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4 December 1872 Adelaide’s First Golf Club

4 December 1872       Adelaide’s First Golf Club

After the notification of his appointment to New Zealand the Governor, Sir James Fergusson, received a message of appreciation from the Mayor of Adelaide, to which he replied on 4 December 1872, saying in part:
… admiring as I do its (Adelaide’s) fair proportions, its stately site and its healthy situation, I would express my hope that the continued prosperity of the colony will hasten the completion of its handsome design …

In 1869 Sir James himself contributed a little healthy recreation to the city when he and a fellow Scotsman, David Murray MLC decided it would be nice to have a golf course. The site chosen was just north of where Victoria Park is now and a greenkeeper from Scotland was put in charge of making the course. The nine hole course with its narrow fairways and small greens could only be used in winter as the clubs, imported from Scotland, did not stand up to the Australian summer, the glue joints often cracking open. Young boys delighted stealing the balls too, as at first crowds of ordinary people gathered to watch the ‘swells’ of Adelaide playing games. But the greatest problem facing the club was the cows that grazed the parklands and although the greenkeeper cut the grass close, with a scythe, the inquisitive cows still walked over it and did what cows did. This pioneer club battled on until 1875 but in the end the cows won and the course was abandoned. There were makeshift courses also at Gawler, Mitcham and Dulwich but it was not until 1890 that the North Adelaide Golf Club was formed and the links set out there which still remain in good use.   

H.A. Lindsay ‘Adelaide’s first golf course’, Chronicle, 24 January 1935.

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