Tom Moore Interview

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 01:07:15 – edited
01:19:45 – archival
Interview Number No.1 of series
Timed log X
Name of interviewee Tom Moore
Date of Birth 7/1/1931
Date of Interview 15/3/2013
Place of Interview Interviewee’s home/North Rocks NSW Australia

Technical Data – Sound Files

Brand and Model of Digital Recorder Zoom H4N
Brand and type of microphones used
(with split cable adapter)
Sony Condenser
Sound Storage Medium used – USB, CD – client History Herstory has back-up copies
Location of Back-up Home – various and Dropbox
Digital Recording Rate     Uncompressed WAV 24 bit 48 kHz  archival
CD (WAV – 44.1/16) and MP3 – edited
Sound Field Stereo

Technical Data – Photographs/Images

Full Title of each item Tom Moore portraits
Place/location where photograph was taken North Rocks
Creator Interviewer
Source Access/Restrictions/Copyright Nil restrictions
Model of Digital Camera Canon Digital SLR EOS 500D
File Format (eg JPEG, TIFF, RAW) JPEG
Pixel dimension 12
No. of Images  


Signed Conditions of Interview Use Form X
Signed release form for photos provided by interviewee X
List of other relevant documentation NA


Time Subjects Proper Names
0:00 -1:00  Project introduction AGHS –Australian Golf Heritage Society
1:03 Standard Genealogical information  
3:55 – 6:29 Tom Moore’s summary of his life in golf – as a Golf Professional and as a player.  
6:30 – Life as a 12 year old caddie in 1943+, golfers he caddied for were leaders in the community, very respectful men, golf balls in WW2, great spirit showed by the players. Rules of golf very fairly applied and this taught him life-long values. Jimmy Banks – creator of Ginger Meggs’ cartoonDan Dwyer – second in charge to General Blamey and the Head of the Johnson and Johnson pharmaceutical company.
8:45 Tom’s training as an accountant at Business College after leaving High School and early work in Accountancy at The Australian Glass Manufacturers factory at Waterloo, started at 15 years. Left in 1950 at 19yo.  
9:50 Professional golf career began as an amateur at Asquith Golf Club started at 16 in 1947. Difference between amateurs and professionals / Golf professionals ‘glorified caddies’. Caddies were called by their surname. The amateur was ‘king’. No touring professionals. Amateur games written up by the newspapers /professionals had little publicity. 1930s Norman Von Nida – changes occurred for professionals because of him and because of Exhibition matches of overseas professionals.  
12:50 Muirfield Golf Club appointment as golf professional. When Tom started the club was bankrupt. Golf at the time was a ‘winter’ game. Golf started in the first week in March each year and stopped last week of November. Golf became a year round sport because of the advent of television in 1956.  
14:33 Exhibition Matches USA and British players – not fabulous pay / ‘collection of the crowd’ for the exhibition players. 1954 when Peter Thomson won the British Open, Australian touring professionals had more opportunities to make a living from the game. Peter Thomson
15:59 The role of a golf club professional in 1950s and 1960s – received a small stipend, free rent on golf shop. Teaching, Committee influence, shop open 7 days. Christmas Day only day closed.  
18:02 Learning the art of making golf clubs and golf club assembly. Use of persimmon wood. Danger of persimmon wood running out. Laminating, plastic woods, aluminium alloys, titanium. No Australian woods suitable. Stopped working with persimmon in the 1970s. At Muirfield Golf Club for 23 and a half years, left at age 46 years.  
20:47 Events played in Australia and overseas. Not possible to be a player and a golf touring professional.  
21:28 American influences. USA active in promoting tournament golf/USA tax breaks/ use of charities to raise money for golf.  
22:12 Moved to Auburn Golf Club – much better work and salary conditions for golf professionals. Role of golf professional much the same in the 70s and 80s. Professional business attitudes in the running of the club. Review of reasons for leaving Muirfield. Equipment now mainly made in factories.  
25:46 Very few golf professionals like Tom had careers other than golf based like Tom’s accountancy qualifications because he had a gap between leaving school and starting work as a Golf Professional. Tom’s training in Accountancy helped him in his work. Golf professionals who were not passionate did not keep their jobs. Some golf professionals could not play golf well but they were in the minority and clubs got rid of them.  
28:44 Caddie work in the clubs finished after the war.  
29:37 Photographic science changed training approaches. Golf balls improved.  
30:26 Instruction manuals, books, magazines – Tom had to read them all. Cigarette cards very popular in the 1930s. Tom did not use film to analyse his trainees.  
32:09 Golf gizmos and gadgets – Tom a traditional trainer. The sort of people he trained. He trained touring professionals such as Jack Newton. Betty Cuthbert, Jack Newton.
34:00 In the 1970s – setting up golf contracts / minimum standards of pay – new initiative. Setting up of a Provident Fund.  
35:56 Interaction between touring and club professionals. Two separate camps – Club Professionals qualifying School. Tournament professionals. Touring professionals ‘looked down’ on Club Professionals even though club professionals were often excellent players. Now can be a member of both ‘camps’.  
38:05 Hickory shafts/Steel shafts/ USA influences on changeover from hickory to steel. UK followed suit. Buying set of golf clubs. (1930s). There were some matched sets of hickory golf clubs.  
41:28 Golf balls – advances. Wound golf balls. Best golf balls still made in similar fashion to the balls used when Tom started as a 12yo. The start of re-covering golf balls so they could be reused – very profitable, started during WW2. Costs of balls. In 1970 a superior quality golf ball cost $1. Rubber for golf balls in the WW2 war years. Players always aim, then and now, for the best quality they can afford for all golf equipment. Balata
45:21 Graphite shafts / lightweight steel – manufacturers now make almost all clubs, no longer a role for Club Professionals. Names, numbers of golf clubs.  
47:30 Golf bags / Golf Buggies – changes over the years up to the 1970s – significant changes. Advent of wheeled buggies for bags.  
48:47 Tees pre-war/ up to 1939 – made out of sand with an egg-cup shaped container filled from sand buckets. Caddies built the sand tees and knew the type of tee the golfer they caddied for wanted – no such thing as the tee used today – this came in in the 1930s.  
50:19 Roll of caddies – Jack Nicklaus established the role of the modern day caddie. Golfers now use range finders. Modern day caddie is a good asset to a touring professional – caddies have excellent work conditions including very high rates of pay. Caddie knows a lot about golf but not necessarily a good player. Jack Nicklaus
52:08 Original golf clothing – Plus Fours / reasons for Plus Fours. Golf clothing today, men and women.  
53:17 Females in golf – up until WW2 females were tolerated but had different conditions imposed upon them in golf clubs.  
54:19 Golf course design – golf ‘along the ground’/ Arial golf. Modern golf is different because of golf course design especially with the introduction of water features.  
55:25 Grass – early courses tried to copy Scotland – didn’t work in Australia because of climate apart from the golf courses in Melbourne which has an excellent climate for golf grass and has the best courses in Australia.  
56:25 Green keepers then and now. Were glorified labourers in the past.  
57:13 Major influences on Australian golf – UK or USA. American influences predominant on Australian golfing despite our historical links to Scotland. USA has the population to produce the champions.  
58:08 PGA – then and now.  
59:18 PGA as compared to Golf Australia. Was a lot of disharmony in the past, now a lot more cooperation.  
1:00:28 Golf since retiring – very active in all aspects.  
1:01:27 Attendance at tournaments – promoting the work of the AGHS and the history of golf.  
1:02:08 Why is golf a funny game? Funny peculiar not funny ha ha.  
1:02:40 Tom’s definition of a fine golfer – personality and overall attitude. Some golfers are not nice people. Mention of Norman Von Nida – very nice man  
  Tom’s favourite golfers – Norman Von Nida and Kel Nagle  
1:05:03 Additional comments / lovely life in golf/ wonderful wife/ Boy Scout/ bush walking/ politics. Tom’s children/ grandchildren – all can play golf but they choose not to play golf – Tom never pushed golf onto his children or grandchildren as he witnessed the damage pushy parents can do.