Date: April 12, 2016
Author: The Australian Golf Heritage Society

Q and A Golf History DZ Ed. #93-#94

Answers to Previous Questions

Question #1:  When was golf first played in Melbourne?


The most commonly cited date is 1847. A newspaper in 1896 reported the recollections of one of the players, having in his possession “… entry, however, of a subscription of £2 paid on August 31, 1847, to the golf club…..”

The player, James Graham, also recollected: “The course played on extended from the old Flagstaff Hill to about where the Flemington bridge is erected, nearly the whole then being vacant ground.”

A contemporary newspaper report provides further evidence of golf still played on the same site. The Melbourne Morning Herald of 28 June 1850 page 3 reports: “Golf. – It is not generally known that this exhilarating, athletic Scotch game is played here every week, by a few gentlemen who intend forming themselves into a regular club to carry out the spirit of golf in all its genuine manliness. The gentlemen meet every Saturday, weather permitting, somewhere in the vicinity of the flagstaff, and go to work with that enthusiasm so characteristic of the game itself, and of the Scotch national character.”

Question #2:  What is the oldest golf club, still in existence, outside of the UK?


The Royal Calcutta Golf Club in India (originally known as the Dum Dum Golfing Club because it was situated in the Dum Dum area) was established in 1829. The club’s records go back only as far as 1874. Evidence for 1829 is in the Oriental Sporting Magazine. The May 1830 issue published a letter to the editor dated 23 December 1829 reporting the formation of the Club and listing the initial subscribers.

The Royal Calcutta Golf Club, India - photo via AGHS

Questions for the Next Issue:

  1. In the 1960 Australian Open how many amateurs were in the top ten?

  2. Why are the names James McEwan and Hugh Philp important to golf collectors and historians?