land for the golf course and described it as “That if there was ever a piece of land that God so designed to be a golf course, surely this must have been it.” When he completed the layout of the course, a scraper was employed to dump soil on sites for the greens and tees. These were formed with a Fergie Tractor and a rear blade.


Some concern was expressed by members of the danger in siting some greens and tees so close together, and the location of the 15th green in a swamp. Bill Edger from the Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne was asked to come up to see what we were concerned about. He agreed with the members and thus the location of the 5th and 7th greens were moved as were the 6th and 14th tees. He then redesigned the 15th, 16th, and 17th holes. Mr Pendlebury resigned from the project.


Many trees were planted to divide the fairways and in 1985 the first association Veterans event was held in Strathbogie.


Some of the fairways were cultivated, levelled, and sown down, and were first played in 1986. Nine holes were also still used on the old golf course. 1987 saw the full eighteen holes played on the new course with sand greens, but the Club house was still on the old course.


In 1988 the first grass greens were sown on holes one, seven and eight. The course was rated at 70.23 for the men. The 9th green was sown in 1989.


In 1990, a meeting was called as the club was asked to leave the new course owing to ownership problems and to return to the nine holes on the old course. This resulted in a tied vote with the President voting to stay at the new course. A ten-year lease with the owners was arranged and signed in 1991. The clubhouse was moved to its present site with extensions being made to double its size with kitchen, toilets, an office, and a bar. The 11th and 18th greens were also sown.


The new golf course was officially opened in 1992 and many former members attended. The 10th green was sown, and extensions were completed on the tractor shed and clubhouse veranda.


In 1993 the rest of the fairways were levelled and sown down and the 12th green was sown.


The club purchased the old golf course from the Shire in 1994 for $4000. It had been transferred back to the Shire in 1972 for $1 so grants could be obtained. Two grants were received for $400 and $250.


A watering system for the twilight nine holes was completed with a pump on the dam. The first Saturday summer competition was held and proved to be very popular as was a Tuesday twilight event.


In 1996 pop-up sprinklers and surrounds were installed and in 1997 the owners of the course provided $8000 for the supply of piping to water the remaining nine holes.


The course had been put up for auction on three occasions with the reserve price of $300,000 plus, but with no success. The club had made several offers over the years but none had been successful.


In 1999 the 75th anniversary was celebrated with a golf competition on the day and a dinner and entertainment in the hall at night. This was a great success with the hall full with past and present members and friends.


In 2003 the owners of the course said that if the club could not come up with $300,000 by the 30th September, then the land would be subdivided and the club would have to leave. The old golf course was sold for $161,000.  A public meeting was held on 27th July to investigate if it was possible to raise the necessary funds to purchase the new course. There was a positive response.


Three options were agreed on to offer potential lenders from the community.  All were for a period of 10 years which was the time believed was needed to pay it off.

  1. Interest free loan

  2. Interest bearing loans at 5%

  3. Donations


A lot of canvassing was done by members of the golf club committee and with three days to go, they were still $22,000 short. Many phone calls later, this amount was eventually raised in the time specified and the title transferred to the golf club. 62 people from the club and the community generously loaned or donated money to enable the land to be bought.


In 2004 a block of land was sold with another block sold in 2005 allowing the club to pay out all loans. In 2006, the Club was proudly debt free.


Turf was obtained from Trentham Golf Club which was replacing some Greens. Members travelled down to dig up and cart the turf to sow the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th greens. This was done in hot weather and it was a huge job to keep them alive. The 5th and 13th greens were also sown down. This only left the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th greens to be sown.


Due to the prolonged drought, the level of the dam was very low so it was necessary to put down a bore. After three tries, hitting rock at 20 feet twice, a bore at approximately 80 feet depth was found to be successful.


In 2003, the club received a $2,000 grant to house the generator. That year Braydan Millar and Helen Hill were club Champions (Grandmother and grandson).


In 2014, the Club received a $3,000 grant from the Shire for improvements to the carpark and concrete paths. We also received a $1000 grant from Sports Victoria, which assisted in the purchase of new men’s pennant uniforms. The club celebrated its 90th birthday and $13,400 were raised from an auction. VicRoads signs installed at the Merton and Mansfield Roads to direct passers-by to the course.


In 2015, Life Member Jim Gibson passed away and the Club established a veteran trophy in his honour.  A work for the dole scheme was awarded to the club bringing in $35,000 over a two-year period. The Ladies committee provided $2500 to the general committee which effectively closed their separate bank account. The greens were reduced in size to help save water. The club received a $5000 shire grant towards the construction of a dedicated cart shed. Royal Melbourne visited SGC with several workers and machines to verti-drain the course. We received enough turf from Kingswood Golf Club to refurbish the 7th tee. We purchased a sanding machine from Royal Melbourne.


In 2016, the late Gary Hewlett was instrumental in completing the cart shed with his time and donated materials. The twilight 9 holes were rated by Golf Victoria to enable them to be used for handicap purposes. Vertical draining was completed by Royal Melbourne Golf Club and root cutting machine was provided on loan


In 2017, Life Member Les Hill passed away and a memorial trophy was created as an annual event. The club embarked on two major annual fundraising initiatives. Wood sales and monthly community dinners. A $750 state grant was won to assist the McDonald boys with their travel costs during junior tournaments. Our main dam was enlarged at a cost of $25k


Several members each donated $1000 to kick start a separate machinery fund and the club transferred matching money from its own general funds. The inaugural Eliza Forlonge trophy was played involving predominately Kew golf members, Euroa and SGC members.


In 2019, a new John Deere 27hp tractor was purchased. A donated stick rack became a key asset in keeping the stick and bark clearance challenge under control. A $10,000 grant was received from the Cancer Council which partly funded our new gazebo area. An additional grant was received for a new BBQ and replacing the back door steps from the kitchen area. A $5,000 Shire grant was received to fund the purchase of a new commercial dishwasher and larger oven.


In 2020, the Covid pandemic hit Australia and effectively the club went into a holding pattern for 12 months. In August, regional Victoria had stage 3 lockdowns, closing all golf courses. A new club constitution was adopted.


In 2021, golf resumed as normal and a public toilet and shower was installed for $5,000.


In 2022, Gary and Kerry Hewlett donated a tractor which was sold to purchase a new Kubota 57hp tractor. In addition, the club purchased a new Toro fairway mower.  SGC successfully hosted a three-day Victorian Veterans Country Golf Championship. Bill Brierley and Robin Weatherald retired from course maintenance and the club formed a volunteer’s group to continue these activities.


In 2023, SGC supported the inaugural Strathbogie Cup Festival Weekend by holding a fun golf day on the Monday and entertained 70 guests for the annual Melbourne Cup Day Luncheon. SGC purchased a new 72” zero turn Toro mower for tight areas and rough cutting. A golf network was established with Eildon, Alexandra, Yea, Broadford and Romsey with the purpose of sharing knowledge between like-minded volunteer golf clubs.


In 2024, Mike Clayton, professional golfer and golf course architect, visited SGC to provide advice on course issues such as tree reduction, green enlargement and repositioning of some tee areas.


Notable achievements of the Pennant Teams


The Ladies Pennant Team won their only final in 2005 having been runners up twice. The ladies have won a number of Bowls over the years including several at Yea, and the Dalhousie Bowl once.


The Men’s Pennant Team won in 1987 and 2002 and were runners up in 2004, 2005 and 2006. They also won the Dalhousie Bowl in 1997.


List of Life Members as of 2024


?                      W.H Ellis

1976                H.H Mackrell

1978                A.R Moore

1995                Les Hill

1995                Noela Moore

1999                James Gibson

2009                Gwen Belcher

2014                Wally Dunn

2016                Allan Rowarth

2019                Helen Hill

2019                Shirley Dash

2024                John Moore

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