Lake Macquarie History

Toronto Country Club

Toronto Country Club evolved from the Old Course ~ Kilaben Bay Golf Club ~

photo: kilaben bay gc logo

which in 1957 was built on private property at the end of Ridge Road, Kilaben Bay, hacked from mangroves and scrub with voluntary labour into a nine hole course with an old shed for a club house. As the club became more financial a club house was built. Tee areas are still visible and lost balls can still be found on the Kilaben Bay Landcare site along Kilaben Creek, which is in part the residue from subdividing the old course.

In 1961 the club was granted affiliation with the Newcastle District Golf Association (NDGA). On 27th November in the same year, affiliation with Central Northern District Golf Association was obtained by the recently formed ladies Associates.

A new site was obtained at Stock Yard Creek adjacent to Wangi Road in 1967: 5 ½ acres in perpetuity and 130 acres of leased crown land. Aerial surveys were taken and contours were sent to Mr Prosper Ellis, who, after retiring as a government Surveyor of Railways to Bowral in the Southern Highlands, practiced as a golf architect. He drew the basic design for the layout then visited the site to trudge through thick bushland for an on the spot examination before he pegged out the fairways, greens and tees. The bulldozers then moved in under the leadership of Jim Kay. John Deere Machinery and also Westlake’s Earthmoving Co. lent their dozers and an enthusiastic group of members was always on hand to do the necessary leg work. To use an old mining term, this course "was dug out of the solid".

It took about three years of voluntary and paid man and machine labour before the project looked like a going thing. The club house was started late in 1969 by G.L.B. Smith, building contractor of Toronto. The course started as nine holes on the current back nine and each hole had a descriptive name. NDGA president Merv England's comment on the layout was ..."a fast developing course with excellent potential, providing a real test for the low marker and most pleasant conditions for the playing of general club golf".

Also in 1969 the first Ladies Competition was conducted at the new course on Stockyard Creek Road, which was officially opened on 17th October 1970 by Merv Hunter M.L.A. The inaugural Associates Annual Presentation Dinner was held on Fri 3rd Nov 1972. In the same year, the name was changed to Toronto Country Club.

On January 27th 1976 it was reported that the Toronto Country Club officials were hopeful that five new greens on the second nine would be laid out and seeded by the end of March. The long deferred start on the building of a second nine was made possible by the amalgamation with Macquarie Leagues Club and the consequent improvement in the club's financial position.

photo: toronto cc clubhouse

The 18 hole course was completed on 21st October 1984 with great celebrations and a gala day with visitors from many clubs. A further merger with Toronto Workers Club occurred in January of 2008. 2011 saw celebration of the 50 year jubilee of the Toronto Ladies Golf Club, marked by the publication of a comprehensive "History of Associates ~ Kilaben Bay Golf Club", compiled by Club Captain Susan Puddey, which is the source for much of this article.

In 2014 a major refurbishment by JMC Building P/L improved the clubhouse exterior and facilities to a level worthy of such a progressive and successful organisation.