A quick history of our club and the district golf courses
The Monday and Tuesday Golfing Special has changed.
Waratah Golf Club now offers visitors to our Club on a Monday and Tuesday a round of golf and a free drink from the bar (conditions apply) all for the low price of $22.00. This is $6.00 less than the normal visitor rate. more...
Our Club's History
In 2001 Waratah Golf Club celebrated it's 100th year. Waratah Golf Club was the first golf club in the Newcastle/Lake Macquarie region and second to only to Maitland (1899) in the Hunter region. Since its humble beginnings at Dangar Park in the suburb of Waratah, Newcastle to its present location at Argenton near the beautiful shores of Lake Macquarie, Waratah Golf Club has been a leading light in golf in the region as well as in the State of NSW and indeed Australia. Our History is long and we are proud of its traditions.
As we head into our next 100 years our goal is to continue to provide the best possible course, the best possible amenities and of course the best possible golfing experience we can. We have a lot to live up too but we are sure that with the help of all our members, sponsors, visitors and guests Waratah Golf Club will continue to shine above others in this highly competitive world.
Below you will find a short summary of our history from 1901 to 2001 and beyond. If you would like to read our Centenary Souvenir book (6.75Mb) we have made it available in Adobe PDF format.
1901 to 2001 and Beyond
- Pre 1901 Golf was played on the Waratah common.
- 1901 Waratah Golf Club formed an affiliation with a tennis club to form Newcastle's First Golf Club
- 1905 Club became autonomous with small club house at Dangar Park
- 1911 Waratah Golf Club Ltd was formed and Kerr Street Course was opened - Membership was sixty three
- 1915 Negotiations with neighbours to assist with flood mitigation
- 1918 Enquiries re another site commenced. BHP seeking expansion along the Hunter River.
- 1920 BHP purchased Kerr Street Course and one hundred and four acres was bought at Cockle Creek with easy access to the railway station. Club paid Newcastle Wallsend Coal £25 per acre.
- 1921 Course and Club House opened 3/12/21.
Lake Macquarie's First Club
Tom Heard appointed first professional.
Course opened for inspection and membership increased to two hundred and fifty.
- 1924 Plaque on memorial portico dedicated to Hudson Berkeley for service to the new course. Course had become a sanctuary.
- 1927 First record of tree planting - fifty wattles, the ancestors of our present trees.
- 1937 Additions to the 1921 Club House.
- 1939-1945 Restricted activities during World War II.
- 1954 Additions and changes to Club House opened June 1954.
- 1956 Disastrous Club House fire.
- 1968 Town supply watering system for ten holes. Cost and water restrictions were problems.
- 1981 Ten hole watering system connected to Edgeworth pondings by member volunteers - then extended to eighteen holes.
- 1989 Severe earthquake damage to the Club House. Major course drainage programme undertaken.
- 1991 Automated watering system and replacement of town supply reticulation.
- 2001 A milestone with salute to the past, special programmes for the year and thoughts for the future of our renowned club.
- 2007 New Master Course Plan drawn up for taking the course into the 21st Century. Plan displayed in foyer of Club House with work beginning on new 2nd and 4th tees and new 1st green.
NOTE: 1930’s - 1940’s period was stable with a strong representative membership prior to the growth of eighteen hole courses in the Newcastle - Lake Macquarie areas.
Waratah then hosted many overseas players and visitors from Sydney Clubs.
Prior to nineteen forty nine Newcastle and Steelworks were the only two eighteen hole courses serving the Newcastle District.
The period from the forties to the eighties showed a rapid growth in the number of eighteen hole courses. This provided golf nearer to home for many golfers who elected to travel less distance when work and domestic circumstances became an issue.
The following list of Newcastle Clubs and the dates of their becoming eighteen hole courses are of significance for the character and residence of the majority of Waratah's membership.
Foundation of Newcastle District Clubs
- Waratah - Founded 1901.
- Newcastle - Founded 1905 first played in the vicinity of the present Newcastle High School.
- 1915 first nine holes at Fern Bay.
- 1936 second nine holes
- Steelworks - Formed 1921 as part of Steelworks Recreation Club, played on 9 holes of the vacated Waratah Golf Club purchased by BHP.
- 1936 moved to Shortland site owned by BHP
- Now Shortland Wetlands.
- Merewether - 1933 as a nine hole course.
- 1953 extended to eighteen hole course.
- Muree - 1940 nine holes on former orchard.
- 1949 eighteen holes.
- Belmont - 1952 seven holes to nine holes.
- 1955 to twelve holes.
- 1957 to eighteen holes.
- Toronto - 1957 nine holes Kilaben Bay Golf Club.
- 1970 Toronto nine holes.
- 1984 eighteen holes
- Nelson Bay - 1961 nine holes as Tomaree Golf Club.
- 1971 eighteen holes.
- Hawks Nest - 1963
- Charlestown - 1971