Royal Park Golf Club

Last updated

Situated on the northern boundary of Royal Park, Melbourne, Victoria, the Royal Park Golf Course is a 9-hole golf course located only 3 km from the city. It has the honour of being possibly the only golf course with both tram and trains running through it: the route 58 tram and Upfield railway line (Royal Adelaide Golf Club only has a railway line running through it).

Royal Park, Melbourne urban park in Melbourne, Australia

Royal Park is the largest of Melbourne's inner city parks. It is located 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north of the Melbourne CBD, Victoria, Australia, in the suburb of Parkville.

Victoria (Australia) State in Australia

Victoria is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's smallest mainland state and its second-most populous state overall, making it the most densely populated state overall. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, and South Australia to the west.

Melbourne tram route 58 tram route in metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Melbourne tram route 58 is operated by Yarra Trams on the Melbourne tram network. It operates from West Coburg to Toorak. The 18.0 kilometre route is operated by Z3, B2 and D1 class trams from Essendon and Malvern depots. The route began operating on 1 May 2017.


The Royal Park Golf Club, formed in 1903, has been the nursery for many golfers who went on to make a mark in the golfing world, including Peter Thomson (club champion at the age of 16, in 1945) who won the Open Championship (sometimes known as the British Open) 5 times, as well as Gus Jackson and Mick Ryan.

Peter Thomson (golfer) Australian professional golfer

Peter William Thomson was an Australian professional golfer. He won the Open Championship five times between 1954 and 1965. Thomson is the only golfer to win a modern major three times in succession – The Open 1954, 1955, 1956.


Between the years of 1890 and 1903 golf was played in Royal Park, Melbourne, but without a proper golf course. It wasn't until 1903 that a group of golf enthusiasts met at the Parkville Hotel to discuss forming a club. For a nominal rent, sufficient land for an 18-hole course was obtained from the Royal Park Trustees and the Royal Park Golf Course was built and maintained by volunteers and club members.

Golf sport in which players attempt to hit a ball with a club into a goal using a minimum number of shots

Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible.

Golf course Series of holes designed for the game of golf

A golf course is the grounds where the game of golf is played. It comprises a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, a fairway, the rough and other hazards, and a green with a flagstick ("pin") and hole ("cup"). A standard round of golf consists of 18 holes. Most courses contain 18 holes; some share fairways or greens, and a subset has nine holes, played twice per round. Par-3 courses consist of nine or 18 holes all of which have a par of three strokes.

Membership numbers had fallen so low by 1911 that members could not afford the upkeep on the 18-hole course and it was reduced to 9 holes. But that didn't stop the junior pennant team winning all its matches 8 years later in 1919 to win the flag.

The members made small improvements to the course, with approval from the Royal Park Trustees. In 1934 control of Royal Park changed from the Trustees to the Melbourne City Council (City of Melbourne). Immediate improvements to the golf course included mowing of the fairways and bunkers and mounds being added to the course layout.

City of Melbourne Local government area in Victoria, Australia

The City of Melbourne is a local government area in Victoria, Australia, located in the central city area of Melbourne. In 2016 the city has an area of 36 square kilometres (14 sq mi) and had a population of 135,959. The city's motto is "Vires acquirit eundo" which means "She gathers strength as she goes."

Royal Park has been the mother club for many notable golfers who went on to make their mark in the golfing world. These include:

The Open Championship Golf tournament held in the United Kingdom

The Open Championship, often referred to as The Open or the British Open, is the oldest golf tournament in the world, and one of the most prestigious. Founded in 1860, it was originally held annually at Prestwick Golf Club, Scotland, before evolving to being rotated between a select group of coastal links golf courses in the United Kingdom, under the authority of the R&A.

The clubhouse, built on land leased from the Victorian Railways Department from 1906 onwards, was renovated and maintained by club members until 1970 when it was destroyed by fire. Permission to rebuild the clubhouse proved difficult with the condition of occupancy offered by the Council being rejected by club members, so after talks with the Keilor Golf Club the club disbanded and the two clubs merged into the Tullamarine Country Club.

Victorian Railways transport company

The Victorian Railways (VR), trading from 1974 as VicRail, was the state-owned operator of most rail transport in the Australian state of Victoria from 1859 to 1983. The first railways in Victoria were private companies, but when these companies failed or defaulted, the Victorian Railways was established to take over their operations. Most of the lines operated by the Victorian Railways were of 5 ft 3 in. However, the railways also operated up to five 2 ft 6 in narrow gauge lines between 1898 and 1962, and a 4 ft 8 12 instandard gauge line between Albury and Melbourne from 1961.

The council took over the running of the course from March 1971, and in the mid-1980s hired Peter Thomson's firm of Golf Course Architects to improve the course layout.

The Club reformed in 1974 with an 18-hole competition played on Saturdays and a 9-hole competition on Sundays. This was reversed in 1976 and by 1989 competitions days were Sundays only. Members were allowed to use part of the restaurant built by council, to be used as a clubhouse. By 2002 a Saturday 9-hole competition was reintroduced and renovations to pro-shop and clubhouse were undertaken by council, including the addition of a verandah. Membership numbers at the end of 2002 were close to 80, including juniors and 3 women, one being the first committee member in the hundred-year history of the club.

The Club celebrated its 100th year in 2003 with a Centenary Weekend of Golf tournament, with Peter Thomson returning to the Club to present prizes to Club winners. Peter also wrote the foreword to the book of the Club's history, written by Club member and first female committee member.


Hilton, Denise (2003). A centenary in the park: the history of the Royal Park Golf Club. Parkville, Vic.: Royal Park Golf Club. ISBN   0-646-42676-1.

Hoy, L.A. (1950). The history of Royal Park Golf Club. Parkville, Vic.: Royal Park Golf Club.

Coordinates: 37°46′45″S144°57′13″E / 37.779237°S 144.953721°E / -37.779237; 144.953721

Related Research Articles

Parkville, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Parkville is an inner-city suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3 km north of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government areas are the Cities of Melbourne and Moreland. At the 2016 Census, Parkville had a population of 7,409.

Royal Troon Golf Club

Royal Troon Golf Club is a links golf course in Scotland, located in Troon, South Ayrshire, southwest of Glasgow.

The following is a partial timeline of the history of golf.

Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club golf course in Lancashire, England

Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, England, is one of the courses in the Open Championship rotation. The Women's British Open has also been played on the course five times: once prior to being designated a major championship by the LPGA Tour, and four times since.

Princes Golf Club, Sandwich Links golf course in Sandwich in Kent in South East England

Prince's Golf Club, Sandwich is a links golf course located in Sandwich in Kent in South East England. Prince's is immediately adjacent to the more famous Royal St George's golf club, and both clubs lie on the same stretch of coastline as nearby Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club. It is notable for hosting the 1932 Open Championship.

Inverness Club

Inverness Club is a private golf club in Toledo, Ohio.

The Royal Dublin Golf Club Second oldest golf club in Ireland, located in Dublin

The Royal Dublin Golf Club, founded in 1885, is Ireland's second oldest golf club. It is a private members' club, with an 18-hole links course on Bull Island, Dublin, Ireland. It is also one of the biggest golf clubs in the country. Designed originally by the Harry Colt, the links was extended under the guidance of golf architect Martin Hawtree.

Portstewart Golf Club

Portstewart Golf Club consists of three 18-hole courses situated in the town of Portstewart, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Golf was first played there as far back as 1889.

Royal Melbourne Golf Club

Royal Melbourne Golf Club is a 36-hole golf club in Australia, located in Black Rock, Victoria, a suburb southeast of Melbourne. Its West and East courses are respectively ranked number 1 and 6 in Australia. The West course is ranked in the top-five courses in the world. Founded 128 years ago in 1891, it is Australia's oldest extant and continually existing golf club. Unlike many metropolitan golf venues, The Royal Melbourne Golf Club has a capacity for 15,000 spectators.

The Royal Ottawa Golf Club

The Royal Ottawa Golf Club is a premier private golf club located in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. It was founded in 1891, and has made major contributions to the development of Canadian golf right from its early years, hosting many important championships and meetings, and continues to do so. Several significant champion golfers have been associated with the Club. The Club has 27 holes of golf.

Lambton Golf and Country Club

The Lambton Golf and Country Club is a private golf and tennis club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The golf club was established by Albert William Austin in 1902. The golf club is presently members with Golf Canada, and the United States Golf Association.

East Lake Golf Club

East Lake Golf Club is a private golf club located approximately 5 miles east of downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Established in 1904, East Lake is the oldest golf course in the city of Atlanta. East Lake was the home course of golfer Bobby Jones and much of its clubhouse serves as a tribute to his accomplishments.

The Australian Golf Club is a golf club located in Rosebery, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. Although it survived numerous course location changes, it is arguably the oldest golf club in Australia. To date the course has held 20 Australian Open events and most recently in 2017 the event was won by Australian Cameron Davis. The course has been rated the 9th best in the country.

Ivo Whitton Australian amateur golfer

Ivo Harrington Whitton was an Australian amateur golfer, who, along with Greg Norman, is the only Australian to have won the Australian Open five times.

1876 Open Championship golf tournament held in 1876

The 1876 Open Championship was the 16th Open Championship, held on Saturday 30 September at the Old Course at St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. Bob Martin won the Championship. He had tied with Davie Strath but Strath refused to take part in the playoff and Martin took the title. The combination of a large crowd and the fact that a number of R&A members were playing the course caused a number of problems. An objection was made against Strath for hitting a spectator at the 17th. The objection was not decided on the evening of the contest and Strath was informed that he would have to play on the Monday, under protest. Objecting to this arrangement, Strath refused to take part.

1954 Open Championship golf tournament held in 1954

The 1954 Open Championship was the 90th Open Championship, played 7–9 July at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England. Peter Thomson, age 23, won the first of his five Open titles by one stroke over runners-up Bobby Locke, Dai Rees, and Syd Scott. This was the first time the championship was held at Royal Birkdale.

Richmond Golf Club

The Richmond Golf Club is a private golf club whose 18-hole course now occupies the historic Sudbrook Park adjacent to Richmond Park, in Petersham, south west London. The Grade I listed building, Sudbrook House, in the park, is now the clubhouse. The patron of the club is His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

The Metropolitan Golf Club is one of the renowned sandbelt courses of Melbourne and is widely recognised as one of the finest championship courses in Australia. It is located in Oakleigh South, in the city's south-eastern suburbs, approximately twenty minutes' drive from the CBD.