The History of the Whittlesea Golf Club
Year of Foundation: 1937
Year of VGA affiliation: 1963
Whittlesea Golf Club is situated at Humevale, a few kilometres north-east of Whittlesea, just off the road to Kinglake and Yea.
The golf club began as a nine hole course on the property of a local farmer, Walter Andrew, then moved to about 45 acres of crown land along the banks of the Plenty River in Whittlesea. As years went by the course grew to sixteen holes, with two holes played twice.
As the land was leased for cattle and sheep grazing, it was necessary to watch where you put your feet and a local rule allowed for cleaning and dropping balls which landed in a cow pat. The club also saved on mowing machines, but found it necessary to fence off the sand scrapes. The Club House was a shed where the swimming pool is now situated, then a shed at the present showground site. All work was voluntary.
As three streams flowed through the course winter rains could cause havoc. Eventually the members sought a new site and finally bought land at the present location, using the clubs savings and debentures bought by the members. An initial 125 acres were purchased and a further 25 acres, some years later. Humevale Hall adjacent to the course became the club house for the rent of four pounds per week.
Setting up the course was a mammoth task. John Spencer, Don Draper and Hec Jukes were early curators and contractors Slattery, Westworth and Murphy were hired to shape the dams and dam walls and create greens. One thousand trees were planted in one day by a working bee of the members and voluntary labour also installed irrigation pipes and mains.
When the Humevale Hall rent was raised the golf club decided to build its own club house on top of the hill. Members who were builders and plumbers set to work with assistance of other members. The first stage comprised the main room, office and kitchen.
When it was decided to seek a liquor licence for the venue, a second stage was added, mainly by contractors, consisting of the bar, locker room and lower cool room. Gaining the licence took fifteen months and a great deal of administrative effort.
The course has undergone changes over the years with the addition of extra land changing the back nine holes. In 1963 the course was a par 67, but now is 6148 metres long with a par and ACR of 73.
In 2000 two senior members, Ernie Westworth and Bert Wailes, were awarded the Australian Sports Medal for their services to the club, representing the many members who made such enormous efforts over the years to establish and maintain the club.
Important names in the club's history include five men who signed the original company papers in 1963. They were Stanly Owen and Robert Watson of Pheasant Creek, James Murray of Reservoir, Keith Downey and Reg Bryson of Whittlesea, all of whom played significant roles in the club's development.
In 1984 Ken McCombe came from Green Acres to be curator, and in 1990, Carl Padget was appointed. Brad Tucker was appointed recently and is the current curator. Gerry Sexton, the Club Professional, took up his position when the Pro Shop was completed in 1989.Dan Chromie has since been appointed in 2013.
Several successful Pro-Ams have been held at Whittlesea, with Ian Baker-Finch having his first professional win at the course.
The club has competed in the VGA pennant for over 40 years. In 2004 the club won its first Senior Pennant title. This was followed by a huge celebration in the old clubhouse. Inn 2005 the club won its first Junior Pennant Title. In 2011 the Senior Pennant won again.