Lake Macquarie History

Charlestown Golf Club

The first move to establish a golf course at Charlestown was in July 1966, but it was not until September 1971, following years of heartbreaking efforts to obtain the cooperation of government and local government bodies that the way was cleared to form a club and develop an area.

On 18th October 1971, a public meeting attended by 200-250 people was held at Charlestown Community Centre and Charlestown Golf Club was formed with Jack Barker elected as President, Tony De Martin ~ Vice President; S Powell ~ Secretary; C Clark as Treasurer, N Fleming as the inaugural Captain and Michael Hill as the Honorary Solicitor. On the committee were E. Donohue, R. Wilson, L.Witherdin, W. Chapman, R. Hughes, R. Guildford, I. Southwick, R. Faulkiner, D. Owens, F. Quested. Fees were set at Members: $20, Associates: $10, Husband and Wife: $25

In March 1972 the first nine holes were cleared from bushland to the east of Barker Avenue with volunteer labour disposing of the debris in centre winrows to be burnt off. During the next few years, membership dues were expended on water storage, base irrigation and a machinery shed. Delays due to weather, labour and financial difficulties hampered progress until the successful sowing of the first nine greens soon after November 1973. The formation of the Associates (Ladies) in March 1974 was closely followed in April with Opening Day and the first nine hole competition.

photo: 1st clubhouse at charlestown gc

After initially sharing the machinery shed, in January 1975 a modest weatherboard cottage was donated by Lake Macquarie Shire Council for use as the original clubhouse. Development of the course continued through the efforts of members and other volunteers, including army engineers based at Adamstown constructing the main timber bridge over the creek into the dam. This was typical of the way progress was made. By December, the club had over 450 members, associates and juniors, and had appointed Neville Bell as club professional. It was not until February in 1981 that the full eighteen holes were developed, but during that time of intense voluntary labour and frustrating financial and bureaucratic obstacles, a modern clubhouse and proshop was erected (RT Parker P/L) complete with tar-sealed carpark and legitimate liquour licence. Much remained to be done, with the piping of watercourses, garden construction, fairway grassing, tee and pathway construction still effected by club volunteers.

By 1985 the club was reinvesting profits into specialised golf course machinery, kitchen subcontractors and improved clubhouse facilities and within two years could afford a $40k automatic watering system and a newer, larger second tractor. All was not positive, however, with break-in, theft and vandalism continuing, despite investment in various and numerous security measures. In 1988 a further $40k was expended on the construction of three large dams, along with wall reinforcement and spillways to the original dam. In addition, the clubhouse was fully paid for some years before contract, due both to member support for the club's facilities, and judicious financial management by Treasurer Frank Stanwell.

photo: 18th green at charlestown gc

Over the years a number of course layout changes have been effected, due to the staged nature of the course construction, and also to take advantage of land acquisition to the east of the course adjacent to the inner city bypass. Many projects to improve course irrigation and drainage, water acquisition and storage, clubhouse amenities and office efficiencies, modern course care machinery, course challenges, landscaping, beautification and ambience have resulted in the outstanding resource that is the Charlestown Golf Course today.


1994. Hillsborough Charlestown Golf Club Limited : commemorative history of the formative years, Hillsborough Charlestown Golf Club, [Newcastle, New South Wales

Acknowledgement of Country

We remember and respect the Ancestors who cared for and nurtured this Country. It is in their footsteps that we travel these lands and waters. Lake Macquarie City Council acknowledges the Awabakal people and Elders past, present and future.

Council acknowledges traditional custodians throughout Australia. We commit to listening deeply to and collaborating with First Peoples in our work.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website and Council's cultural collections may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

This website may contain place names, opinions and terms that reflect authors' views or those of the period in which the item was written or recorded. These may not be considered appropriate today.

If you experience any issues with the website or its content please contact us [email protected]