Founded in 1920
The Royal Queensland Golf Club was founded in 1920, (initially as the Queensland Golf Club) by a group of prominent citizens of Brisbane who obtained a lease of land occupying 420 acres (in today’s terms 170 hectares) – since reduced to around 240 acres ( 97 hectares) – fronting the Brisbane River in an area known as Parker Island. The land consisted of a series of islets surrounded by mangrove swamp, and the course was formed by dredging sand from the adjacent Brisbane River. Intensive work by the Members and a vigorous tree planting programme in the early years succeeded in transforming the sandy wastes into an attractive golf course setting.
The original course was designed by Carnegie Clark, the Australian Open Champion of the day, and was opened by the Governor-General Lord Forster in 1921. It is said that he had a handicap of +3. Later that year the Club was granted its Royal Charter, and in 1923 there followed an exchange of gifts with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrew’s. Royal Queensland presented to St Andrew’s a silver boomerang, which is currently played for annually as the Queensland Silver Boomerang by Members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrew’s at their Autumn meeting. In return Royal Queensland received a replica of the famous St Andrew’s Silver Club “instituted for competition among the gentlemen golfers of St Andrew’s in 1754″. This is the Club’s prized St Andrew’s Trophy, played for annually by the Members.
The services of the eminent Scottish golf architect Dr Alister MacKenzie were later retained during his visit to Australia in 1926. The following extracts from the report which he prepared during that visit give some indication of the nature of Royal Queensland:
“The ground is excellently adapted for the construction of a golf course which might even compare favourably with some of the British Championship courses.
The part of the ground for which the main course has been chosen is full of very fine golfing features. Although the ground at first sight appears flat, yet it is full of minor undulations of a somewhat similar character to famous seaside courses like St Andrew’s.
In conclusion, I must say that the course at Hamilton should have a very great future, and not only be an excellent test of golf, but extremely popular to all classes of players.”
His major focus was greens and bunkers, with the short 8th hole (pre 2007) providing an excellent example of his work and design philosophy.
Prior to 2007 Royal Queensland hosted three Australian Open Championships and four Australian Amateur Championships, as well as a multitude of other significant professional and amateur events.
Construction of the new Championship course was completed in December 2007. The new Royal Queensland layout was designed by Michael Clayton, following the State Government’s decision in 2005 to build a twin Gateway Bridge over the famous course.
50 years of Membership
Each year Royal Queensland Golf Club acknowledges and honours those Members who have achieved 25 and 50 years of continuous membership with special competitions and a Dinner. In 2011 we were honoured to have 12 current Members who had achieved at least 50 years of Membership at the Dinner. A special photo was taken to mark the occasion.
Left to right: Peter Monks, Alastair Ward, Vince Creagh, Bob Thompson, Don Cameron, Bernie Spilsbury, Peter Lilley, Wally Bright, Alan Hartland, Ken Drewe, Lee Greville, Bill Nutting.