Today could not pass without recognition of a most significant event.
It was 10 years ago – on the 19th of November 2009 and after many years of planning – that the Club celebrated the ”Official Opening of the All New Ballarat Golf Club”
With David Maloney hosting proceedings for the night the clubhouse was officially opened by the then Premier of Victoria – John Brumby who was joined by the then President Mr. Alan Burns and Lady President Mrs. Jill Dunne.
Course designer and golf legend Peter Thomson entertained the crowd with a presentation in interview style with David before being escorted to the first tee by then trainees Jess Bramble and Chris Hinves – and with his drive officially opened the course – and triggered what was a magnificent fireworks display and those present went on to enjoy the night in grand style.
Since that time the Club has developed further into what is no doubt the finest golf course and club in the region and it’s development continues – not only with it’s facilities but we also lead the way in gender equality and all abilities access and training. Our Inclusion Initiative of the Year Award at the recent Victorian Golf Industry Awards is testimony to the fine work being done in these areas.
Who could have imagined 10 years ago that we would host such great golfing events as the ALPG Ballarat Icons, The PGA Futures, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Golf Championships, the Victorian Amputee Championships, provided junior scholarships, welcomed so many service clubs into our clubhouse and supported so many worthy charities both on course and in the clubhouse?
We have experienced sadness in the Club with the loss of a number of members – I note in particular Peter Hoskin and Roger Masom – but it has also been a joy to welcome so many new members since moving to our new facilities. The work being undertaken to attract women and junior members to our Club is simply outstanding and the recent addition of Andrew Cartledge’s Ballarat Junior Golf Academy is testimony to the fine work being done in the field.
After 10 years the clubhouse is showing signs of wear - not surprising when you consider that in that time we have seen over $15 million of food and beverage sales - and work is well underway on a refurbishment that will take place next year - 2020 – which also sees the Club celebrate its 125th anniversary with planning well underway for celebrating this milestone.
The success of our Club is due to many factors. The foresight of those that looked for a sustainable future for the Club, those members that supported the proposed new venture and all of those who have served on boards and committees and driven the direction of the Club. The management and staff who have driven it’s success on a daily basis, our fantastic course staff led by Jeff Powell who provide us with such a magnificent golfing venue every day, and the pro shop staff led by David Wallis who continue to provide quality golfing services to us all.
Mainly though our success is due to you - the members - for without you and your support we simply would not exist.
I sincerely thank you all.
I thought it appropriate to include part of David Maloney’s magnificent welcome from that night 10 years ago (below) which concludes with the words “the rest shall we say is history”. I am honoured to be a member of The Ballarat Golf Club, and I am sure that like me we all look forward to and are excited for the future of our magnificent Club.
David Maloney – Grand Opening - Welcome – 19 July 2009
“In Ballarat on the 11th of April 1895, at the Union Bank in Sturt Street, a meeting was held to establish a Golf Club; The Ballarat Golf Club.
One would imagine the initial excitement of President Elect Drummond Wanliss and Vice President Elect John Corbett would surely be tested as they were the only two who attended the meeting. Undeterred however, and still full of enthusiasm, the Club was formed; in a short time a Committee was Elected and an 11 Hole Golf Course constructed. Of course we all know of the glorious history that the Ballarat Golf Club has enjoyed. Today we still share some of that initial course to lay claim to being the oldest Golf Club in Australia being on its original land.
The Club prospered and grew to be one of the finest Country courses in Victoria; expanded to 18 Holes and renewed and expanded the old Clubhouse; which was the pride of the Club. There was great appeal of the Club and its status drew the Champions of their eras; Peter Thomson; Greg Norman and Ian Stanley as champion golfers graced the Course; along with many celebrities and dignitaries including a past Victorian Governor in Sir Brian Murray.
However it was during the latter part of the 1900’s that the Course and Clubhouse conditions were starting to wane and major funds would be required to ensure its survival as a competitive Club.
Despite these problems the Club was certain its survival lay in its ownership and late in the1990’s the Club would finally purchase the land it had inhabited for over 100 years. Then in a milestone moment on the 7th of April 2003 the Members voted resoundingly to accept a proposal of the then Committee to explore the option of working with a local developer to incorporate a Golf Club and Prestige Housing Estate. The rest shall we say is history!....”