Yeppoon Golf Club celebrates 50 years in the community
YEPPOON Golf Club is celebrating 50 amazing years of providing for the Capricorn Coast community with a dedicated club that has seen legends come and go and come back again to where it all began.
Club spokesman Gurney Clamp said the celebration was a joyous occasion where members were reminded of the club's milestones throughout the years.
On November 26, 1965 a steering committee was formed at the Strand Hotel in Yeppoon with a vision to create a dedicated golf club for the region.
In that same year the club raised $4000 (£2000) and purchased 110 acres of land south of Hinze Avenue at Bangalee for $830 (£470).
In 1967, machinery was hired from Livingstone Shire Council and local businessman Dick McNiven who donated the use of a Massey Ferguson tractor, to clear the property at Farnborough which was named Bangalee Golf Course.
On weekends volunteers helped clear rubbish off the proposed six fairways, with one green as a test project.
Harry Platts dug two wells about 10 to 12 feet deep with a good water supply found.
Some unofficial golf was played on the site, but golfers found it to be difficult to find their golf balls so a decision was made to find a more suitable site.
In 1968 a decision was made to sell the land at Farnborough to Jack Hinze for $4000.
A general meeting of members was called, and the decision was made to purchase 53 acres at the current Yeppoon Golf Club site on a five-year deal from the West family for $2500 with a $1 deposit and an extra 50 acres was made available.
A 12-hole course was designed and developed by members.
In 1969, with a population in the shire at around 2400, the first AGM was held.
Grass greens were formed with grass donated by Bob Skuthorpe and Mr Spurway, local residences providing trucks to carry suitable turf free of charge and a grass cutter was hired from Rockhampton Golf Club to lay on the greens and fairways.
Strong supporter for the club Ken Norton provided a dozer and operated the dozer to clear the fairways and shape the green mounds.
Three bores were put down, with only salt water discovered so two earth dams were constructed.
At the time Col Smith used his car as a club house with the boot doubling as a bar and the bonnet becoming the captain's desk.
All results were compiled inside the car while a tin shed had been erected to house the machinery.
In 1970 the construction of the club house was built over six months.
In August the first competition was held and played over 18 holes on a nine-hole layout.
In October 3 more holes were added to the increasingly popular course making it a 12-hole course.
Rockhampton professional golf coach/player Peter Carter would travel to Yeppoon to conduct golf coaching to those interested.
In 1971, a grounds and house committee was formed, the telephone was connected, and Wednesday club and Junior competitions were launched.
In 1976 six more holes were added to become an 18-hole golf course. A pipeline between the course and Livingstone Shire Council Yeppoon sewage works was laid to feed the newly enlarged dam.
By 2005, Yeppoon had the largest junior membership in Australia at 125 members.
Mr Clamp said the Yeppoon Golf Club developed into a strong club where several players started their golfing career.
"Professional golfers Adam Blyth, who is currently playing in Asia and Jake McLeod who won the 2019 Australian Order of Merit both came from Yeppoon Golf Club,” he said.
"Graham Sheppard toured overseas before returning home and became the Yeppoon club professional, with Jason Day who started his career in Rockhampton and competed in Yeppoon as a junior golfer before heading south.
"Members who have made their presence felt on the golf course were Trevor Tougher a Central Queensland Open/Closed Champion representative player and numerous Yeppoon Club and Open Championships, Boyd Watts, a Central Queensland Junior champion before going on to winning the Australian Junior Open and selected to represent the state.
"Ben Swaffield won the CQ junior open championships on several occasions, before heading to the USA to further his career. Sarah Antcliff CQ Junior and senior Open champion, Bernie Antcliff and Nadine Battilana CQ Open sand greens champions, Nirrie Malone CQ Champion and Terry Bulger who became a golf CQ rep player.
"On the horizon we have up and coming junior 12-year-old Isaak Jensen with a handicap of eight, who continues to perform in the junior open event in CQ and in the state with his latest three under win in the Gladstone Junior Open.”