The Belvoir Park Golf Club Story
1930 – 1945
Originally golf was played at a little 9 hole sand scrape course known as the Kangaroo Flat Golf Club, (situated behind the Kangaroo Flat Railway Station). A few remains can still seen around the area, eg Bunker Street).
Member & Secretary of Kangaroo Flat Golf Club, Alf Grierson, was a friend with local property owner, Robert Bissell, who owned the present Belvoir Park Road land which also had a 9 hole golf course on it. Alf would often spend time relaxing with Rupert on his golf course, which in turn, lead to members of the Kangaroo Flat Golf Club embarking on an ambitious scheme to transfer their course to Big Hill. A lease of Rupert’s land for 100 years was negotiated and this lease allowed the golf club use of the ground on Wednesdays, Saturdays and all public holidays, sheep were grazed on the land for the remainder of the year. Wire strand fences were used to protect the sand scrapes.
Mr Alf Grierson & Mrs Grierson became the first elected President & Associate President of the Belvoir Park Golf Club. Membership subscriptions were £2/2 (Associates 10/6)
The Club had 59 members and was unofficially opened with 12 holes on 6th May 1946. With a mere £46 in the bank account. Volunteers set about the massive task of producing an 18 hole course. 120 trees were removed to create fairways & putting scrapes at a cost of £200.
With an interest free loan of £800 from a friend of Alf Grierson, the old Kangaroo Flat clubhouse was dismantled and moved across to Belvoir Park land. It wasn’t until 1951 that a new clubhouse was erected all with hand made bricks.
Many additions & extensions have been made to the clubhouse over time.
After an increase in the lease of the property, around 1960 it was negotiated to purchase the course for approximately $26,000??
In those days not many people had cars so a bus would leave Bendigo and pick up players on route to the course. Every Saturday there would be bag boys paid to ride around on push bikes provided by the club, to smooth out the scrapes for the players. A committee man, Ron Bidwell, was responsible for the maintenance of the bikes.
The club was renowned for having the best sand scrapes in the district and became so popular that in the mid 1960’s approximately 120 people would compete in the afternoon, making it difficult for the match committee to keep the field running smoothly. To alleviate this problem a provisional membership was introduced, when these members were only allowed to play on Saturday morning.
New dams constructed around the course & installation of watering system enabled the vision to take the course from sand scrapes to greens.
1998 – 2000 Green construction
Designed by Kevin Hartley, former Aust Amateur golf champion along with some of the funding coming from the members, the greens become introduced over 21 months.
Members worked in hot, dry conditions sewing hessian for coverage of the newly sown greens. Sewing of two metre square pieces into 500 metre square sheets was a mammoth job but without it the greens would not have survived. It was calculated that it took approximately 12,000 voluntary hours to complete the making. The incredible hardwork & commitment by members brought the course large beautifully designed greens.
The course endured almost 10 years of drought directly following the construction of the greens and this put an enormous strain on keeping the course playable and holding onto members. The greens had to be reduced to half to conserve water and it was once again the dedication of members, day in and day out, hand-watering the greens with the trickle of water we had, that the course survived.
A storage shed was erected for carts - housing approx 24 members carts & Golf Pro's carts. Then 10 individual cart sheds were erected with members putting in half money up front in return for a 7 year lease agreement from Nov 2012.
2015 – Pro Shop
This was the next step to the big vision of the club. This was built mainly by volunteer members once again and with the shop, came the resident Golf Pro, Paul Powell
Competitions went digital - 2 touch screens were installed & members embraced entering their scores. Membership records were recorded on a central golf computor program.
2016 – 70 years
2016 saw the club celebrating 70 years at Belvoir Park Road. Along with a very special celebratory dinner, two of our longest serving members were awarded as Life Members – Bruce Pain (joined at 16 years of age) & Jim Priest.
In 2019 another shed to house another 20 carts was erected with the aid of members pledging support to Kangaroo Flat Community Bank, who in turn offered $20K to go towards the cost of the build. The original shed was also wired to accommodate the many battery operated carts now used on the course.
Around the time of the Government direction to close the course due to CoVid-19 mid 2020, the volunteer workers never rested and once again jumped in & began tackling the big project of concreting much needed cart paths along many of the holes that were always washed away during heavy rains.
As can be seen throughout Belvoir Park Golf Club’s history, it owes its existence to the dedication of so many volunteer members, certainly too many to mention. Most members regard it as their second home where there could be frustrations or elations on the course but many happy memories in the clubhouse.
The club to this date, still only employs one full time employee, Greenskeeper, Fred Tenace who, with his loyal band of volunteers, maintain the fairways & greens in tip top condition. President, Treasurer, Secretary & Captains have always been honorary positions,