Nudgee Golf Club today is a 36-hole golfing complex located 11.5 kilometres from the Brisbane central business district, adjacent to Nudgee Beach and the Moreton Bay foreshores, and is also bounded by the Gateway Arterial Road, the northern end of Nudgee Road.
Its proximity to Moreton Bay means that cooling breezes are a regular feature, which can also provide testing golfing conditions for players. The original nine-hole course was laid out by a group of golfing enthusiasts including Mr W. Childs, the owner of the land, and Mr W. Scott, a Scottish professional, during the latter half of the 1920’s and was utilized by the group and their friends on a social basis.
The Child’s family were noted vigerons and the land on which the golf course was located had previously been successfully developed as a vineyard from which quality wines and champagnes had been produced and distributed. In fact, the product was entered in overseas Franco/British exhibitions, and at Earls Court, winning four gold medals.
As interest in golf grew, it was decided to explore the possibility of forming a golf club. Meetings were held at the Northgate School of Arts and Mr Childs residence and the level of interest was such that it was decided to proceed. A committee was formed and the club was formally opened by Brigadier General J.H.Cannon, the president of the Queensland Golf Council on January 18, 1930.
The foundation president was Dr D.F.Brade, with Mr A.J.Sailer as captain and Mr W.F.Childs as treasurer, and the club became a member of the Outer Brisbane Metropolitan Association. The next step was the building of a new clubhouse which was opened on January 21, 1931 by the Minister for Labour and Industry, the Honourable H.E.Sizer MLA, and Queensland Golf Council chairman W.F.R.Boyce.
From then the club steadily progressed, purchasing from Mr Childs the land on which the course was located, and thus providing the key element of security. During the 1930’s course improvements were carried out to increase the length of the nine-hole layout from 2315 yards to 2825 yards.
Development was curtailed during World War II, but once conditions normalised, the need to extend to an 18-hole layout was recognised and planning commenced. During 1948 sufficient land was purchased from adjoining landholders to form a second nine and development of this land continued during 1949. In 1950 the 18-hole layout was opened, marking a major milestone in the clubs history. In 1934 the club was faced with some unplanned renovations, after a cyclone damaged the clubhouse.
The next focus of attention was the clubhouse. Storm damage during the early 1950’s and the growing membership revealed deficiencies, and it was decided to erect a new brick clubhouse.
Clubhouse in the 1950’s. During the 1960’s an opportunity arose to purchase farm land to the south of the existing course to enable the provision of a third nine holes. The opportunity was grasped and the additional nine holes was constructed and opened for play in 1964. This meant that female members could play an 18-hole event on Saturdays, on the third nine and the first nine of the main course after the first tee had been cleared by members. It also provided additional facilities for visitors and social club members.
Early in 1985 a situation arose which had the potential to wreck the growth of the club. At that time the Department of Main Roads indicated it wished to acquire part of the golf course for the Gateway Arterial Road and sought the clubs reaction. Naturally the club protested and after extensive negotiations extending over almost 2 years, an agreement was reached whereby the club purchased State Government land to the south of the third nine holes, and sold the State the land required for the arterial road.
The net result was that sufficient land became available for a second 18-hole course and planning and development work started soon. On April 28. 1991, the new 18-hole South Course was opened by the Minister of Administrative Services, the Honourable R.McLean.
The course has since proved of great benefit to the club and its cash flow, with some 90,000 players using the 36-hold complex each year. A further progressive step occurred in 1993 when, after many years of negotiation, the club purchased 5.2 hectares of land from the Federal Government.
This enabled the progressive development of a practice fairway, plus the construction of a new 11th hole on the North Course, and variations to the 10th, 12th and 18th holes on that course, leading to a much improved layout.
Water supply, or lack of it, has been a problem for the club during dry seasons and the problem was accentuated with the establishment of two 18-hole courses. After consideration of the merits of sewerage effluent versus natural rain, it was decided to increase the capacity of the main dam to almost 55 megalitres. The work was completed early in 1998. During the 1990’s it became increasingly evident that there had been a deterioration in the standard of clubhouse facilities.
After extensive investigations a proposal was put to the members, and approved, at a special general meeting held in October 1997, to replace the existing clubhouse with a new single-level structure. Construction work started during 1999 and the new clubhouse is now operational and officially opened on November 19, 1999. As part of the project the car park has been upgraded and the clubhouse surrounds landscaped.
The club has been well served by some 148 members who were elected to the management committee and/or board of directors over the past 70 years. The policies adopted have ensured steady growth with responsible financial planning and the result is there to be seen – a 36-hole complex of which all categories of member can be proud. Over its long history the club has endeavoured to encourage and maintain a friendly and egalitarian atmosphere within it membership and to its guests and visitors.
The club takes pride in the fact that such moves have been apparently successful, for the term “the friendly club” is widely used in relation to Nudgee.