NRMA Highway to Heaven

By |2021-05-04T09:42:58+10:00April 24th, 2021|Categories: Golf Archives, Golf News, Uncategorized|

TUROSS HEAD. Along the beach, washed-up driftwood records the tidemarks in scraggly arcs. Some is regulation sun-bleached grey, but much is blackened – a remnant of the catastrophic bushfires that hit the NSW south coast in early 2020. The sea might have no memory, but the shoreline remembersall. The scene is hopeful though, in an odd way. While nature discards its charred memories on the cove’s crusted sands, locals have made little huts out of the unburnt driftwood, as if to signify a rebuilding process. The sun also brings a sense of warmth and renewal.

On the first morning of our trip we happen upon an echidna foraging in the flower beds behind our cabin. The kids watch on with delight as it digs up an ants’ nest and shoves its entire face in the hole, its long sticky tongue extracting subterranean sustenance. “We’ll have to come back here one day” is up there with “I’m going to finish restoring this old car” for statements liable to raise doubt, but my wife and I beat the odds. We’ve returned to Tuross Head after an eight-year interval. Situated about 40 minutes south of  Batemans Bay, it huddles amongst some of the best natural wonders the NSW south coast has to offer.

Our previous visit was a brief stop as we recreated the road trip described in John O’Grady’s classic Aussie novel Gone Fishin’ (1962). This time we plan to experience the town properly. Standing on the shores of Coila Lake, I once again admire its breeze-rippled waters deepening from tea-coloured shallows to indigo depths. A squadron of pelicans off to the left discusses the day’s catch. In the foreground, ancient volcanic rocks protrude from the earth, while front and centre rests a large piece of weathered driftwood. Mountain ranges in the distance cut a jagged purple horizon across the cloudless sky.

No matter where you venture around Tuross Head, there seems to be similar visual richness. It’s a landscape painter’s paradise. If you only have an hour or two to spare, start at Coila Bar Beach and follow Tuross Boulevarde on its course around the head. It passes several points of interest, including a war memorial, the aptly named One Tree Point (which also offers fine views across the southern end of town) and a whale burial site. The unfortunate mammal washed up in 1980 and, rather than blow it up, the local council buried it in nearby McWilliam Park where it now forms a grassy mound beside the water. The site can be somewhat tricky to spot while driving but you’ll find it opposite 25 Tuross Boulevarde. 22221


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Stay, Eat & Play Around Tuross

By |2021-04-29T17:16:01+10:00April 22nd, 2021|Categories: Golf Archives, Golf News|


Stay and Play includes Google video of Tuross Head town map, satellite video of lakes and river, list of  accommodation,  eating venues, THCC golf club and course, walk and bike tracks, a very large high quality photo slide display of surfing, fishing, golf, kayaking, sailing.

Virtually every activity of our town and district is included.

Even every town public toilet can be located with the click of a button.


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Tuross Head Men’s Shed: Take a Bow

By |2021-05-04T09:45:56+10:00April 20th, 2021|Categories: Golf Archives, Golf News, Uncategorized|

Tuross Head Men’s shed have constructed new sand  boxes with recycling receptacles for every tee on the course. Mike Birks designed, Men’s Shed created.

This new feature has along with the new cart paths given the whole course another major lift. Such a bold golf course innovation has created interest from some notable golfing  institutions, in particular Huntingdale in Victoria and of  all places a course in Augusta America that wanted Men’s Shed to manufacture 48   boxes as they have a tournament in April and their present sand  boxes look a bit shabby in comparison.

Anticipating demand Mike Birks has 3 patents pending so anyone wanting to copy will have to pay big time.     Huntingdale are still interested but the club in Augusta Georgia want a   pensioner discount as it states that almost all their members are old blokes and that after they had donated to the Trump campaign they are all a bit short of the readies.

So Men’s Shed Tuross “Take a Bow”. A great job well done.

Tuross Golf are claiming another local golfing hero to stand along side our Brendon Jones and Brad Doolan, Lachlan Nordsvan from Canberra is also a Tuross member.

He has been playing our course every school holiday ever since he was not even knee high to a grass hopper. He was so small that one time when the mower broke down it took father Michael five minuets to find him in the rough.       A valuable lesson as Lachie has never hit a ball into the rough since. With a handicap quickly heading towards zero many members are wanting to play with the Nordsvans. In years to come they want to be able to say that “Yes I used to play with the great Lauchie Nordsvan” and I actually taught him a lot of what he knows today.

Sounds familiar Brendon?

Oh by the way Lauchie is 14 years 9 months of age.

This feature is contributed by Miss Information a roving club  reporter. Miss Information is a new contributor to our media group. Please make her/him welcome. 25121

Lachlan Nordsvan with Tuross Club captain Peter Nikolic.

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Official Opening: Rob Green Tuross Pro Golf Shop

By |2021-05-04T09:38:42+10:00April 18th, 2021|Categories: Golf Archives, Golf News, Uncategorized|

Tuross Head men’s golf captain Peter Nikolic welcomed Rob Green, the new golf professional at Tuross, and officially opened the Rob Green Pro shop on Saturday October 3.  Rob operates out of the original golf club building where he will be able to supply all  golfing needs and he will be available for individual or group tuition.

Rob grew up and played most of his early golf in Orange NSW.  He has been a member of the PGA since 1993 and for some time played the professional circuit in Australia.

His first move to the South Coast was to be as Assistant Professional to Ken Gaffney in Narooma in 1995.  He still has fond memories of his time with Ken but in 2001 he took the professional position at Armidale where he stayed for ten years with his wife and two boys.

Rob and his family moved back to Dalmeny in 2011 and he started as Assistant Professional at Moruya, and later, when the Head Professional retired, took over as the Club Professional. By 2019 Rob decided it was time for a change and he gave the club four months notice, giving them plenty of time to find a replacement.  He and his wife then bought their caravan and headed off for “The Trip” as many of the more senior among us do.

Coaching of both new players and experienced golfers to improve their technique has always been rewarding to Rob and will be an important offering at the new shop.  With the more relaxed pace he is also looking forward to spending time helping golfers choose the best equipment for them, taking the time to fit and experiment with the different styles available.

The Pro Shop just above the 6th green will be well stocked with golfing essentials.  Rob expects the shop to initially open four days per week, with more days in the summer and probably less in winter. 51020

Tuross Head men’s golf captain Peter Nikolic and Rob Green.

               Rob Green in new Pro Shop premises.

Copy courtesy: Lance Shadbolt.

Photos: Tony Brown

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Tuross Head Country Club Government Grant History

By |2021-05-04T10:04:28+10:00April 16th, 2021|Categories: Golf Archives, Golf News, Uncategorized|

Tuross Head Country Club has been successful in obtaining a further $65,000 NSW government grant to assist in improving club facilities. This latest money will be used to create shelter around the two bowling greens and to build a pathway from the lower car parking area to the workshop shed.

Some club members and  residents of the community are asking just how did this happen. Well, the hard working people involved have been approached for comment, and the following is a record of their activities. They deserve to be recognised and thanked for their efforts.

Approximately 18 months ago, Andrew Gordon, THCC men’s golf president and Steve Swanbury, golf committee member,  took it upon themselves to investigate the possibility of the THCC accessing external funding through the Grants Process available in NSW.

Following a meeting which included THCC manager Stephen Hodge, Andrew Gordon, men’s golf president and Michael Birks, past THCC president with Andrew Constance, local Member for Bega and his staff on the golf course site, they developed a strategy of trying to identify grants that could be suitable and applicable to the THCC.  Of particular interest was funding that could assist the Club in improving aged and worn infrastructure (both of a sporting and non-sporting nature) knowing full well that internal funding within the Club was extremely tight, and that any project would necessarily be of a small nature.

Once various funding organisations within, and associated with the State Government of NSW had been identified, they proceeded with applying for a range of grants available. Over that time a number of applications were lodged – some unsuccessful. However, the club enjoyed success with a $46,000 grant from the “My Community Project Grant” which resulted in the recent resurfacing and line marking of the THCC Carpark. Many will remember the pot-holed and dilapidated nature of the carpark and the money required to ameliorate this was significant. The support from both club members, along with many from the local community was tremendous. Who can forget the incredibly difficult voting process?  Thankfully this type of grant process is unlikely to be repeated.

Once a number of further applications had been lodged, a fairly solid platform had been established which could be used to target various types of grants.  Feedback was always sought from any unsuccessful application, and this allowed future applications to be modified.

Tuross Head Country Club lost no time in arranging for Downer EDI Mogo to lay 30mm hot mix over the damaged surface car park.

Colin Fletcher from the bowlers was consulted about improving the bowling facilities, as they form an integral part of the overall sporting infrastructure of the THCC along with the golf course. Colin was able to identify various aspects of the bowling facilities that required updating or replacement, and worked hard in obtaining quotes for various works.

In March of this year it was learnt that they had been successful in attaining $65,000 through the “Building Community Partnerships Grant Round.” This application was lodged by Mike Birks, now THCC 2019  past club president, in September last year. The money is for new shade infrastructure for both bowling greens and will provide an access pathway across the 6th Fairway from the lower carpark to the machinery shed.   In the current COVID-19 environment, it is both gratifying and pleasing to know that external government agencies believe  there is a strong future for the THCC by investing in their future.

The money for the shade infrastructure should arrive in the next couple of weeks and work is expected to commence in removing the aged and rusted existing structure immediately.  The building of the access pathway should commence soon after under the supervision of the Course Superintendent, Tim Watson.

Men’s golf president Andrew Gordon reports “Prior to the two government grants, we were successful (on behalf of the Golf Sub-clubs) in attaining a $3,000 grant from Golf NSW which has been used to improve drainage on the 8th fairway. This project is part-way complete through the great work of Tim Watson and his course maintenance team and should be completed shortly.

As part of the process, an officer from Golf NSW attended to assess our application first-hand. He wrote highly of the THCC Golf Course and the work that the ground-staff had achieved since his previous visit some three years before, and he had no hesitation in supporting our application for funding.”

Along the way the management and the board  purchased the now familiar Ventrac Tractor Mower and men’s golf purchased outright a new Kubota Rough Mower – a total of $73,000 of new equipment. 20520

The Tuross Head crew (from left) Tyson Hastie, assistant Ben Hewison, superintendent Tim Watson, Terry Beales and Richard Kelly.

This has enabled the ground-staff to work more efficiently and achieve the incredible results that we now see in the improved playing surface of the golf course.

Mention must be made of the fabulous work of our men and women volunteers who tend and maintain gardens, assist in laying concrete paths and the various working bees that are arranged to maintain and improve our sporting facilities.
It has been a lot of work, but extremely satisfying when you see the changes around the club in the past couple of years.

One of the many works carried out by club volunteers.

STOP PRESS: May 26 2020

The first instalment of the Building Community Partnerships Grant has been received by the THCC.

Work is underway to achieve the maximum benefit with the money and it is expected that demolition of the old shade structure will occur in the coming months along with construction of the new structure.

Once this has been done, the final monetary instalment will be sought to complete the access pathways.

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Tuross Head Country Club golf course features in Australian Turfgrass Management Journal

By |2021-05-05T11:28:44+10:00April 12th, 2021|Categories: Golf Archives, Golf News, Uncategorized|

Tuross Head Country Club course superintendent Tim Watson  and his hard working ground staff have attracted the attention of one of Australia’s foremost magazines.
The Australian Turfgrass Management Journal, the flagship of the turf industry has published a major feature showcasing  the work and improvements at the Tuross Head golf course in their latest issue.
This journal, first published in 1999, aims to support turfgrass management professionals by providing technical information, industry news and events, profiles, critical appraisals of new products and services, and general information to help staff improve their professional recognition and employment.
Brett Robinson, Editor of Turfgrass when commenting on the material and photos supplied to them says ‘Well done Tim – it’s all good – the kudos is all yours”.
On the local level, THCC veteran golfers president Ian Manton, states “The bonus of this magazine article is that we get a broad picture of Tim and his perspectives. I already know of his great nature and friendliness.
Now I have more personal and professional awareness and am even more appreciative of his value to us as a community. 30519

Link: THCC Golf Course Features in National Magazine




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New Golf Pro Shop Takes Shape

By |2021-03-28T16:25:18+11:00September 16th, 2020|Categories: Golf Archives, Golf News, Uncategorized|

When Rob Green, a golf professional of considerable experience, approached the Club offering to operate out of Tuross, Andrew Gordon took up the cause.

Having decided that the Men’s Shed meeting room was the ideal place for a pro shop, he and Roger Chappell started negotiations with the Shed.  Many meetings and phone calls later an arrangement was reached.  The Men’s Shed would relinquish the meeting room in exchange for exclusive access to the remaining area under the roof.

To make this possible windows needed to be moved, new doors installed and a wall moved to make the old storeroom into a habitable meeting space. The  Men’s Golf paid for the materials and a group of volunteers from the golfers provided the labour and the expertise. Peter Nikolic, Dave Schmid and Nigel Barling coordinated the tasks and did much of the work.  They picked up a very acceptable glass sliding door form a local renovation job and relocated the existing windows.  Peter Johnson built the new stud wall making the meeting room about 400mm larger and Peter Hogan did the electrical work.  Warren Hodder helped out with painting and plastering.

Everyone who visits the new Pro Shop will be impressed by the first class amenity created for just over $1000.  Rob Green has fitted out the interior and is in the process of stocking the shop.

Rob plans to open the shop in the next couple of weeks.  As well as lessons, Rob aims to sell clothing, clubs, shoes and golfing supplies.  He is very happy that under the arrangement at Tuross he will have more time to spend with individuals fitting and selecting items to suit their needs.  He also will offer repairs for those who need them.

Rob can be contacted at: Phone 0423 097 642 or  email: [email protected]

PGA Pro Shop operator Rob Green with Andrew Gordon, Nigel Barling, David Schmid and Peter Nikolic.

Men’s golf president Andrew Gordon and Peter Nikolic.

David Schmid and Nigel Barling.

Article and photos: Courtesy Lance Shadbolt.

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New Drainage: Course Work Continues

By |2020-08-25T11:59:27+10:00August 14th, 2020|Categories: Golf Archives, Golf News, Uncategorized|

Tuross Head ground superintendent Tim Watson and his team have finished the drainage work on the 8th fairway using grant monies from NSW golf.

Andrew Gordon and Steve Swanbury and Mike Birks had successfully applied for the grant of $3000. 

After work on the eighth fairway was completed there were some materials left, and with the golfing and bowling sub club members contributing to a Covid $5 levy per game, funds were available to purchase extra material, enabling the green keeping team to attack the next problem spot.

This volunteer levy highlights the dedication of members in keeping the facilities maintained and operating during these earlier virus threatening times.

The low lying marshy area below the 7th has always been an issue after rain. It has stayed wet and very boggy well after the rain has passed.

The green keeping team rushed to finish the preliminary drainage work between the recent rain events. They did get the drain channels dug before the second wave of rain hit the South Coast.

Whilst there was wide spread flooding around the local area the work  below the 7th green held up quite well.

In the pictures we can see Ben Hewison using the tractor mounted bucket to create the large drains. The apprentices Tyson Hastie and Callan Griefahn are working together to create a drain through the worst of the bog.

When asked what the next project would be, Tim walked us up to the bowling greens to see his team’s progress. In the photo we can see the form work for the concrete, all ready for a fine day.

This will support new shade cloth shade refuges for the bowling greens. Again the club was able to receive a grant under the “Building My Community Partnerships” from the NSW Government.

It was indeed fortunate that Andrew Gordon, Mike Birks, Steve Swanbury and Colin Fletcher put the time and effort required to prepare grant applications. A grant of $71,500 will make a huge difference to our club’s infrastructure.

Approximately $46,000 will be used to provide the shade system and the remainder of just under $25000 will be allocated to a diamond grid path between the Men’s Shed and the greenkeeper’s workshop.

Copy and photos. Courtesy Lance Shadbolt

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Converting a Dream into a Golf Club at Tuross Head

By |2020-07-20T15:55:57+10:00July 18th, 2020|Categories: Golf Archives, Golf News, Uncategorized|


Scrub to Club

Compiled and edited by Bruce Lidbury 2012

This booklet is dedicated to the wonderful people of Tuross Head, who continually demonstrate true community spirit by selflessly donating their time, energy and resources to the advancement of Tuross Head.

   The information contained herein is as accurate as many fading memories will allow.

Many other details have been gleaned from various written sources. The real factual content surely can be derived from the many photographs taken by those who kept a record as the course progressed.

As visitors arrive at the top of the hill above the village of Tuross Head, the viewing area on Hector McWilliam Drive presents a magnificent panorama, overlooking the broad expanse of Coila Lake, the vast Pacific Ocean with Coila Beach stretching away to Bingi Point, and directly below, the green belt of Tuross Head Golf Course – arguably one of the most picturesque scenes on the South Coast of N.S.W.

From the Southern Star, April 1984

 Imagine this same hillside covered with tall, densely packed casuarina forest and low-growing scrub, as it was prior to the building of a golf course.

 The idea for a golf course had been in the minds of many locals, none more so than Tom and Pat Dunwoodie, pharmacy proprietors and their close friends, Dennis and Jacqui Morton, fruit shop owners, when in the late 1970’s, they returned from their regular round of golf at Moruya each weekend.

“What a great place for a golf course!” they thought as they stopped at the viewing area to admire the scenery.

The beginning of survey, Nov. 1981

And so, with the birth of this idea came the first stirrings of activity that were to eventually result in the construction of the Tuross Head Golf Course.
Not too many of today’s locals are aware that a golf course of sorts was built by developers along the waterfront in the 1920’s. A 16mm film made by Hector McWilliam in 1927 to promote his beloved Tuross shows golfers from Batemans Bay, Cooma, Moruya and Queanbeyan teeing off in the “Tuross Links Gold Cup Tournament” (won by Cooma).

This area was soon divided up into building lots as it was unable to be maintained properly.
In 1956, a nine-hole course with sand greens was constructed near the present shopping centre, but it closed in the 1960’s due to lack of maintenance.

In 1968, a plan was drawn up for yet another golf course as part of a sub-division design by Rygate and West Surveyors, but nothing eventuated.

It was to be a par 33, 2540 yard 9-hole course situated where today’s course is.

Looking down the old 1st fairway – today’s 7th. 1984

Fairway construction August 1984

The Dunwoodie idea was discussed among some keen golfers and interested locals, and a steering committee was formed to begin negotiations with Council. Don Cullen (real estate agent) became the first President and Dennis Morton the first Secretary.

Debentures were issued to enable investigation of the idea. After lengthy delays caused by burocratic red-tape from a reluctant Council, 20 hectares of land near the Bowling Club was offered as well as another parcel of land near the Princes Highway turn-off as an alternative.

The Southern Star newspaper of April 15, 1981, under the heading “Nine or 18 holes… Tuross golf decision Saturday” tells of a meeting to be held in the Tuross head Progress Hall to determine which site would be accepted.

The alternative site for the Tuross Head Golf Course

 That meeting decided to utilise the 20 hectares in town as water would be available, whereas the land near the highway had no such facility. Council preferred the highway site but reluctantly agreed to give over the other for “development and temporary management.”

This land had been bequeathed by Hector McWilliam to be used as “Public Reserve.” Only four people at the meeting disagreed, with the majority believing that there was insufficient catchment area at the highway site, the cost of a large dam was too high, it was too far from town and not within walking distance, and volunteer labour was more available close to town.

Many now believe that the land at the junction of the Princes Highway and Hector McWilliam Drive would have been a better choice as it could have accommodated 18 holes.

The meeting indicated overwhelming public support from the small village population, resulting in 130 financial members with a nomination fee of $15 and an annual subscription of $10.
In November, 1981, the “Tuross Lakes Country Club Ltd was formed as a public company.

The highway site

 Unfortunately, the initial burst of enthusiasm began to wane as the committee realised the monumental task of carving a golf course out of the side of a hill and the huge costs involved. There were also lengthy delays over negotiations with Council regarding the lease agreement. Progress was frustratingly slow.
Meanwhile, fundraising continued through progressive dinners and endless raffles, as well as government grants.

The story goes that President Don Cullen, on a visit to Council one day, was horrified to see a plan displayed on Council’s wall dividing the golf course area up into building lots. A letter was whisked off to the N.S.W. Minister for Lands seeking his assistance. Thus pressure was applied to Council to “get on with it” and finally a lease agreement was signed in 1983.

A push to “get moving” came from local tradesmen, who had to travel to Moruya or Narooma once a month for “Tradies Day”. They appealed to the Committee to stop “sitting on the money” and start spending it on some real course development so that they could play golf in Tuross.

During all of this delay with little being done on the course, Warren Wenban, employed in the Council Building Department and a Tuross resident for some time, became so frustrated that, along with Glen Sullivan (Tuross pest controller), turned up on a Sunday with his own bobcat and began to clear some land towards the top of the course which was not as thick as the lower portions.
Work had finally begun!!

The 3rd fairway 1984 (today’s 9th)

2nd Fairway (today’s 8th) October 1985

Bodalla bulldozer clearing below 3rd green (today’s 9th)

Minor clearing along 4th fairway (today’s 1st)

 The involvement of Warren Wenban resulted in him obtaining a contour map of the area, and he laid out a course to scale with the idea of gaining as much yardage as possible in the limited area available. This was different to the layout suggested by the original steering committee which had the fairways running due south and north alternately i.e. straight up and down the hill – “exhausting for golfers and unplayable for older members”.

By measuring the area, it was discovered that a course was feasible if they could “borrow” a little of the unused Monash Avenue at the bottom of the hill. A plan was drawn up on December 20, 1983, endorsing the new layout and the Committee handed over $2 540 to commence work.

Warren Wenban: “Ron Cox, Glen Sullivan and myself measured the course with a 30 yard tape – no mean feat considering the scrub and the bog.”
Ken Brown, Engineers Department with Eurobodalla Shire Council, was instrumental in surveying the area and in keeping Council motivated. A meeting of debenture holders was held and any animosity from Wenban’s “precipitous action” was resolved and he was voted in charge of course construction, and he used his bobcat to rough out a few fairways along Hector McWilliam Drive, which was relatively clear.

Warren Wenban: “Tom Dunwoodie, observing the difficulty that the bobcat was having with the casuarina scrub, personally handed me $1 000 to hire heavier machinery. A D-6 dozer was dry-hired and the remaining three fairways were roughed out in early 1982.”

Looking down the 2nd fairway towards Lake Coila (today’s 8th)

Bulldozer creating drain across 3rd (today’s 9th) fairway- July, 1985


Volunteer workers spent countless hours during the week and on weekends doing whatever they could to help.
Wally Barker and Dennis Morton travelled to Ulladulla on a Friday to hire a “ditch-witch” and spent the entire weekend digging trenches around the course, returning the machine on Monday – exhausting work but very satisfying, as real progress was being made. 1 400 metres of water pipeline was laid in one weekend!

Glen Shearer, Council employee and Tuross resident, would often spend much of Friday, Saturday and Sunday operating the Council’s ditch-witch to lay many more water pipes. Unfortunately,     no-one bothered to draw a map of the whereabouts of these pipes, and many an accident occurred with burst lines!

To assist with the clearing of the scrub, Reg Endall, resident of Kyla Park, would lend his old grey “Fergy” tractor to slash the rough fairways where bracken fern and stones were abundant. However, as the tractor was not registered to travel on the roads, Warren Wenban quickly gained Reg a temporary permit from the R.T.A. – a simple problem solved.

“We carved out a bit of a track down the low part of the course,” explained Reg.  While they worked, a few locals protested about the destruction of trees, but they continued on regardless – how else could they build the course?

Dec. 1984 – Wally Barker preparing to lay underground water pipe

 On another occasion, Vern and Phil Dessent, having completed a large operation around Braidwood, returned and donated the use of their excavator to continue breaking up the extensive scrub to create fairways. Unfortunately, their machine became hopelessly bogged in front of the present 1st tee for up to a month, and it took a bulldozer and a grader to eventually pull it out.

Ron Cox: “I shopped around and got a lend of a backhoe off Ted Eagar and spent six weeks of my holidays clearing some fairways. I remember when we were clearing the 6th fairway, it was so thick the only way to see where I was going, Warren held up a white flag where the proposed green was to be.

Finding this was going to be too slow, I knew some dairy farmers at Bodalla, so after ringing up the Co-Op, they said we could have a lend of a D6 bulldozer provided we could find a qualified driver. We only had to put fuel in, the rest was free. I rang a good friend of mine, Ack Weyman, who worked for Council at the time, he said yes and the fairways were knocked down and heaped up.
“I often saw Ack and one day he asked how everything was going, and I said jokingly, ‘Good, but what we really needed was a grader to level it out a bit’. We couldn’t believe it, the next weekend out came Ack in a grader.

How did we mow? Well a lot was done by Christine Taylor pushing a lawn mower.  When it wore out, she brought over an old ride-on. With all this being too much, we ended up getting some old gang mowers and an old tractor.

Christine and Michael Taylor supplied endless amounts of raffle trays consisting of fish, prawns, lobsters, oysters and mussels – what a team we had!”

The excavator driven by AckWeyman

August 1984 – mound in front of 9th tee (today’s 6th)

Looking up the 1st fairway (today’s 7th) back towards the Bowling Club

A notice to members dated June 13, 1984, notified members that the annual fees would be increased to $25 and $12.50 for juniors, and that it “is anticipated that the Club will have at least 6 holes playable using temporary greens by Christmas ’84, with final completion scheduled for Christmas 1985.”

The steering committee’s cost estimates were as follows;
Initial burn-off                                                                            $ 500
Clearing and disposal, site survey and hole design   $ 2 000
Earthworks                                                                               $15 000
Provision of water supply                                                    $ 7 000
Toilet facilities                                                                         $ 3 000
Seeding of greens, fairways and tees                              $ 9 000
Tree planting                                                                             $ 1 500
Landscaping/course preparation                                     $ 2 000
TOTAL                                                                                        $40 000

In 1984/85, Narooma Bowling Club allowed the workers to collect turf from a bowling green that was being resurfaced. This enabled the laying of 5 or 6 greens, to be playable by the Spring of 1985.

This process was repeated in October of that year with a donation from the Bodalla Bowling Club. These donations were a God-send as they cost nothing. Mick Quinn was appointed as the first greenkeeper.

October, 1984 – turfing the 5th green (today’s 2nd)


Removal of turf, Bodalla Bowling Club, Oct. 1985

Laying of turf on 2nd (today’s 8th) green

Laying of 1st (7th) green

Old 9th (today’s 6th) green

Old 3rd fairway (today’s 9th)

 From then on, members were asked to “stick-pick” as they walked the rough fairways. Ron Cox recalls walking along the present 1st fairway in a line of 14 men strung across, filling their buckets with sticks and tipping them into a large pile, later to be burnt. “Sure, what we had was rough, but it was ours and we enjoyed it!” wrote Warren Wenban.

Old 3rd fairway (today’s 9th) from the tee

 Formation of the 2nd tee, now the 8th.

Working Bees

 Countless working bees were an integral component of course construction and maintenance in those early days (nothing has changed!!). Anybody who could lend a hand in the smallest way was most welcome. Many adults and children would turn up after work and on weekends to hand mow, hand water, rake, stick-pick, lay turf and so on. These bees were often concluded with a barbecue and drinks, usually under the canopy of the giant Moreton Bay fig tree, some sessions lasting all night! The fig tree was listed under a protection order, but our cunning locals cut an entrance through the overhanging branches which reached to the ground. Inside was a cosy, warm cavern – just right for a party!

Images of the very first working bee barbecue under the fig tree, January, 1984

Looking down from the 8th (5th) tee to the 5th green on the right (today’s 2nd)

The fig tree today – a symbol of the resilience of the local people

Working bee, October 1984

Pat Dunwoodie, Jacqui Morton and Elvy Barker resting after a working bee, Nov. 1984

Peter Douglas and Wally Barker on the club’s first tractor

Mick Quinn hand mowing, August 1985

David Fenner on a “flexi” – October 1985

Turfing the 5th (2nd today)

The 1st green (today’s 7th)

Reticulation work – Nov. 1984

The Clubhouse

 Ron Cox: “Wally Barker asked me if the members would put down a concrete slab, would I be able to help with building. I said yes and donated all the materials. With the help of my two employees we locked it up in two days (another party).

Plans for an amenities block were approved in 1986, and a government grant in 1987 enabled an extension to the original clubhouse. In February, 1989, the present clubhouse was completed with a Junior room and a machine shed.

 Ron Cox: “Then the big challenge was put out to build an amenities block, all done by about three opposition bricklayers. All got on well and the job was done – for a carton of beer of course. They also bricked up the footings for the new clubhouse extension. Harry Watkins was our plumber – what a big save! Being a broken-down builder, I again got involved, cut out all the frames ready to be put together.

“During the next few days, some of the ladies asked where we were going to have our Melbourne Cup. I said why not in the new clubhouse? They sort of laughed it off, as all we had done was the foundations. I got on the phone thate night and rang builders, plumbers, bricklayers, plasterers and some labourers. The goal was to build the club over the weekend. Come Saturday, about 16 people turned up and on Sunday around 26. We divided them up into two teams and the club was locked up on Sunday night – two cartons of beer. Brian Humphries helped me finish outside on Monday and on Tuesday Melbourne Cup was held- -what a celebration! It was on Tuesday that Ian Wong turned up with the new bar and Brian Humphries did all the plaster work. Two work experience people we had working on the course turnd up on Monday and drove out again – they thought they were in the wrong street. They couldn’t believe their eyes! Another guy we only knew as Pepi made all the pine furniture.”

                     November 1984

Side view of original clubhouse and toilet block

Rear of clubhouse ready for machinery shed

Machinery shed completed September 1985

The clubhouse April 1985


The date of this publication is uncertain.


The Dam

 Ron Cox: “Then came the dam. It was about the time the sewerage was being put on (in Tuross). One of the bosses said it looked like we needed a dam. They were told we had no money to do anything like that and he said leave it with him. The dam was surveyed and the next weekend every machine and truck arrived and in two days the dam was completed. The payment was two cartons of beer and a free barbecue.” A sign was erected in the middle of the dam announcing it as “Brennan Dam” after the instigator of the scheme. Unfortunately, that sign has disappeared.
Warren Wenban: “I had to leave the area (1984) while the course was in its early stages. On my return I was dismayed to find that the first fairway was cut in half by a dam that was planned to go where the machinery shed now stands. The (original) layout was planned to take advantage of every yard available for the best possible course rating. It would be interesting to know the reasoning behind the dam placement, but I would lay good odds that whoever made the decision was no golfer.”

Although the dam was never used to water the course, it was required by Council to “ensure that the water storage dam acts as a run-off control pond, and as a nutrient and sediment trap.” (Lease Agreement, 1996).
During one particularly long drought season, the local volunteer fire brigade truck arrived and pumped the dam’s water as far up the slope as it could to irrigate a couple of fairways, which were like deserts. Fortunately, in 2005 the Bingi Sewerage  Treatment Plant was connected to the golf course to supply unlimited, nutrient-rich water to tees, greens and fairways. The course was no longer reliant on town water (expensive) nor subject to water restrictions during Summer.

“Brennan Dam” 2012.

The effluent pond at the 5th tee, 2012.

The Grand Opening

In January 1985, with six holes playable, the first “official” stroke was played by Dennis Morton on “Opening Day”. This occasion marked the end of a long struggle to get the Tuross Lakes Golf Club up and running, and also – unknown to the participants of that day – the beginning of many years of further developments to create one of the most picturesque golf courses on the Far South Coast.

Below: Mike Gatty, Pat Dunwoodie, Jacqui Morton taking the pledge on Opening Day, Jan. 1985

Dennis Morton making the first “official” stroke on the new golf course.

 Ron Cox: “It was around this time (??) Graham Calcutt arrived with a donation of some 350 trees and shrubs for our course, so on the Saturday Glen Shearer, Graham and myself repotted the lot. Thanks to Graham, most of them grew and can be seen all over the present course.” Graham was a landscape designer/horticulturist who was extremely generous with his monetary contributions. He died in 2011.

Water was a major worry for the fledgling club. Using town water was expensive, and if it didn’t rain sufficiently during hot summers, the fairways and rough would turn to powder. There was a rumour that Harry Watkins, resident plumber, connected the course to the town water supply unbeknown to Council so that “free” water could be obtained. Harry was a great character who entertained everybody with his wonderfully irreverent sense of humour. He died in 2005. In the late 1980’s, two goats were tethered on the slope leading away from today’s 6th tee to keep the scrub down. Unfortunately, some local dogs attacked them and they had to be put down. Harry did this with a rifle, much to the annoyance of the neighbours who complained to the policeafter hearing the rifle shots.

Wally Barker checking a green sprinkler.

Sprinkler working on 5th green.

Roger Chappell, signwriter, after he and Bert Hewett erected this sign.

Most of the signs on the course today are attributable to “Chappo”.

Looking up the old 9th (6th) fairway towards Allenby Road 1984.

The 8th (5th) green 1984.

Top: Car park area, Nov. 1984.

 Bottom: 7th green (today’s 4th).

Top: Dec. 1984 – the high side of the 6th(today’s 3rd) fairway.

Bottom: Dec. 1984 – the 8th (5th) fairway.

Start of 4th fairway (1st) being filled with excess earth from sewerage scheme.

Front tier of 2nd (8th) green April 1985.

Sand in readiness for construction of 3rd(today’s 9th) green, April 1985.

4th green (today’s 1st), April 1985.

Greenkeeper, Paul Van Den Heuvel inspecting the extended 4th tee.

Barbecue in the uncovered beer garden.

The first Tuross Junior Tournament.

The “old” clubhouse in 2002.

Front of the old golf club, 2002.

 Always struggling to keep its financial head above water, the Club agreed to amalgamate with the Bowling Club in 2000 to form the Tuross Head Country Club. With its limited finances, the club could not afford the equipment necessary to maintain and further develop the golf course. Often referred to as a “goat track” or the “Royal Rockpile”, the course today has earned a great deal of respect from visiting golfers with its well-grassed fairways, slick greens, vastly improved, levelled tees and thicker rough.

The old problem of the ball travelling across two fairways down the slope has been eliminated to a large extent. Cart paths have been added, new boxed tees built and huge amounts of soil have created flat landing areas at the lower levels of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fairways. Drainage in troublesome areas has alleviated the problem of fairways becoming bogs after heavy rain. Much work is yet to be done, but the old spirit of volunteer labour will keep the course advancing.

The Final Word

Warren Wenban: “To those who said we couldn’t do it – have a look at the place now!”

 Brendan Jones after winning the Mitsui Sumitomo Taiheiyo Masters in Japan, 2007.

Local Golfer Makes it Good.

Brendan Jones, son of locals Trevor and Margaret Jones, turned professional golfer after becoming the Australian Amateur Champion in 1999. Brendan spent his early years growing up in Tuross Head and played much of his junior golf on the Tuross Golf Course. Brendan spends most of his career playing golf in Japan, but has also participated in the World Matchplay Championships, represented Australia in the World Cup, as well as competing in some major tournaments in America and Australia.

 Hector McWilliam, owner of Tuross Lakes Estates, who bequeathed the golf course land to Eurobodalla Shire Council to be used as “Public Reserve”. Born 1877, died 1974. He was responsible for the planting of the many beautiful Norfolk Island pines that dot the headland.


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Junior Golf 2019 Development Programme

By |2021-03-28T16:35:31+11:00December 11th, 2019|Categories: Golf Archives, Golf News, Men's Golf, Mixed Golf, Uncategorized|


The Tuross Head Country Club hosted a Junior Golf Development Programme on Tuesday afternoons from 22 October 2019 concluding on 10 December 2019.

The programme was funded through a grant from the Far South Coast District Golf Association and managed by Tuross Head Men’s Golf.

This year the Programme attracted 5 enthusiastic juniors aged from 8 to 11 years receiving instruction from Narooma based Golf Professional Colin Holmes.

The programme included instruction on Stance, Swing, Putting, Chipping, Driving and Golf Etiquette.

Attached photo shows Andrew Gordon, President of Men’s Golf with Steve Hodge, Secretary Manager of Tuross Head Country Club and junior participants L. to R. Adam Walsh, Fletcher Cobden, Blake Campbell, Scott Watson and Declan Cook.

It is anticipated the programme will again be run during 2020.


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