A Golf Club on the Move
The first known site for Box Hill Golf Club was a site just south of Canterbury Road (then known as Delaney Road)where a 9 hole course was established. The first AGM of Box Hill Golf Club was held on 25th April 1913.
The club yet again fell victim to subdivision in 1924 and leased property along Doncaster Road where an 18-hole course was laid out among the orchards. A new committee was formed, taking over the assets of Box Hill Golf Club and adopting the name Eastern Golf Club. Box Hill Club as a separate entity remained in recess until the name was resurrected in 1933 when Mr J.P.C Wellard built the “The Box Hill Public Golf Links” on the site of much of today’s front nine. A group of social players formed a new version of Box Hill Golf Club.
Mr Wellard carried out significant work, laying out fairways, tees and greens and developing a reticulated water system. The Depression years in the 1930s saw a slow-down of development. In 1938, some members of the Eastern Golf Club banded together to buy land in the sand belt area from the Melbourne Hunt Club at East Oakleigh and opened a course as Huntingdale Golf Club in 1941.
The war years further slowed development of the Box Hill Links but soon afterwards, a course was in play. In 1952, the social players of the Box Hill Golf Club who had played at the Box Hill Links approached Mr Wellard to sell to them the land of the course he had built. Agreement was reached on a price of $75,000 but the club could not raise all the money. So, it bought only half of the land that would be necessary for an 18-hole course. In 1967, the club leased from the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works enough land to construct an 18-hole course.
In 1956, the club successfully applied for a liquor licence, something of an unusual occurrence in what was essentially a “dry area”. Contrary to local rumour, the club advertised its application in The Argus dated 11 March 1955; some people had complained the application had only been advertised in a remote country newspaper to avoid coming to notice locally where there might be objections. The myth is still being perpetuated today in some publications.
From the 1980s onwards, the club developed considerably. New clubrooms were constructed and the club successfully negotiated the purchase of all land it previously leased from Melbourne Water Corporation (formerly the MMBW), Melbourne Parks and Waterways and Whitehorse City Council. The new land to the north was developed in to two new golf holes (present 15th and 16th) which in turn provided scope for the re-development of holes 13, 14, 17 and 18. The result has been the achievement of a challenging 18-hole golf course that continues to evolve.
A marker near the tees on the 15th and 17th holes of the Box Hill course identifies an area of historical significance in Australian art history. During the summer of 1885/1886, Tom Roberts camped with Frederick McCubbin and Louis Abrahams in the bush along Gardiner’s Creek near where the current tees are located. It was here that they produced some of their celebrated works.
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