Show & Tell – Rosnay 23 July 2015

Ten brave souls teed off in the afternoon after quite heavy rain earlier in the day, but we were blessed with fair weather for the actual nine holes. The course was heavy, and whilst assisting shots to the pin, it made for interesting fairway lies.

Auburn 01
L-R Michael Sheret, Barry Leithhead & Arthur Penton on the 8th green (click to enlarge).

A new hickory participant was welcomed, Arthur Penton from Windsor Country Golf Club. Mention should be made of the efforts of Andrew Wilson and Rob Downie, who ventured from Kiama and Nowra respectively to participate – true hickory aficionados.

Auburn 02
L-R Arthur Penton, Barry Leithhead & Michael Sheret on the 8th green (click to enlarge).

Played as a stableford event, the eventual scores ranged from 18 to 9, whilst individual hole scores ran from zero to four. After being the Club House leader with 15, Tony Pickrell was run down by the next group with the eventual winner eclipsing his good effort.

Auburn 03
L-R Tony Doggett, Tom Moore & Graham Evans on the 9th green (click to enlarge).

The two final group produced the winners and runners up on the day being:-

Barry Leithhead with 18, Graham Evans with 17 and Tom Moore with 16. Mary Evans carried off the ladies trophy. Barry scored points on every hole, a feat the rest of us could not accomplish, well done Barry.

Auburn 04
L-R Tom Moore & Graham Evans on the 9th green (click to enlarge).

Whilst enjoying our post game refreshments and repast, numerous players presented their Show & Tells items. Amongst those presented, items ranged from pewter card holders, replica featheries, a branded unbreakable iron, a beautifully restored driver by Edgar Oakman, binding twine for repairs to wood, to a set of sheathed irons returned to the Howard family after an 80 year journey.

Auburn 05
L-R Graham Evans, Mary Evans, Tom Moore & Tony Doggett on the 9th green (click to enlarge).

Much information was bandied around the dinner table & a debate  on aspects of early steel shafts was particularly interesting. I hope everyone present enjoyed the experience as I did.

Auburn 06
L-R Graham Evans, Mary Evans, Tony Doggett & Tom Moore on the 9th green (click to enlarge).

It is interesting to note as a group of hickory enthusiasts we have so much interest and accumulated information to share. I would recommend to those who have not played in one of the Show Tells Days to mark the next one on their calendar.

– Ross Howard


(Images courtesy of Mr. Andrew Wilson)

Sydney Golf Courses in the 1930s – What course is this?

There is a wonderful series of aerial photos held in the collections of the State Library of NSW showing a number of golf courses in Sydney in the 1930’s. Some photos can be dated a little more accurately than others by the presence of certain buildings.

The index to the photos is not totally accurate and AGHS would like to see this corrected when we are satisfied with the corrections.

The featured photo of this post (shown above) is photo 11 in the index and is definitely not Concord as labelled.

We’d appreciate your comments/conclusion on this. Please use the form below to let us know where you think – or know – the mystery golf course is – or was – situated. If you can convince a judging panel that your identification of the course is correct, a sleeve of Australian Golf Heritage Society mesh replica golf balls is all yours.

The index page to the images can be accessed here (“Contents List” tab) and a larger view of the photo above can be found here.

The index published by the State Library alongside our current thinking is contained in the table below:

# State Library Record Corrections/Comments
1-2 Avalon GC
3-4 Avondale GC
5-6 Balgowlah GC
7 Bayview GC
8-9 Brighton GC North Brighton – closed circa 1948 upon re-routing of Cooks River for Sydney Airport expansion
10 Concord
11 Concord ?? See larger copy above
12-13 Dee Why GC  Cromer Golf Club
14-20 [Eastlakes] The Lakes Corrections:
Eastlake and New Metropolitan (Bonnie Doon – Pagewood) Clubhouses – circa 1937 since the Clubhouse at New Metropolitan has only just been completed. It was constructed 1937
15 Eastlake and The Lakes
16 Eastlake and The Lakes (with North Brighton top of frame)
17 New Metropolitan (Bonnie Doon – Pagewood), Eastlake in foreground
18 The Lakes, Eastlake and The Australian top LH corner
19 New Metropolitan (Bonnie Doon – Pagewood) upside down
20 New Metropolitan (Bonnie Doon – Pagewood) south paddock
21-22 Elanora GC
23-25 Kensington The Australian GC
26-27 La Perouse NSW GC
28-29 Long Reef
30-31 Manly
32-33 Mona Vale
34-35 Moore Park 35 with The Australian top of frame
36-37 Mosman Middle Head – 1922-1940
38-39 Northbridge, Willoughby Council
40-44 [Pagewood] Bonnie Doon Bonnie Doon GC but on the Arncliffe site – now Kogarah GC. Most of this site was resumed for Sydney Airport expansion 1948
45-46 Palm Beach
47-48 Pymble
49-50 Rose Bay Royal Sydney GC
51-52 Roseville
53 Ryde District  Ryde-Parramatta Golf Club
54 [Unidentified] The Australian GC

26 July 2015                                                                                                                    Name: Ross Howard

Comment: Great idea, luv the concept of finding “old” courses. I have two possibilities, either Herne Bay or Greenwood.

Am I close ?

Ross – Herne Bay was the original name for the Sydney suburb of Riverwood, and the Herne Bay course was in the vicinity of Salt Pan Creek. There is a very short history of the course – including a photograph –  here. Herne Bay was taken over by the U.S. military in 1943 for use as a hospital.

Greenwood was the third course built by Waverley motor mechanic Francis Crowe (the others being the old Liverpool course and the Riverwood layout at Georges Hall). Greenwood was on Walder Road at Hammondville, and the bottom of the course fronted the Georges River. It was subsumed by urban sprawl in the 1970s, although the New Brighton Club have made known their intention to build seven holes on parts of the old Greenwood site.

The photograph is neither of these courses. Nice try though.

12 August 2015                                                                                                                    Name: Leon Old Golf

Comment: Some of these pics were used in the circa 1938ish publication Golf Courses of NSW , strangely some of the pics in the publication are not in the collection held by the State Library of NSW.

Leon – The collection seems to be incomplete. There is – for instance – a lower quality photograph of the same mystery course:

Not Concord again (click to enlarge).

that is neither considered part of the collection nor properly catalogued, even though it is undoubtedly from the same series of photographs.

The big question is whether the mystery course is included in your ‘Golf Courses of NSW’, and whether it is correctly identified. A sleeve of Australian Golf Heritage Society mesh replica golf balls is a stake here!

30 August 2015                                                                                                                    Name: Ross Howard

Comment: OK, my third & last attempt is to nominate Kirkham Lane !

Ross – Strangely enough, we were talking about Kirkham Lane at the Museum today. The discussion centred around the ability of golfers – of various vintages – to recall course layouts from many years ago, and one of the participants recalled the hole at Kirkham Lane where he scored his first hole in one. No name, no pack drill.

Kirkham Lane was in the general vicinity of the Nepean River and Narellan Creek at Camden, so the requisite water course box is ticked. However, the site of the course was, and still is,  primarily rural in character.

The housing development around and about our mystery course says one thing . . . not Kirkham Lane. You are – however – to be complimented on your knowledge of defunct Sydney golf courses.


Margery McWilliam Interview

Interview 1:

Interview 2:

Patron Australian Golf Heritage Society since 2012
Member of Bonnie Doon Golf Club since 15th February, 1950
Life Member Bonnie Doon Golf Club 2000
Lady President of Bonnie Doon GC: 1963 – 1965 and 2001 – 2004
Lady Captain of Bonnie Doon GC: 1960 – 1962 and 1971 – 1975
NSWLGU Council member 1963-1979, 1987-1991, 1993-1996
NSWLGU Match Committee member 1968-1979, 1987-1996 (Chair – from Jan 1975-Aug 1979, 1989-1996)
NSWLGU Junior Golf Committee member 1965-1967
NSWLGU Finance Committee member 1976-1977, 1990-1991
NSWLGU Scratch Score (Course Rating) Committee member 1965-1967-1974, 1993-1994
NSWLGU Vice President 1973, 1975-1977, 1980, 1990-1991
NSW Delegate to ALGU 1974-1978
Elected NSWLGU Counsellor in 1996
Awarded Distinguished Service NSW Sports Federation Award in 2006
Lived in Malaysia from late 1979, for 7 years. Death of husband Bill McWilliam (golfer) 2008.
Ladies Australian Hickory Shaft Champion in 1999 & 2000.

Project Name: Australian Golf Heritage Society Oral History Project
For further information and a project brief, please contact: Curator/Collection Manager
Australian Golf Heritage Society: 9637 4720
Interview Length 57:34 – archival WAV (948MB)
Interview 1
53:45 – edited MP3 (49.2MB)
25:02 – Archival WAV (412MB)
Interview 2
22:53 – edited MP3 (20.9 MB)
Interview Number No.6 of series
Timed log X
Name of interviewee/ narrator Margery McWilliam.
Sometimes referred to as Marge but known correctly as Margery.
Date of Birth 26/6/1926
Date of Interview 7/6/2015 (Interview 1) and 29/6/2015 (Interview 2)
Place of Interview Margery McWilliam home in Stella Maris Nursing Home, Cronulla, NSW Australia

Technical Data – Sound Files

Brand and Model of Digital Recorder Zoom H4N
Brand and type of microphone Zoom H4N inbuilt with sock
Sound Storage Medium used – USB, CD/DVD – client History Herstory has back-up copies
Location of Back-up Home – various and Dropbox, AGHS Museum
Digital Recording Rate     Uncompressed WAV 24 bit 48 kHz  archivalCD (WAV – 44.1/16) and MP3 – edited
Sound Field Stereo

 Technical Data – Photographs/Images

Full Title of each item Margery McWilliam portrait scanned from narrator photograph
Place/location where photograph was taken Cruise ship
Creator Unknown
Source Access/Restrictions/Copyright Nil restrictions
Model of Digital Camera Unknown
File Format (eg JPEG, TIFF, RAW) JPG
Pixel dimension 1878 X 1350
No. of images 1
Additional documentation, images and artefacts Information about Margery is available online.


Signed Conditions of Interview Use Form X
Signed release form for photos provided by interviewee X


Time Subjects Additional Information
0:00 -0:99  Project introduction AGHS –Australian Golf Heritage Society.
1:00 – Standard Genealogical information: DOB: Born in 26/6/1926 (date provided by daughter). Aged, 89 (provided by daughter). Born in Bathurst, NSW. Her father was with the Department of Agriculture. Moved from Bathurst to Wyong then Goulburn because of her father’s job. Had a rural upbringing. Met her husband in Goulburn when he was in the army. Margery married 7/2/1948 Goulburn.  Margery didn’t play golf as a child, started playing in her 20s. Attended school in Wyong. When she got married her husband was the golf professional at Goulburn Golf Course. He later took up the position at Beverley Park in NSW. Her brother and father were both golf champions and her father had helped design the course at Wyong. Her mother played golf at Goulburn at Tully Park Golf Club, Goulburn, named after someone on the council. Margery had a sister who died from Cancer and her brother, the club champion at Goulburn Golf Club. Goulburn Golf Club was a good club to play at but the club didn’t encourage young people to join as a danger on the course was that a train line ran through the course so players had to stop and wait for trains travelling through. Her husband ensured the course was cared for, fertilised appropriately – response given when asked about Goulburn being in a drought area. Margery Grace McWilliam, sometimes called Marge, but more correctly and commonly Margery is used.  38 Chantry Street, Goulburn NSW – Tully Park Golf Club. Margery comes from a golfing family.  Blackshaw Rd Goulburn, NSW – Goulburn Golf Club.))NSW 2580Margery’s husband is Golf Professional, Bill McWilliam (deceased).
11:45 Work additional to homemaker, mother and work for golf: worked for a solicitor at the courthouse in Goulburn during the war. Her father was in charge of providing steel posts and wood to people on the land during the war years.  
14:19 Margery had three children. She used to do the books and accounts for her husband as the Golf Professional at Beverley Park. Margery used to play at the golf club and also played in the competitions. She made good friends, thinks she’s outlived most of them. Beverley Park Golf Club in St George district, Southern Sydney, NSW.
18:30 Margery was in the NSW State Hockey Team. After being injured with a black eye in a hockey match her father encouraged Margery to take up golf instead of hockey. Funny retelling of having a black eye. Overall, Margery’s family was very ‘sporty’.
21:00 Descriptions of team golf outfits – matching skirt and sweater. Ladies clubs compared to the clubs used by men. Margery has noticed that Golf, like any sport, has made great improvements in its equipment. Her favourite golf brand was whatever let her hit the ball best! She didn’t use a golf caddy. She only had her bag pulled for her on grade days. In ‘those’ days you had someone who was in the team caddy for you on a special occasion. Female players had female caddies.  
24:55 Played in Malaysia at Royal Selangor Golf Club and did well in competitions, won the Foursomes, received many trophies over the years. She and Bill lived in Malaysia with Bill as the Golf Professional for seven years. Living in Malaysia was very enjoyable. This was when her children were older and grown-up from approximately 1979. Margery also did the books for the club office; she was very busy with club life and business. Kuala Lumpur Malaysia – Royal Selangor Golf Club.
27:27  Margery’s assistance was for female Golf players. She was on a committee at Bonnie Doon. Margery explained that at most clubs the male and female committees were separate apart from organisation for mixed play. The atmosphere between male and female organisers was always very friendly.  
29:28 Major honours: NSW Sports Federation Distinguished Long Service Award, New South Wales Sports Awards, 2006 and Australia Day 2008 Order of Australia medal. Margery was always thrilled for what she was doing for the clubs. Margery referred to the lessons given by Golf Professionals such as her husband. He was very patient. Bill also taught children at Beverley Park for free. Margery did not teach golf. Bill tied to help Margery with her game. Bill was especially patient with new players. Interviewer mistakenly gives wrong year for the NSW Sports Awards. Bill McWilliam was also awarded an Order of Australia medal. Probably they are a very unusual couple to both receive the prestigious honour.
34:18 Margery thinks Australia is good for golf as well as all sorts of sports because of the space and the climate. Margery thinks Karrie Webb is an excellent Australian player and also considers Sarah Kemp is excellent. Karrie Webb and Sarah Kemp are two major Australian female golfers.
36:25 Thinks players who earn millions of dollars to play golf are “jolly lucky”.  
37:00 International influences on Australian golf – everyone helped each other for the games. American golf influenced Australian players; Americans were leaders. Australian female players were “able to hold their own”. American golf helped improve the game. Mentions Sarah Kemp was taught by her husband, Bill. Interruption of knock and comment from Stella Maris employee removed at this point. Comments about her family’s connections to golf.
40:20 Green keepers today take pride in their work; they do the best they can.  
41:20 Margery loves watching golf on television and delights in being an armchair critic. She loves watching golf and stays up late to watch it on television.  
42:28 What is meant by the expression ‘Golf is a funny game’. Margery made a joke about counting the shots. Margery, instead of referring to golf as a ‘funny’ game made comments about the complexity and challenges of the game.  
43:46 Margery’s advice to up and coming players. Margery suggests players test themselves against amateurs before trying professional competition.  
44:43 Life on a committee: no troubles or arguments people are there to do a job. Sometimes a committee member would have a different point of view. Everyone was interested in doing the best for the clubs; for the competitions and the players.  
45:50 Australian selector – doing her best for the clubs and the players. Margery didn’t have trouble with the teams. She did her best to help players. Margery always kept track of their scores Australian selector:1977-1979 In Perth for one selection period.
47:20 Professional Golf Australia and Golf Australia (Amateur Golf Association) – was involved with both.  
48:38 Rules of Golf: Margery had a very thorough knowledge of the rules. No longer has a rule book. Knew the rules for the sake of the players. People sought her advice about the rules often, generally after matches. Jeanette Miller (daughter) is aware that her mother was considered a rules expert
50:46 Conclusion and final comments. Not everyone can be a champion but golf is a good game for people to play.  
   Interview 2: 29/6/2015  
0:00 – 0:38 Interview Identification information  
0:38 Bill McWilliam taught golf to the King of Malaysia. He was picked up by the king’s plane and flown to the palace for lessons. He had to follow protocol and be aware of time constraints. Lessons were held at Royal Selangor Golf course. The king’s daughter also played golf and had lessons with Bill. Both Margery and Bill were invited to a family wedding.  
6:05 The NSW Golf Course at La Peruse. The bunkers were very deep and it was hard to get the ball out. It was also hard for women to physically get out. The bunkers were adjusted for better access. Otherwise it was a very pleasant golf course to play at and caddies were provided for players.  
9:51 Bill once won a fridge in a ‘nearest to the pin’ competition. They were both thrilled because it was much better than the one they owned. Margery said the purses were good and players were happy with what they won in competitions.  
12:08 Measuring the holes for the NSW Golf Union. They used a type of tape. They did this to get a rating, a handicap for the people playing.  
13:53 Preparing the balls for the Beverley Park Night Range: Margery’s and Bill’s backyard was covered in wire mesh that allowed golf balls to rest and dry on the wire without falling out completely. Margery used to roll the balls in good white paint between the palms of her hands in such a manner the paint stayed put. And then the balls were turned over to dry. A red dash was put on all the balls to show they belonged to Bill’s night range. This was done to thousands of balls.  
18:31 Margery’s thoughts about the sometimes very short skirts worn by golfers such as Jan Stephenson. Jan was once asked to wear a longer skirt.  
21:00 Some holes had tees forward to help women players. Comments about the difficulty of the NSW Golf Course. Course designers have learned about courses that are too hard and adjust them. Comments about Australian Golf Club being an excellent, difficult but fair course. Australian Golf Club – Rosebery, Sydney, NSW