The Armidale Golf Club was officially inaugurated on 23 May 1899, when a meeting of golfers elected Mr Russell Blaxland as the Foundation President – a position he occupied until his untimely death in 1917. Mr C. Smith was elected as Honorary Secretary, and he and Mr. Blaxland, together with Messrs Herbert Weaver and J.A. O’Flaherty, formed the first committee.
During its first 100 years of existence, the Club has had three sites, the original course was laid out in paddocks along the Dumaresq Creek; in 1921 negotiations were completed with the Armidale Jockey Club for the lease of land at the race course, where official competitions commenced on 8 April 1922; the present, permanent site was purchased in 1927, and play commenced there on 4 June 1928.
The first clubhouse, situated at the junction of Dumaresq Creek and Dangar Street, was officially opened in November, 1902 with visitors from Glen Innes and Tenterfield present. It was claimed to be the first golf clubhouse north of Sydney. By present day standards, it was a humble wooden structure, and the water for tea was boiled on an open fire.
The sport of golf gained in popularity to the extent that, in 1927, a proposal to procure a completely new course was made to the Golf Club Committee by two fine Armidale sportsmen and supporters of the Golf Club: R.C. “Bob” Simpson and Frank Pearson.
For the sum of 1,000 Pounds, the Club acquired the land, an area of undulating country ideal for a golf course in a commanding position overlooking Armidale from the southwest.
A grand opening ceremony was held on the King’s Birthday holiday, 4 June 1928, in the presence of civic dignitaries, including His Worship the Mayor, Alderman Horner Fletcher, and leaders of Armidale district sporting organisations.
The first clubhouse, a humble structure consisting of a central room, small rooms at either end for members and associates respectively and a skillion room at back was built in 1928 on the site of the present premises.
A more spacious clubhouse was required as membership rapidly increased, and the new building that was constructed to replace the original tiny cottage was the embryo of the clubhouse today. Additions have been numerous over the years, and the architects associated with the several stages of development were Messrs C. H. Finch, Corrie B. Wilson, R. Magoffin and B. Davis.
In 1947, minor extensions were carried out to the Members’ locker room, and the Associates were delighted with the installation of a footbath, while in 1948 there were further additions to the Members’ locker rooms, as well as more bar space.
A course is only as good as its greenkeepers, and Armidale is no exception. We have been served by some remarkable men over the years, yet it is difficult to trace them accurately as records are incomplete, but up until the early 1950’s when grassing of the greens was completed, the work was carried out by a series of groundsmen, ably assisted by voluntary labour. Some of the greenskeepers over the years: Dick Rowlings. Mr. Edmunds, Mr Latham, Peter Lee, Charlie Collins, Ken Short, Neville Hunt, Chris Levitt, David Honeysett, Phil Edwards and Graham Haynes.
Also exciting is how Armidale was rated the 3rd best destination in Australia. Adding to our booming history of this town. Something to be proud of.