MACKAY GOLF CLUB HISTORY
> The Mackay Golf Club was founded with the initial nine-hole course far from the manicured courses of today and was situated on the town common, which is now the Mackay Airport.
> The nine sandy greens had wire fences around them to keep the grazing cattle off and players also had to contend with nearby rubbish dumps, wide open storm-water drains and un-mown deep rough.
> The first Clubhouse was built on the common for a cost of $452 and opened by the Mayor, Mr George Milton.
> The Club moved to its present site on the Mackay-Bucasia Road after leasing 122 acres of grazing land from Mr George Shinn, which was sufficient land for a nine-hole golf course.
> The Clubhouse was moved from the common to its current site and during these early years, a huge effort was put in by bands of volunteers plowing, harrowing and levelling the fairways and planting couch runners.
> From all reports, playing was also a real challenge, errant balls usually un-findable in the tiger rough, even if you were prepared to brave the snakes.
> The Club came of age when the first Club Professional, Horrie Sloan, was appointed.
> One of the earliest perpetual trophies to be played for was the A.I.F. Cup, presented by Mrs Dorothy Croker.
> For many years, this cup has become known as the “Diggers’ Cup” and is played for annually by ex-servicemen on “Diggers’ Day”.
> The winner can retain the Cup for display at home until the following year’s event.
> A tree-planting committee was formed and the extensive tree planting from the early days resulted in the impressive tree-lined fairways that you see today, which place a premium on playing straight shots.
> Just prior to the Second World War, 43 acres west of the course was purchased to allow the construction of another nine holes, but construction was put on hold until after the war. This land was leased to Mr George Farquhar for cane growing during the war.
> The second nine holes were laid out and the dream of an 18 hole course was finally realised.
> All the while, a steady band of workers kept up the momentum of clearing the heavy rough and improving the course to make play more enjoyable for experienced and novice golfers alike.
> Professional Horrie Sloan resigned and Victorian Bren Alman was appointed in his place and remained as our Professional until retirement in 1987.
> He was succeeded by Barry Vassella, then Darren Rodgers, and the current Professional, Jeffrey Reid who learnt his golf under Barry’s tutelage.
> South African golfer Bobby Locke, winner of four British Opens and at the time rated as the World’s best golfer, played an exhibition match with Bren Alman and members Albert Krause and Lex Hodges.
> Locke shot a 67 off the stick.
> The 1950 exhibition match triggered the Club’s hosting of the Queensland Close Championship, won by Pacific professional Ken Jones and provided the foundation for the now annual Pro-Am tournament as part of the Queensland Professional Tour.
> Other great names in golf to visit the Club in these early days included Norman von Nida, Graham Marsh and David Graham.
> The Club was chosen to host the Queensland Close Championship and the Central Queensland Amateur Championships for men and associates in a week-long golfing carnival.
> The 1956 Close was won by Ashgrove professional Jack Brown.
> The present Clubhouse was built to cater for the expanding membership, which was expected to top 800 in the near future.
> Prior to this, while the Clubhouse had undergone a number of renovations, it had remained substantially the same since the 1930s.
> To provide water for irrigation, the first on-site dam was built.
> The Pro-shop was constructed within the main Clubhouse.
> The Club celebrated its 60 year Diamond Jubilee with a Jubilee Ball and dinner, which was attended by a number of members from the early years of the club and also descendants of founding members.
> The club adopted a new landmark constitution which recognised women as full members of the Club, able to vote and hold committee positions.
> To provide more water for irrigation, the second lower dam was built in conjunction with the new irrigation system and pump-house.
Since the early days, many of the blue couch fairways have been re-planted with Greenleas Park and the blue couch greens have all been rebuilt and planted with Bermuda 328. Underground irrigation sprinklers have gradually been installed along all fairways so that all greens, tees and fairways are now automatically watered as needed.