Lake Macquarie History

A History of Golf in Lake Macquarie

The City Council of Lake Macquarie acknowledge the Aboriginal people known today as the Awabakal, as the traditional Custodians of the land, respecting Aboriginal Elders past, present and future. Lake Macquarie City Council recognise the local Aboriginal community today in all of their diversity, who came forward to share their experiences, knowledge, images and memories.

The ancient sport of golf has been played, at least on an organised basis, for the best part of the last 100 years in the Lake Macquarie region. The controlling body is the Newcastle District Golf Association (NDGA), which was instituted in 1908 as the Northern Golf Association to organise the playing of the Annual Northern Championship on the links of the Newcastle Club. In 1919 this was reformed as the Newcastle and Hunter River Golf Association until emerging in its present form in 1925. This period encompassed the transfer in 1921 of the Waratah Golf Club (founded in 1901 at the Recreation Reserve, Waratah) to the present day site at Cockle Creek to become the first course to be established in Lake Macquarie.

photo: early golf

1936 saw the establishment at West Wallsend of the Macquarie Golf Club, admitted to the NDGA in 1939. This, the first club with its origins in Lake Macquarie, operated until the late 1940s, to reestablish in the mid 1960s as Sugar Valley Golf Club..

In 1954 the Belmont Golf Club was granted affiliation, followed by Kilaben Bay seven years later, a re-formed West Wallsend Sugar Valley Golf Club and Morisset Country Club (affiliated with Brisbane Water District GA) in 1968, Toronto Country Club (formerly Kilaben Bay) in 1972 and Charlestown in 1974.

Thus were created ample opportunities for Lake Macquarie residents to indulge in the old game, which has since gone from strength to strength. Until 1957, Waratah was the only eighteen hole links in Lake Macquarie but the period from the sixties to the eighties showed a rapid growth in the number of eighteen hole venues. All of our courses provide public access for the wider community, in addition to member only competitions.

Two high profile golf tournaments are conducted annually within Lake Macquarie: The W E Alexander Open (at Waratah Golf Club) and the Lake Macquarie Amateur held by Belmont Golf Club in conjunction with Golf NSW. These events regularly attract international fields and, along with the Morisset Open Amateur and the Charlestown Cup, comprise the Lake Macquarie components of the prestigious Vardon Trophy for more accomplished golfers.