All posts by Alan McDonald

Current Research Directions

Recent research published by AGHS members: A Famous Rules Incident in 1907. A full copy of the article can be obtained by contacting the History Sub-Committee via the About menu. The article gathers primary source evidence to describe and discuss in depth a bitter controversy at the Australian Open.

Research underway by AGHS members includes an in depth study of the Lakes Open. This tournament was run and financed by The Lakes Golf Club. It was played over four rounds from 1934 to 1974 and was one of the most important tournaments on the Australian golf calendar with a very large prize pool for its time.

In 1951 the Australian Open at the Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne was won by Peter Thomson by four strokes over Norman von Nida.

Question #1. How many Opens (British) did Peter Thomson win?

Question #2. How many Opens (British) did Norman von Nida win?

Question #3. At the Australian Open in 1951 what was the area of the 18th putting green at Metropolitan?

Answers soon on the website and the next issue of The Brassie.

2015 Al Howard Memorial Trophy – Results

The Al Howard Memorial Trophy was played at Wagga Wagga City Golf Club on Sunday 19th April 2015.

Al Howard trophy Wagga 2015
(Click to enlarge) L to R: Geoff Martin (AGHS), Tom Moore (AGHS), Tony Doggett (AGHS), Gerry Gerlach (AGHS), Jane Buckley (AGHS), Cliff George (GSA), John Buckley (AGHS), Rob Downie (AGHS), Paul Gladwin (AGHS), Dick Kirby (GSA), Lachlan Wilson (AGHS), David Kelso (GSA), Ross Howard (AGHS), Henry Paterson (AGHS), Darron Watt (AGHS), Alan McDonald (AGHS), Paula Gompertz (GSA), Peter Gompertz (GSA)

Under threatening skies, the afternoon 18 hole event was contested by 18 players representing The Golf Society of Australia (Vic) and Australian Golf Heritage Society (NSW). After a light lunch and the draw, teams proceeded to enjoy the course with few other players but many roos grazing down the 1st fairway.

Our Victorian friends required some bolstering of their team to achieve even numbers and my thanks to those players from NSW who rallied to the request to provide a balance for the 9 matches.

A number of long term friends and acquaintances were matched against each other, particularly because AGHS supplied additional numbers for the GSA team and friendly rivalry was the name of the game for the afternoon. To be a part of the last group of 3 pairs witnessing Tony Doggett & Tom Moore (playing for GSA) was interesting to say the least as I am sure were other matches during the afternoon.

The course was in fine condition, originally laid out by Al Howard and subsequently changed by Wayne Grady, it presented a fair challenge as we wheedled our pre-1940 hickories. The rain held off and despite the breeze becoming gusty as times, the day was a great success. Thanks go to Darron Watt for his assistance in the lead up to the event and on the day. Mention should also be made of other AGHS members who contributed to the preparations for the event, namely Dr Michael Sheret & Alan McDonald, thank you for your efforts.

Despite calls for the results to be announced at the course, it was determined all would be revealed at our evening dinner. After negotiating various road blocks, all parties appeared at Cottontails Restaurant out of town for rehydration, sustenance and to hear the result.

The AGHS team recorded a convincing win of 63 holes to 47 holes  (refer to Early Matchplay Scoring) on the day and continue to hold the trophy for 2015. The evening was also notable in that an open forum invited comments on the event and plans for the future. Many positive thoughts were aired and discussed during the evening, particularly in relation to the timing of the event for future years.

From all reports, those who played on the day enjoyed the surroundings and company. We look forward to being in Victoria in 2016 to defend the trophy.

On the Monday, 8 members of the party enjoyed a morning round at Wagga Wagga Country Club, alongside Lake Albert in beautiful weather, not aware of the appallingly bad weather they would encounter on the drive home to Sydney.

Ross Howard

Golf and War Exhibition – Now Open

Image: Australian War Memorial ARTV00026


One hundred years on from the Gallipoli landings, the Australian Golf Heritage Society Museum’s Golf and War exhibition honours those who served in war and who contributed to the war efforts at home. Through objects, official documents and personal reflections, the exhibition profiles golfers, professional and amateur, who enlisted in World War One and World War Two. Their experiences are all different.   Some paid the ultimate sacrifice, some received military distinctions, others were prisoners of war. All had their lives changed irrevocably.

Golf and War also looks at how golf clubs aided Australia’s war efforts through fundraising and, at times, giving up their courses for military purposes. After the wars, golf clubs recognised those who served through ‘digger days’.

The exhibition will be constantly changing with new sections developed to commemorate the service of golfers in other wars such as Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan and in the Boer War. The Museum is interested in hearing from anyone with information or images about a golfer who served in any war or activities conducted at their golf club.

The exhibition can be seen at 4 Parramatta Rd, Granville.

Entry is free.