On this day, 125 years ago, the Club was founded at a meeting attended by just two people.
From the minute book records: A meeting for the purpose of founding a golf club was held at Mr Corbetts, Union Bank, on 11th April 1895.
The Hon Ths. Drummond Wanliss MLC took the chair
It was resolved to found a club to be called The Ballarat Golf Club.
The club would be based on the grounds of the Ballarat common next to where the Arch of Victory was opened on 2 June, 1920.
Fast forward to 2001 when local Ballarat firm Roadcon proposed an exciting development.
It offered to purchase the eastern part of the course in return for creating a new quality championship course on the western portion of the old course and on former common land to the north. After a detailed briefing of plans to Club members in early 2002, the vote was 310 to 10 to move ahead with the proposal.
There were many barriers confronting Roadcon and committee members, but on the 31st January 2008, an historic land signing occurred when the golf club and Roadcon exchanged land titles. Roadcon now owned the eastern part of the old course and the golf club owned the land for the new course. As a result in 2008 land titles were swapped and a new Championship Course was designed and constructed providing both playability and challenges for all levels of golfing ability.
The official opening for the new Club was in November 2009, where the Premier of Victoria, John Brumby and course designers Peter Thompson and Ross Perrett attended an evening of celebration attended by a large number of members and guest. Michael Phillips had taken the roll as General Manager at that time with Alan Burns as Club President and Jill Dunne President of the Ladies Committee.
The move to the new Club was not all smooth sailing. For instance, legal action was initiated by one of its members and after a long process the Tennis Club split from the Golf club and now operates out of its own facility in Prince of Wales Park. Another hard decision was on what honour boards to display in the club and where they would be located. This resulted in the 2 original boards being displayed in the golf entrance and a reduced number of frosted glass panels displayed in the clubhouse.
On 8th August 2015, we celebrated 120 years of the club with a Gala Dinner. The guest speaker for the evening was Paul Sheahan, AM and a highlight of the evening was the unveiling of a plaque denoting the golfer’s room in the clubhouse to the Titheridge Room.
Besides the wonderful achievements of Neil Titheridge with his 26 Club Championships, this honour also acknowledged the contribution of other family members to the Golf Club.
Heather Brauman, a life member of the club since 2015, says "In my twenty five years a lot of changes have been undertaken. The handicap system has had two different systems and is now all computerised. I recall Roger Masom getting cross with the lady handicappers when we didn't have the right letters to add a new name on the handicap boards and we would pinch some of his letters."
She also mentions "It's very exciting to see ladies welcomed on to the board, with Elizabeth Chatham a member of the board many years ago. We have also seen Carolyn Sertori elected for the Board in 2016 and our current Vice President being Lesa Gray. We now welcome Kym Erbacher to the 2020 Board."
In December 2017, we were thrilled to announced our first Junior Scholarship program.
The scholarship was open to any golfer under the age of 18 living in the Ballarat District Golf Association region and applications came in from all over the district from golfers all different ages and abilities showing a real passion for the sport. The scholarship was supported by Golf Victoria, PGA Australia and Titleist Footjoy and was born out of an interest to support and encourage a young golfer with a prize package that gives them unique experiences in the industry and extra opportunities to develop their skills.
Winners of the program:
- 2018 - Rose Britt
- 2019 - Liam Howlett and Millie Cassidy
- 2020 -Gemma Gale and Joel Smith
In the last twenty five years we had seven members who have been awarded Life Memberships
- 1996 G J Walter
- 2002 Miss P J Sloss
- 2007 P J Cook
- 2009 P K Trevenen
- 2012 Mrs H Brauman
- 2015 A Burns
- 2016 R Masom
In the last 5 years we have seen many significant events including:
- 21st April, 2015 we said goodbye to Peter Hoskin. Peter joined the Club in 1951 and stood for the Committee in 1955 and 1957 before being appointed in 1957. Peter was awarded Life Membership in 1981 and the Board room in the new Clubhouse was named the “CP HOSKIN BOARDROOM” in his honour in 2009.
- 16th April, 2016 The Ballarat Golf Club was awarded as winner of Best Community Support Project for the ‘Give Golf a Go Day’ as part of the PGA National Futures Event.
- 24th April, 2017 We were announced the Best Golf Club in the CCV Awards.
- 9th June, 2017 Life Member Roger Masom passed away suddenly. Roger joined the club in October 1984 and served as a long term Board Member and also serving as captain in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and became Club President in 2010. In 2016 Roger was deservedly rewarded with a Life Membership,
- 28th January 2018, The inaugural ALPG Ballarat Icons Pro Am was held at the Ballarat Golf Club. The event was a huge success with 75 Professionals representing 17 different countries competing for the $25,000 prize pool with amateurs both male and female playing alongside the star studded field of Pros. This a was an exciting addition to the PGA Futures event that has been held at the Club since 2014.
- May 2018, Michael Phillips resign from the General Managers Position after 9 years in the job moving to a new position in NSW.
- 28th February 2019, The Ballarat Golf Club was thrilled to announce the club had received a $125,000 Community Sport Infrastructure grant to update the clubs driving range to include an undercover facility.
We believe Ballarat to be one of the premier courses in country Victoria and we've recently been rank 14th in the Golf Australia Top 50 golf courses in Australia.
While the world is currently in difficult times we look forward with optimism to the next 125 years for this fabulous Club.