CASTLECOVE GOLF LINKS was Sydney’s first golf club on the lower north shore and members recently turned back the clock to celebrate its 80th anniversary.
Members past and present, some a similar age to the course and some much, much younger, decked out in 1930’s golf attire at a special celebration to mark the event.
The club was officially opened on April 12, 1932 and a re-enactment of the ceremony was held on the corresponding date last week.
Showing the durability of the great game of golf, the course was built at the height of the Great Depression before the actual suburb of Castle Cove, and was an integral part of Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for his project developing the surrounding residential area.
The ceremony last week included the planting of a commerative tree and unveiling of a plaque by Willoughby Mayor Pat Reilly, who is also the patron of the club.
Mayor Reilly then proceeded to the first tee to replicate the opening of the course in 1932 when Edgar Deans (later Willoughby Council Mayor) performed the same function. A 1930’s hickory driver was handed to him and a heritage ball was placed on a mound of sand by his 9 year old caddie, Hamish, who is the youngest member of the club.
He was followed by 14 octogenarian members of the club competing in a ladies’ and men’s longest drive competition, all dressed in nostalgic 1930’s golf attire.
During his speech, the Mayor spoke of the importance of sporting clubs to local communities not only for the recreational facilities they provide but as a forum for social interaction across all age groups.
The message was reinforced by Angela Smith, club Chairperson, who said: “The role of this club is to make sure that golfers have the opportunity to play here for many years into the future. This club provides an opportunity for golfers of all ages and experience levels to play in a friendly environment.”
Castlecove golf course was attributed to bringing the sport of golf to Sydney’s lower north shore with the club commencing with 130 members who were charged 1 shilling for a nine-hole round and 1s 6d for 18 holes.
Though the price has gone up a little the initial camaraderie remains unchanged.