On Friday 7 July 1905 a group of golf enthusiasts held a meeting in the Oriental Hotel Springwood for the purposes of forming a golf club. It is recorded in the Nepean Times on the 16th September 1905 that what was to become the Springwood Country Club began officially on 9th September 1905 although golf may have been played informally in the area since at least 1903.
The land for the original 9 holes was donated by the Mr JT Ellison from his property which was used as a fruit orchard. At that time the golf course section extended from the bottom of the hill of to-day’s 10th hole across to the back of the present 7th tee and thence down to the cemetery along the edge of the 7th fairway. There is one remaining pear tree (seen left) from Ellison’s orchard which stands between the existing 1st tee and 9th green. A club building was constructed of saplings and stringy bark opposite the entrance to the present Endeavour Aged Care Home and from there on the course was used spasmodically for many years.
When the Ellison family left the district, Ellison’s land was purchased by Mr JT Wall (an ex-President of the Blue Mountains Shire) in December 1911 and the Walls’ family home “Novar” eventually became the club-house. The top section of the land was also sold and became a dairy farm after which the herd used the bottom golf course as pasture. Consequently, for some time the golf greens were fenced.
When the dairy farm was sold the top section of the land was purchased by Mr David Stewart Dawson and in 1928 the property was transferred to “Bon Accord Investments”. Dawson also owned a magnificent home called “Bon Accord” which stood opposite the entrance to the present course and after his death this was leased as a boarding house. Shortly afterwards one of the lessees of the boarding house had some disagreement with Wall and as a result the lessee constructed another 9 hole golf course on the top section land for boarding house guests. This was officially opened on 23 February 1933 by the Right Honourable Earl Beauchamp. Tragically, however, early one morning the “Bon Accord” boarding house burned to the ground.
In 1938 the Blue Mountains Shire Council acquired the “Bon Accord” land and owing to the efforts of Mr Bert Honeysett who was a councillor and well known local identity, the land was resumed to be used as a public golf course. Both adjacent top and bottom 9 hole courses were gazetted as golf links in July 1939.
During the war the bottom old course was re-designed and 9 new tees and greens were laid and a Trust formed to manage the Links. The new bottom course was opened on Sunday 20th April 1941 with half the proceeds of the day going to the AIF Welfare Committee. Later that year the fees were fixed at one pound eleven and six pence for members and one pound and a shilling for associates and juniors. After the war the Trust was dissolved and Springwood Golf Links was formed to carry on its responsibilities. A separate club was also formed to organize the competition section.
Blue Mountains City Council then purchased the land from the Dawson Estate which included the Dawson home “Novar” and so the 2 links could be amalgamated and an 18 hole course established. Nine new holes were designed for the top end by Mr Arthur East and completed in 1949 with the agreement that Council would build a new club-house. In the meantime “Novar” was used for club-house activities.
In 1956 a new company called Springwood Country Club Limited was formed and in 1957 the club moved to its present site being officially opened by Alderman AFC Murphy in March 1958.
In 1976 a young golfer called Greg Norman known by his mates as “bomber” competed in the Springwood Pro-Am making a big impression both on the course and in the club-house. Arriving in the district with little money on an uncertain road, he was boarded with one of the local members for the 2 days of the tournament. As with the Springwood Country Club, the rest is history.
(Collated from papers written by EH (Ted) Bennett and Barbara Higginson available in the Springwood Public Library).
Today Springwood is a thriving club and centre for the complete cross section of ages of the local community and has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Visitors are always made welcome and there is always some form of entertainment available at the club-house.
A small army of volunteers also assist green keeping staff in a program of course clearing and maintenance every Monday. The club is supported and sponsored by several local businesses which supplement prizes for all competitions.