History of the Nhill Golf Club
The game of golf was introduced to the Nhill community by Mr J. W. Trumble in 1893 after a visit to England in that year, and he convinced Mr J. C. McDonald, of Nhill Station, to make part of his all-purpose paddock available for a golf course. The property was situated on the eastern end of Macpherson Street, a nine hole course of 2510 yards with a “bogey” of 42, with grass greens.
In September 1897, a competition was held against Hopetoun Golf Club when six members of the Hopetoun team travelled by train to Nhill to play. On 30th September, four Nhill players travelled by train to Hopetoun for a return match. Competitions with other clubs such as Dimboola, Kaniva, Hamilton and Stawell were common by 1901.
The official formation of the Nhill Golf Club was in 1898. Mr Trumble convened a meeting of golfers at the Commercial Hotel on 10th May 1898 to form the club. Mr James Brown was President, Mr John Young Vice-President, Mr J.W. Trumble Captain and Mr J. Barnett Secretary. The subscription fee was set at five shillings for men and two shillings and sixpence for women. The first competition played by the new club was on May 20th 1898. There was no clubhouse at the time and members used the local hotels for club functions. The Victorian Golf Association was founded in 1901 and the Nhill Golf Club was the seventeenth club to join the association on 1st June 1903.
In 1905 the growing club moved from Nhill Station to crown land which is now occupied by Nhill College. This area was shared with the Nhill Gun Club so some holes were located across Queen Street, which necessitated having to hit over the road. Sand scrapes were introduced, as well as sand bunkers. The first clubhouse was situated on the corner of Queen Street and Whitehead Avenue on the existing Nhill College grounds. It was a one room building with one door and one window. A skillion veranda about six feet wide was added about 1915.
In 1925 the golf club moved location for the last time when the club purchased 105 acres from Mr John Wellesley Warner at the price of 7 pounds 10 shillings per acre – a total cost of 790 pounds. This was situated north of the town on the Netherby Road. The original clubhouse was moved from the old links. The new links were formally opened on 4th July 1925 by the President’s wife, Mrs R.C. Roe, driving the first ball to resounding cheers. In the spring of 1925 the Nhill Golf Club hosted the Wimmera Annual Amateur Meeting and took 700 entries from almost every town in the Wimmera. In 1930, £144 was raised for a new clubhouse in its present location. In 1932 extensions were made to the clubhouse and fibro plaster lining installed for £147. In 1936 the club applied to the Wimmera Golf Association to hold their annual tournament during the long weekend in June and was successful.
The first watering scheme at the Nhill Golf Club commenced with a plan to provide watering points to the tees and approaches to the scrapes on the entire course using town water in 1951. Money was raised through member debentures and the work done by club members. In 1985 a scheme to water the fairways with two “walking” irrigators with water supplied by two turkey nest dams filled by the club’s bore over winter was adopted by committee. The new dams were completed for $3000 in February 1987. On November 25th 1991 the members decided to go ahead with the development of 18 grass greens and a cost of $101,000. On 26th September 1992 the development program for the greens was started and many members worked seven days a week.
September 12th 1993 saw the last competition on sand scrapes and the opening of play on the entire 18 holes, at which time the two nines were reversed, occurred on April 16th 1994 - just 18 months after the greens development started.