Lake Macquarie History

Belmont Golf Club

The proposal for the formation of a golf club in Belmont was first made public in July 1950. A notice in the Belmont-Swansea Gazette invited; "all persons interested in such a project to meet and discuss the possibilities".

It was the late Clive MacLean and Norman Bull, associated with B.H.P Collieries, who negotiated to secure a lease of the land on which Belmont Golf Club is now situated.

photo: 18th green at chrlestown gc

Foundation Committee
President: Mr C.P. MacLean
Vice President; James Vidler
Vice President: Norman Bull
Hon. Secretary: Gordon Hutcheon
Hon. Treasurer: Derek Reynolds
Club Captain: Gordon Johnston
Committee: James Aspley, Claude Brandon, Kev Byrnes, Ken Charters, Lance Dobinson, Alan Johnson, Nev Lewis, George Scala, Ernest Robinson, Tom Tuckwell.

It would be impossible to document all that transpired during those formative years but it is essential to at least acknowledge the original people who were responsible for acquiring our most valuable asset: 247 acres of prime land on which to build Belmont Golf Links. Clive MacLean and Norman Bull were perceptive men of industry who had "done their homework" regarding the land long before they presented the proposal to that foundation meeting in January 1951. From this point it became all systems go. As a result, a golf course architect from Sydney, Mr. Prosper Ellis was engaged to survey and design the links and membership fees were set at 3 guineas ($6.30) per year.

The first team of volunteers began proceedings over four weekends, burning off enough undergrowth to permit the architect to peg the fairways. These pegs had to be six feet in height to be visible above the tall reedy vegetation. Seven fairways were outlined in this way. Over these fairways were Tea Trees, Box, Gum and Melaleuca trees up to 18 metres high. As a result, bulldozers were brought in to quickly change the landscape, followed by the volunteers with rakes, shovels, motor lorries and fire to clear away the debris. Up to a hundred men turned up at weekends, to assist in this stage of the course development.

Once denuded of its natural cover the area proved to be practically all sand, so the planting of grass became essential. Working bees, this time with lorries and ploughs, sprigged seven fairways with a maze of grass roots while other groups were engaged in bringing underground water to the surface to supplement the supply of town water which was distributed by a two inch pipe from the Pacific Highway. Spear points were driven into the ground to a depth of ten metres with the underground water being delivered to the greens by means of heavy-duty pumps and hundreds of metres of two-inch pipes.

photo: 18th green at chrlestown gc

Once we moved beyond these early "settling in years" we looked to the late '50s, the '60s and beyond to our 25th Anniversary year of 1977. By this time Belmont had experienced the highs and lows of a fledgling golf club to become No 1 rated by the NSW Golf Association - confounding the critics who had forthrightly declared that: "You will never get a golf course established at Belmont". The fact that we have accomplished our goal was largely due to the devotion and dedication of many members of our paid staff, voluntary workers and the length of years they served our club.

We were exceedingly fortunate in those early years to have numerous, well-known and highly respected members within our committee.

Reference

Belmontgolf.com.au. (2018). History - Belmont Golf Club. [online] Available at: http://www.belmontgolf.com.au/layouts/mp_standard/template.aspx?page=history [Accessed 27 Aug. 2018].