CLUB HISTORY

On 18th June, 1981 Kiama Council called a public meeting in the Gerringong Town Hall to gauge interest in establishing a golf course on the property ‘Beachlands’ on Gerroa Road. At this meeting a Steering Committee was formed with Bill Williamson as the Chairman. This committee met and tried to form a Golf Club, but Kiama Council would only grant a 12 month lease. After much negotiation, a lease was forthcoming and Russell Ford and Griff Miller mapped out a 9 hole course which was mown by local farmers with tractors and slashers. The greens were given special attention with lawn mowers in order to obtain a smooth putting surface. Playing golf commenced in December 1981 but Kiama Council ordered the Golf Club to cease play in May 1982.

An Environmental Impact Study recommended that a golf course would be ideal for the area. Kiama Council gave permission to recommence play on 14th December, 1982. The Club continued to play and maintain the course. Kiama Council formed a Management Committee consisting of two Council representatives and three Public representatives.

At the AGM of 23rd January, 1985, GGC took up an offer from Kiama Council to purchase the area of land for the Golf Course for $150,000 with the Council financing the sale. Bill Williamson sought Al Howard to design a golf course. Al Howard inspected the area and indicated how the layout should be, but did not provide a drawing.

Water Resources provided plans for dams and Cleary Bros were engaged to build 4 dams. The dams were constructed but costs were well above budget, but Cleary Bros assisted by agreeing to extend payments.

Ted Wright, who was elected to the Committee at the AGM on 22nd January, 1985 was the driving force in the construction of the course. Ted was a Merchant Navy Engineer before his retirement, which proved fortuitous because he was able to work a borrowed D7 Traxcavator despite having no experience of driving heavy machinery to form the greens and fairways. Ted was instructed how to operate the D7 by Tony Lewis (JJ), the son of Arthur Lewis who lent the machinery to the club. The construction of the back nine holes took nearly 5 years of toil  with the the main work being performed by Ted and Don Sharpe in all weather conditions with sub standard equipment, with no workshop or power. They worked voluntarily long hours with untold machinery breakdowns and numerous wash-outs of completed work which required re-construction.

The constraint of little income meant that it was necessary to work with second-hand worn out equipment.

The McMahon brothers, Bill, Denis and Eris delivered sand for the new greens at no cost and Bruce Campbell donated the sand. 

The commencement of work on the Toilet Block began in April, 1986 and was constructed by Jack Cronin, Ian Jolley, Steve Vaux and Bob Emmett.

There were three separate offers of development of the site from 1987 to 1989, but these offers never materialised.

At the AGM on 7th January, 1989, members expressed different schemes and ideas to raise money for development of the course. A period of extreme wet weather brought construction and mowing to a halt for four months. A huge effort towards the end of 1989 saw the back nine holes opened on 16th December, 1989.. Another extreme wet period from April to August 1990 prevented any progress on construction and mowing fairways.

Ted Wright did not seek re-election to the Committee at the AGM on 13th February, 1990,  but was asked to join the Course Committee for the construction of the front nine holes.

It was resolved to become incorporated on 26th February, 1991.

Eris McMahon was engaged to construct the front nine greens and tee blocks. Tift Dwarf grass shavings picked up from Sussex Inlet Bowling Club were used to form the greens.

It was reported at the AGM on 25th February, 1992 that the cost of establishing the course to 1991 was $64,000. Ted Wright was elected Vive President at the AGM.

More wet weather prevented construction but the course was opened on 29th May, 1993.

The first Green Keeper was Warren Lawer who commenced duty on 3rd February, 1994.