Date: July 18, 2013
Author: Paul Burgess, Convener of the Woodlands GC Heritag

Woodlands Golf Club Painting Found on Ebay

As a result of the observant eye of staff member, Louise Cooper, Woodlands Golf Club has acquired a 1932 landscape oil painting of a Woodlands Golf Club scene. Painted by Nellie Govett (1882-1965), a Victorian artist, it depicts either a green, or tee, protected by fences, and overshadowed by two huge trees with the Dandenong Ranges in the far background and a glimpse of what is apparently a building within the Mayfield homestead, on which the course was established in 1913. More research needs to be done but first thoughts are it could be from the vicinity of the 14th Green or 7th tee, as a glimpse of the Dandenongs can still be seen from that area today. Looking in that direction, the former homestead would have been situated to the left, or towards the northeast, although no large trees are extant in that area now. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the painting is the post and wire fences, or remnants of such, which are so clearly identifiable. Before the Club purchased the land and only leased a portion of the Mayfield estate, a condition of occupancy was that cattle could roam over the whole property. It was necessary therefore, for the Committee to erect fences around tees and greens. We have sketches by Hunter Rogers, son of founding member George Rogers, showing these protective fences which helps to confirm the authenticity of the painting. It was a unique aspect of the Club’s early days, and one not known to have happened very often with most new courses located on their own freehold land. Immediately the Heritage Group became aware of this exciting find, a recommendation was made to Captain Lindsay Brown to acquire the painting which was quickly endorsed. Woodlands now has a most interesting item of a scene reflecting how part of its course appeared eighty years ago in 1932. The Committee is to be complimented on its swift action to purchase this valuable piece of golfing memorabilia for the Club to display in its clubhouse for the enjoyment of members. It was fortuitous indeed for the Club, given its centenary year commenced in July 2013.