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The Upper Kiewa Valley Golf Club, as it was originally known, came into being following a meeting convened in a State Electricity Commission works building on the 27th September, l946. The foundation committee elected was President, Mr. Roly Whitehead, Vice President, Mr. Leslie Woods, Secretary, Mr. RG Coxall, Treasurer, Mr. J Mitchell. Members, Mr. J Hocking, Mr. S Drew, Mr. E Martin, Mr. A Gunn, Mr. J McGrath, Mr. J Gardner, Mr. L McMahon, and Mr. H Burn. The committee was charged with the responsibility of securing a site for an l8 hole layout, with the immediate objective of developing 9 holes for play. The Committee formally adopted a constitution on the l8th of November l947.
By arrangement with the S.E.C. a permissive occupancy of 73 acres to the East of the Town for a rental of two Guineas a year was secured in January l948. The course was officially opened by the then Superintendent of works, S.E.C., Kiewa, Mr. H.H.C. Williams and Mr. W.J. Price, S.E.C. Secretary on Saturday May 29th. Winners of that days event were Mr. H J Burn and Mr. T Pritchard.
The original club house, was a Whorouly Army hut purchased by the S.E.C. and located on the present site. A Mr. Les Woods, the Vice President of the Club assisted by Mr. Arthur Pedersen, transformed the building into the club rooms required at the time, with outside toilets and a lean to on the south side, which was to house the first tractor the club acquired. The further installation of lockers which were available for a small charge served for some time. Title for the land on which the building and its future extensions stood was sought from the S.E.C. Our records show this was never achieved.
It was in 1954 that consideration was given to purchasing the redundant staff mess building established at West Kiewa at the price of $12,000. The then Secretary, Alex McCullough raised objections to what in his opinion would be a most wasteful amount of time. money and effort. The Club accepted his proposal for an extension of the present club house and with the assistance of Mr. Trevor Hills, a carpenter and Mr. Lloyd Dunn a drafting design officer, the truss design roof arrangement and lower floor development was completed for just under $3000. A small skillion covered the west side entrance and a separate toilet block was established.
The Club conducted many successful social evenings and really enjoyed the split level which separated drinkers from dancers and social activists. Table tennis and pool tables provided competition activity and chook nights were a regular part of fund raising, which was strongly supported by a very willing band of associates.
A great deal of assistance was available to the voluntary labour in course development by the Commission as the course provided an excellent amenity for its works personnel and families. The services of Mr. Staude of Riversdale Club were much appreciated in the original design of the 18 holes. The first Life Member of the Club was a Mr. Med Cox, an S.E.C. engineer of the l948-49 era.
The membership had risen to 73 members made up of 1 Life Member, 52 members and 20 Associates and the club had chosen its 1st Captain, Mr. Jack Hocking. The handicap committee was Mr. J.Hocking and Mr. E. Martin. The Hardway Trophy, a match play elimination event, was made available and is still being played for annually. Play had commenced on fairways. Jam tins were placed in the ground in the areas chosen as green sites and a green keeper was employed for 2 days a week, Mr. Charlie Hamilton and with a 20″ reel and drum mower, he fine cut the green area’s. The remnants of this machine are still around.
Over the next few years many hours of effort, experiments with green surfaces and discussions on types took place. Cinders were tried and an experimental moss plot was laid down and talk of establishing a bowling green occurred until l952. By this time 12 holes were in play and the final 6 were being prepared. It was in this year that the club was renamed Mt Beauty Golf Club and its first tractor was purchased.
Regional Championships 1960
From l952 until l993, the club had been strongly represented by its secretary who had also become secretary of the NEDGA serving for 32 yrs. The Club conducted its first NEDGA Championships with distinction in l960 and its success saw the club again afforded the opportunity to conduct the l968 Championships when representatives of the Victorian Golf Association were in attendance. Mr. Alex Brahe, V.G.A. President presented 14 yr old, Bill Mills of Mt Beauty club with the Graeme Castles trophy for the best handicap score over 36 holes.
It was however, in l956, that the ground work for the championships had begun. Conduct of the NEDGA events added greatly to club enthusiasm and further development was rapid. The well groomed l8 hole course could only now be improved by the establishment of grass greens. Over the years it had drawn a tremendous number of visitors who were continually amazed at the results achieved by voluntary labour.
Since l956, no labour on a regular basis has been employed by the club. The voluntary efforts have not only maintained the course, they have considerably improved it and as a result the life membership list has grown to 28 in number.
Regional Championships 1968
A decision was needed to be made in late l966 as to whether the club should spend $20,000 on a club house in the area between the 9th tee and the 10th green. With access being a major problem and the impending Nth Eastern Championships in 1968, which could produce a problem with only 1 starting point, it was decided the alternative was an alteration to the course, which would provide a 9 out and 9 in for around $3000.
North Eastern Pennant Series
Mount Beauty has competed with varied success in the North Eastern Pennant series. Its major success being to take out the Senior A Grade Pennant Flag in l953 and repeat that success in l967. Largely responsible for the development of golf to the high school curriculums in the North East of Victoria, the clubs own junior members produced some amazing performances in the A Pennant series, then played as home and away games.
Played No. 7 in the A Pennant at 12 yrs old and presented a challenge to those he met.
A competition amongst the members of redesign saw many produced finally with a course re-arrangement produced by Mr. McGregor Stuart , a relatively new member was adopted requiring a minimum of change for a 9 out and 9 in finishing within the vicinity of the present Club House.
The new 3rd and 4th greens ,6th green with new tees a new 11th fairway and a new l5th fairway in reverse to the original hole were all built with the help of plant from Mr. J Sharp a tobacco farmer ,the Club Secretary Mr. McCullough ,Mr. R Beier, Mr. Brian Moore, scarifying grading seeding fertilizing followed the basic fairway development.
Club House Changes
Mr. Mc Cullough as Chairman of the building Committee placed before the Club a proposal for a major change to the Club House which he believed would compliment the new course layout. A building committee was formed with Mr. K Holford, Mr. Brian Goss and Mr. McCullough, the presentation of the working drawings by Mr. Goss with all work to be voluntarily provided was accepted and work began immediately. Mr. Holford and Mr. Goss providing electrical layout and installation, McCullough the re-siting of toilets required and the new sewer and water service layout.
The initial excavation for the two story section was carried out by Mr. Bunny Talbot with the S E C’s Hough Loader, actual construction began with the assistance of Mr. Gordon Manning a visitor from Patterson River Club, who visited Mt Beauty on a number of occasions the concrete floor saw his brother in law Bill Field, assisting with concrete pour of the lower floor. McCullough and Holford began laying bricks up to first floor level, when the demands of carpentry saw a local bricklayer Mr. Gordon Newell take over the completion of brickwork.
The carpentry work was carried out by Mr. McCullough who completed framing, flooring, internal lining, partitioning , roofing, kitchen and lobby changes it had been necessary to raise the roof of the upgraded tractor shed, and construct cupboards and other essential needs to, completion with a total club house repaint and painting of the new extensions, the plumbing required was by courtesy of Mr. Barry O’Brien the then Secretary Manager of the local Water and Sewerage Authority – the outside verandah on the Eastern side and the bar and equipment storage of the social need saw the completion of the Club House changes until 1994.
Due to club’s need to be properly licensed, Mr. Stan Church, the then Secretary, made a major contribution in re construction in the Club House on the upper level to the requirement of the Licensing Board. Stan continued with the development of an external hire buggy and Club storage unit. A local Builder, Mr. Rick Beisboer, offered to provide a sliding door to the northern wall of the lower level floor and construct a sun verandah, which would provide better viewing to the 18th Green and incoming players. This construction was finally completed by Mr. Gordon Harper, John Stewart and Stan Church.
Moving to equipment protection, the Clubs first plant cover was located half way down the first fairway and was constructed by McCullough with a contribution towards the concrete floor by the local contractor, the site was powered but not big enough. The club extended with a skillion to the south which provided protection for reel mowers, and as our needs developed, it was necessary to move closer to the Club house. McCullough again secured Club support enabling him to construct the present plant cover and maintenance facility, with a further addition a few months later on the East side which provided for reel mower parking. Relying mainly on voluntary labor the club had purchased 4 Ferguson tractors which enabled set equipment attachment allowing those who provided labor to begin their voluntary work without having to change equipment, as opposed to having to spend the first hour getting equipment changes made. A further extension was made to the Nth end which housed two tractors complete with rotary mower and slasher, the temporary toilet building used on club house construction now filled in as plant parts storage within the plant building. The fuel supply tank was moved from the old site and as the club had now purchased a Fergie Diesel 65 unit two tanks were required, the construction of the platform to support the petrol and diesel tanks was constructed by Mr. F Barter and A McCullough on the Sth end of the plant cover and now provides the gravity feed fueling system.
From 1949 onwards the Mt Beauty Golf Club has been strongly represented in north eastern golf and its development. Beginning with delegates, Vic Richardson, M Mc Sporran, A Pedersen, T Hills, J Ormerod, and Alex McCullough who served the NEDGA as Secretary, Treasurer/Manager for 32 years whilst representing his own club. This enabled the club to take part in the decision making which was to ultimately affect playing conditions and in many cases to secure local rules. The event of home and away matches suited Mt Beauty’s top golfers and the club competing in Division 1, scratch-pennant, were able to find themselves in the final play-offs. The club was always in the finals, which was embarrassing to some grass green clubs. The rules were changed, home and away play was discontinued and Mt Beauty’s efforts were less rewarding. We were relegated to handicap play and proved to be quite strong.
Regional Pennant Competitions
During the home and away series Mt Beauty took out the scratch pennant in 1953, in a cliff hanger playing Benalla at Wangaratta’s course. With all matches even, Ray Perry sunk a 40′ putt on the 18th to give Mt Beauty a 5 matches to 4 win and the flag for that year. The team, Jack Ormerod, Vic Richardson, Ray Perry, Bill Hutton, Jack Hocking, Jack Andrews, Keith Quirk, Morrie Mac Sporran, Graeme Ohlson and Stan Porter, with Ray Coxall, secretary and Herb Kendall, Treasurer, in the club photo in the Club House. The club followed this up with a win Division 2 scratch pennant in 1967, Division 3 scratch pennant in 1971. NEDGA scratch championship foursomes in 1980, Section 1 handicap in l988, Section 1 handicap in 1991, sect 1 handicap in 1995, sect 1 handicap div 1 in 1997. The Ladies took out the B grade scratch Pennant in 1960 and the C Grade scratch in 1971. NEDGA Teams Championship won in 1967, 73, 91, 92 and 95. The Findlay Shield event played annually since 1971 between Mt Beauty, Bright, Myrtleford, Dederang and Yackandandah has been won by the Club 1972, 73, 75, 76, 77, 80, 87, 89, 90, 91 and 95.
All together in that year a considerable drainage program had been completed all of which has been recorded ,we were ready for the l968 NEDGA Championships the voluntary labor which produced this major change was energised by the Club Secretary Mr. Alex McCullough a Delegate and also Secretary of the NEDGA who over the years has contributed greatly to the development programs and interests of golf in the Nth East, he also undertook the work of providing a water service to all tees and greens enabling better maintenance of tees and green surrounds in l979. The economy of this effort was greatly appreciated by members.
Club Membership 1968
Club membership at Mt Beauty was $2 joining fee and $8 for members, $4 for Associates, 50 cents for Junior members at the time the cheapest golf in the State, enabling the predominantly wage earning community to belong to the golfing fraternity along with their families. It has since become a $50 joining fee and $55 membership fee in 1998.
The Club has over the years collected considerable machinery tractors, mowers, slashers, sprayers and graders. The original thought being that it was better to have plant available when labor was on hand than lose the labor. This of course required plant cover and again with design and construction, the Club Secretary energised this program, since that considerable work has been carried out by the now Club President Mr. Stan Church both on the completion and upgrade of equipment maintenance building security and in obtaining for the Club a liquor license and providing the necessary alterations required to meet the licensing program, in plant and course maintenance. Life members Bill McBain and Keith Holford have both been strong contributors over the years and continue to be so.
Purchase of Course
The club has been negotiating to buy the course since 1986 through changes in the SEC and its officers and an attempt to buy through the then Bright Shire which has now become the Alpine Shire, there has been even more difficulty. A Mr. Geoff Graham has on behalf of the Club and as a committee member taken over the role of coordinator. The government has taken the matter out of the power industry’s hands and a recent set back as the title as presented saw the boundary to include some of the Bogong High Plains Road which necessitated another return for adjustment.
The club has been a great supporter of community functions. It has provided over the years accommodation for the local Scout group, the Athletic Club boxing group, and the first months of the Ladies Gym, through its then Secretary. It has used its mowers for school and football oval maintenance and frequently lent club house equipment to hospital, fire brigade and church groups within the Community.
Whilst this history doesn’t cover all the clubs activities, it is a broad outline of our development and is now on computer. Should any other aspects of our history need to be included, no problem, just ring Alex McCullough on (03) 57544383.
- Land Procurement
- Club House
- Fund Raising
- Vountary Assistance
- Early Membership
- Regional Association
- Green Developments
- Growing Membership
- Regional C’ships 1960
- Volunteer Efforts
- Regional C’ships 1968
- North East Pennant Series
- Course Redesign
- Club House Changes
- Equipment Protection
- Regional Representation
- Regional Pennant Comps.
- Course Developments
- Club Membership 1968
- Equipment Maintenance
- Purchase of Course
- Community Assistance