RAHS Lecture and Seminar Podcasts

The Royal Australian Historical Society has an established tradition of conducting history lectures, workshops and seminars including its popular Day Lecture series held on the first Wednesday of each month.

Since June 2012, RAHS Digital Media Officer Graham Sciberras has been recording these events in an effort to make them available in to a wider audience. The Society would like to thank the speakers for allowing these lectures to be podcasted.

2014 Day Lecture Series

Michael Sheret & Norman Richardson – Golfing Puzzles 1839 Sydney Town

The diaries of Alexander Brodie Spark provide the first reliable evidence of golf played in Australia. On 25 May 1839 golf commenced at Grose Farm and on 1 June 1839 the NSW Golf Club was instituted. Three puzzles have surrounded the 1839 golfers. What triggered them to start golf? Why did the NSW Golf Club have such a short life? How was the 1839 club connected to the Royal Blackheath Golf Club, London? Join Michael Sheret, who has researched and published in golf history, and Norman Richardson who will unravel the puzzles at this RAHS Day lecture.

Caravanning – Summer 2014-15 – Errata

In the Summer 2014-15 issue of Caravanning magazine, an article was published (p52) titled A Short History of Golf in Australia and described as being “By the Australian Golf Heritage Society”.

The Australian Golf Heritage Society (AGHS) did not write the article, did not sanction it, does not endorse it and had no knowledge of it until after it was published.

The Australian Golf Heritage Society is dedicated to accuracy in golf history. The reference given in Caravanning indicates that the writer based the article on a book published in 1982. Since then, new research based on primary source evidence has been carried out on early golf in Australia.

Ratho is promoted as a very old golf course and reference to the 1820s is stated in the article. Reliable evidence for this has never been published. If reliable evidence was ever discovered and published, The Australian Golf Heritage Society would be delighted. Meanwhile, the earliest reliable evidence of golf being played in Tasmania is about 1860 somewhere in the Bothwell district, probably on the Dennistoun estate. There is evidence of golf being played at Ratho informally in 1901. The Ratho golf course was formally opened in 1911, and the Bothwell Golf Club made its home at Ratho in 1912.This research was first published in June 2011. It has been extended and republished in the February 2015 issue of The Brassie, newsletter of The Australian Golf Heritage Society.

The mention of Flagstaff Gardens in Caravanning reflects the use of an out of date book as the reference source. There is now primary source evidence for golf being played in Sydney at Grose Farm on the 25th of May 1839, earlier than golf played near Flagstaff. Golf at Grose Farm in 1839 is therefore the earliest known golf in Australia. Evidence for this has been known to historians since 1976 and was brought to the attention of golf historians in 1992. AGHS members published extended research on the 1839 Grose Farm golfers in March 2014. A summary of this research and a lead to the full article was published in the February 2015 issue of The Brassie from this website. Grose Farm no longer exists as such and the land is today occupied by the University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Victoria Park. This material is also published separately under the History section of this website.

AGHS is always prepared to answer questions regarding golf history. Our History Sub-Committee can be contacted via the Contacts page on our website.

GSA Golf Club Historians Society Forum

Notice of Forum
Kingston Heath Golf Club, Kingston Road  Heatherton
12 Noon Monday 16TH March 2015
(Sandwiches, tea & coffee will be served from 11.30 am.)

The first forum for the year of the GSA Golf Club Historians Society is scheduled for Monday, 16TH March at Kingston Heath Golf Club. Your assistance in promoting this event to fellow interested golfers would be appreciated.

These forums have now been running for some years and are attracting increasing numbers of participants. Their aim is to help and encourage club representatives and others interested in golf history to preserve, publicise and document club histories or to commence sorting and collating whatever may already be available at their club.

A more recent forum innovation has been to exhibit and discuss the identification, preservation and use of hickories in special events.

The forums also provide an opportunity for fellow golfers interested in the history of the game to exchange views on all matters pertaining to the history of golf in Australia (especially in Victoria) and assists the Society in its endeavours to expand it’s database on early golf in Australia. This database is a resource that is available to all golf historians and researchers.

If you wish to attend or require more information, please phone 0417 560 669 or email the golfsocietyaust@gmail.com by Tuesday 10th March 2015.

The Agenda for the meeting is shown below

Kim Hastie
Convenor, Historians Forums
Golf Society of Australia

Golf Historians Meeting
Kingston Heath Golf Club
12 Noon, Monday, March 16th 2015                                                                        Agenda
(Sandwiches, tea & coffee will be served from 11.30 am.)

Geoff Vincent, President, Golf Society of Australia (GSA).

An Outline of the Role of the Golf Society of Australia and Objectives of Historians Forums
Dick Kirby, Spring Valley, GSA Committee Member,

Kingston Heath Golf Club.. an insight into the clubs  history.
Peter Clark    Kingston Heath Captain

Himmerman and Kirk golf stick makers in 1920’s
Paul Burgess   Woodlands, Past GSA Committee and Historians Convenor.

Hickory Golf and its’ increasing popularity
Peter Gompertz    GSA Committee Member.

What we know about golf in early Victoria
Ian Rennick   Kew, Past GSA President.

Show and Tell.
Attendees are invited to bring along any old golf clubs, golf memorabilia or books for assessment and comment.

General Discussion.

Next meeting
Barwon Heads Golf Club, Monday 15th June 2015

Closure and vote of thanks to Kingston Heath Golf Club
Geoff Vincent

Ref Hist, Agenda KHGC2015