The history of Wyong Golf Club is really the record of how its members have strived over the years, to establish the game of golf in this place. It’s a story of much endeavour, imagination, determination, good humour (most of the time), much fun, friendship and generosity of spirit, which has made our club truly special.
New members and visitors invariably comment on the friendly atmosphere they experience when they come to our club. They enjoy the banter, which is so obvious at presentations, and the egalitarian nature of the membership. This seems to have been a feature of the club since its inception, even when it was composed largely of “professional” people in the pre-World War II Era. It has certainly been the case in the post-war years when the term “The Club with the Good Spirit” became a type of motto for Wyong Golf Club.
The first organised efforts to play golf at Wyong took place in 1923 when a small number of devotees formed themselves into a club. Under the elected presidency of Sam McKimm, a local schoolmaster, these golfing pioneers, with co-operation from the Race Club Committee, laid out a nine-hole “links” on the Wyong Racecourse. Twenty or so, members and associates swung their hickory-shafted, “brassies”, “mashies” and “midirons” with great gusto. “Floaters” (balls that didn’t sink) were essential because the area was prone to flooding after heavy rain. Despite the wet conditions, sand greens were the order of the day.
Prolonged wet weather towards the end of the 1920s prompted a shift to higher ground and the Club was moved in 1930 to a new nine-hole layout, (again with sand greens), on Jensen Road, called Gaha’s Paddock. Although he leased the property to the Club, Gaha continued to run his cattle there so all greens had to be fenced. There was a local rule giving a free drop from cow “pats” and the right to replay your shot if you got an unfavourable bounce off the fences surrounding the greens. Even though it was only used for five years, Gaha’s Paddock was famous for the fact that Sam McKimm, hit off on the first hole and holed out on the ninth hole with the one shot! Sam claimed this as a “world record”! Also, in 1933, Don Bradman played an exhibition match against Will Corey the local Champ. and Bill Campbell, a local Pro. On the ninth hole, Don is reputed to have “driven the green”, 250m., which is not bad, considering the equipment of the day and the “cow paddock” on which he was playing.
The opportunity to lease a portion of the current site presented itself and under the presidency of Charlie Bunce, the shift from Gaha’s paddock was quickly made. “Opening Day” for the new nine-hole course with grass greens, was 9th, May 1936. The property was eventually purchased by the Club in 1947 for the sum of $2,000.
Between 1953 and 1956, it was expanded into eighteen holes designed by course architect, Al Howard, and at that time “boasted” the longest par five in N.S.W, some 613 yards. Both the first “nine” and the subsequent “eighteen” were constructed with much voluntary labour. Since then the course has undergone a series of alterations, the most notable of which were the changes brought about by the Cooper-Nagle Plan in the mid-1990’s, where four of the front nine holes were re-modelled and a significant increase in water storage was introduced. The current course has matured from these alterations and is now considered by many to be the best layout and one of the best-presented courses on the Central Coast.
The original clubhouse started as the caretaker’s cottage for the greenkeeper Alf Adams and his family but was later expanded into quite a sizable building. This was eventually sold to Munmorah Bowling Club in 1966, when, under the presidency of Arthur Mollett, it was replaced by the present clubhouse which itself, has undergone numerous alterations to meet the needs of an expanding membership. The quality of the par 72 championship course and the standard of the new clubhouse, prompted N.S.W. Golf to grant the Club, Group One Status in 1966 and the club has lived up to this status ever since.
While members like Sam McKimm, Tom Powell and Norm McGowan were the driving force up until the 1950s, the names of Jack Britt, Artie Mollett and Gordon Jackson were the ones who took the reins and “drove” the club into the mid-1980s. Between them, Artie and Gordon held the position of President for 28 years while Jack was on the committee for 36 years, with 12 as Captain. More recently the names to dominate have been life members, Trevor Smith, who served on the board for over 25 years, with 8 as President, Peter Nesteroff, who similarly served at club and district level for 25 years and as Captain for 7 years and our past President, Ian Spielvogel who had been on the Board for 40 years, and was President from 2002-2021.