Bonnie Doon GC History

One of Australia's most influential golf clubs began with an assembly of 'golf mad cranks' at the home of Marrickville Doctor Charles Adam Patrick in 1897.

Now, more than a century later, it is a club with a host of traditions, the third-oldest in Sydney, and unique in that it has existed at three different sites. ;xNLx;Under its original name of Marrickville Golf Club, it was a 12-hole course amid what were then the estates and grand homes that dotted the hills of Tempe. One of these was the notorious 'cliff hole', which required a lofted iron shot to carry up the rocky face of a 15-metre cliff. ;xNLx;Membership at Tempe started with men, of whom many were bookmakers, jockeys and hoteliers, but very early, women were encouraged to join. The first ladies monthly medal was played less than two years after the club was formed. Subscriptions were all of 10/6, or just $1.05 a year.;xNLx;The club moved to a new site at Arncliffe in 1907, also prompting a change in name. Bonnie Doon was the title of the grazing property the club purchased - land included in Cook's original charter of Botany Bay - and that was the name chosen by a majority of members.;xNLx;Now the club boasted an 18-hole course and a grand homestead for its clubhouse.;xNLx;Following World War II, expansion plans for Mascot aerodrome included land occupied by 13 of Bonnie Doon's 18 holes. Members again picked up their clubs, this time moving to the present site at Pagewood.;xNLx;Taking over the much younger New Metropolitan Golf Club in 1947, Bonnie Doon's 850 members now played on a pure links-style course of wide fairways and natural hazards, carved out of sandy heath and banksia scrub.;xNLx;In the years since, the nature of the course has changed, the membership has grown and facilities have developed to bring the club up to Group One standard. But the character of 'The Doon' has remained - 'first and foremost, a golfer's club'.

1911 Annual General Meeting

Held at Cafe Francais

TE Howard Champion of Club Champions

Tom Howard wins his last Club Championship in 1921 and goes on to win NSW Amateur and the Champion of Club Champions

Course Re-Development

Stage 1 of Ogilvy Clayton Master Plan was commenced as site fencing was erected and play on holes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 8 ceased. Play recommenced on April 29, 2012

Walter Hagen Plays Bonnie Doon

Walter Hagen was in brillant form at Bonnie Doon today in a match which he played with J. H Kirkwood against V. James (Bonnie Doon) and W. Gosden (Mosman). This game was arranged by the Professional Golf Association, and there was an attendance of about 700. Bogey for the course is 75 and the record 70. Hagen went round in 68.

Avondale GC Officially Opened

Opened by the State Governor Sir Dudley de Chair. Attorney-General Mr FS Boyce is the oresident

Professionals Golf Challenge

Vic James in Professional Golf Challenge. The match, which is being decided over 72 holes, commenced at Rose Bay yesterday and will continue today. Clark and James are leading by three holes

New Metropolitan Results

L Bromley - second in Sunday Stableford competition with 39 points is later to be Club Champion of Bonnie Doon GC in 1954, 1956, 1962

Pantry Maid Wanted

Positions vacant were still being advertised for Bonnie Doon GC at Arncliffe

Eric Apperly and TE Howard and The Lakes GC

Tom Howard and Eric Apperly jointly design The Lakes Golf Course in 1928

Eric Apperly and TE Howard Eastlake Golf Course

Tom Howard and Eric Apperly jointly design Eastlake Golf Course in 1930. The second 9 was completed in 1932

New Clubhouse for Bonnie Doon

Notice of new clubhouse to be designed by Wright and Apperly (Eric Apperly) at the cost of 10,000 pounds

New Clubhouse Opening

Bonnie Doon hosts a "house-warming" for the new clubhouse with all day competitions and dinner at 6:30pm

New Golf Club Formed

Mr. Allan P. Morgan has been elected first president of the New Metropolitan Golf Club, which was formed recently, and will have Its head- quarters on the new course at Pagewood.

First Monthly Medal

The newly-formed Marrickville Golf Club held its first monthly medal competition for a trophy of 18 balls, presented by the patron of the club, Mr F Gannon, on Saturday.

Wollongong Golf Club Established

Marrickville GC members travelled to Wollongong to recently formed Wollongong GC (1897) for a teams match. Marrickville won by 10 holes

First Monthly Medal for Associate Members

The first monthly medal competition of the associate members of the Marrickville Club was played last week for a trophy presented by the president, Mr T F Tarbor. The weather, though warm, was very pleasant. Eight players competed.

Marrickville Golf Club Formed

At a meeting held at Dr Patrick's house, Marrickville-Road, on Wednesday, 29th instant it was resolved to form a club, to be known as the Marrickville Golf Club.

Aerial Photo of Bonnie Doon GC

Later to be named Kogarah Golf Club, This photo show Bonnie Doon Golf Club as is was before Sydney Airport was extended and prompted the Club to relocate a second time to Pagewood

First Amateur Championship of Australia

The Australian Golf Union was newley formed in 1899 as the first Championship of Australia was held at Royal Sydney Golf Club. Playing 36 holes each over 2 days, C.E.S. Gillies from New Zealand was the winner of the event with a total 314. Golfers of New South Wales, the Royal Sydney, Australian, Marrickville and Strathfield clubs were all in attendance.

Dr J.H.B Brown Champion of Club Champions

Dr J.H.B Brown is Champion of Champions for Bonnie Doon

New Bonnie Doon Layout

Sunday Herald in 'Down the Fairways" by Bill Fitter makes mention of the new layout at Pagewood. Prosper Ellis is responsible for the design.

Tom E Howard - Club Champion

Tom E Howard wins first of his Club Championship. Tom goes on to be Club Champion 8 times, wins the NSW Amateur twice, wins the Champion of Club Champions (1921), turns professional in 1922 and works at Concord GC. He wins Australian Open (1923) and continues for many years to collect top ten positions in our national open. He partners with Eric Apperly to design the original Lakes GC layout and then also Eastlake GC

1898 Annual General Meeting

Annual meeting held after monthly medal round. Drive for lady members on the agenda

New Layout Planned

A new layout for Bonnie Doon is planned by Prosper Ellis. This marked the takeover of New Metropolitan by Bonnie Doon

Marrickville Council takeover

Upon the departure of Bonnie Doon GC from Arncliffe and the resumption of the course for the Airport, Marrickville Council take over the Arncliffe site and are commended for the work in making the 6 hole course workable.

Ladies win Interclub

AGM for Ladies Golf Union

Bonnie Doon Open

Open Stroke competition with a cast of well known players


Lindfield (Killara) V Marrickville

1913 Annual General Meeting

AGM for Bonnie Doon held Saturday 29th March. The Club house was thoroughly renovated during the year

Marrickville GC changes its name

The Marrickville Club announces the change in name to Bonnie Doon Club

New links being prepared

Bonnie Doon, a property situated on the southern bank of Cook's River, was being prepared for playing order.

First Competition under new name

The change in name was greeted as a good thing by the journalists. The first competition by the newley named club was won by A. Mills (11) 4 down while W. Vicars (11) and G.Stewart (13) tied for second with 6 down.

Justin Bradbury appointed Superintendent

After 5 years as 1st Assistant Superintendent at Congressional Blue Course, Justin Bradbury accepts the position as Course Superintendent at Bonnie Doon GC

Stymie Rule abolished

The obstacle of your opponent's ball in the way of your putt. There were revisions to this rule over the years but it was finally abolished in 1952.

Stage 1 Update#2

Bulk Earthworks and shaping commences on the new 12th hole

Stage 1 Update#3

Ready for grassing on 12th Hole

Stage 1 Update#4

Turfing well advanced

Stage 1 Update#5

Fence removal and grow-in commences in full

6 of 7 new Holes opened

9th hole not quite ready but the new holes were met by ladies and men very favourably

Golf Course Architecture Forum

An information night held with the course designers and professional golfers Geoff Ogilvy and Mike Clayton

Dan Soutar turns Professional

Dan Soutar applied for teaching rights at Bonnie Doon but was denied.

Victor James first Professional

Vic was only 22 and had completed an 8 year apprenticeship with Fred Popplewell at the Australian Golf Club when he was elected to be the club's first professional

Ball Size Change

The 1.62in diameter golf ball was made illegal, replaced by the 1.68in model.

Lift & Clean

Players were now allowed to lift and clean their ball on the green

Lindfield Golf Club renamed

Lindfield Golf Club was renamed Killara Golf Club

1902 Annual General Meeting

AGM held September 1902

New Links at Enfield Opened

Enfield Links formally open. Later named Strathfield Golf Club

Wollongong Golf Club Formed

Wollongong golf course was laid out by Messrs Dobbin and Kent from Royal Sydney Golf Club

1900 Annual General Meeting

The meeting was held at Tattersall's Hotel, Friday 23 November.

New Pavilion erected by Associates

The new pavilion was opened by the Mr Fred Gannon who expressed pleasure in seeing so many ladies present.

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