RICHMOND Golf Course may be the oldest in NSW, with a superb playing heritage, but it is getting some very modern refurbishments in the coming months to further improve its offering to players.
Located at 34 Bourke Street, Richmond, the picturesque course, home to the annual Australian PGA Seniors Championship, has gracefully survived the battering recent floods and the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown its way.
In fact, the pandemic restrictions have seen a strong resurgence of the game recreationally and professionally, both locally and worldwide, as explained by Richmond Club Group CEO, Kimberley Talbot.
“During and after COVID-19 there has been an exponential growth in golf,” Ms Talbot said.
“It’s a game played outdoors, has natural social distancing, keeps you fit both physically and mentally and can be played at various locations.”
Most famously, the Australian PGA Seniors Championship, which is part of the Legends Tour, has been held at Richmond for the past four years.
The tournament offers a handsome prize purse and is a drawcard for Australian and international senior players.
Last year’s winner, Andrew Stolz (pictured left), hopefully is expected back to defend his title against Peter Senior, who won in 2019 but was unable to defend his title in 2020 due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Richmond is a beautiful, relatively-flat but challenging course with some of the best greens around that draws some of the top professionals from yesteryear to play in the Australian PGA Seniors Championship, which is scheduled for November 25–27 this year.
“We were very fortunate this year to survive the devastating one-in-50-year Hawkesbury-Nepean floods,” Ms Talbot said.
“Other courses, like Windsor and Lynwood, had a lot of trouble getting back on their feet after this devastating flood, due to their locations.”
While not as severely flood-affected, Richmond Golf Course weathered considerable localised flooding, with the course closed a total of 13 days during the emergency.
Despite the challenges, the golf club has continued its investment in equipment and maintenance on the course, as well as a new website and an app for members’ communication.
Other improvements have seen 10 new Yamaha golf carts join the ranks, as well as the purchase of a new state-of-the-art course sprayer, bunker refurbishment, dam wall (including the shelling out to allow greater capacity for water storage).
Upcoming clubhouse renovations include the River Sands Bistro and new restrooms.
Ms Talbot said work on the course was forging ahead.
Yet Richmond’s quaint atmosphere still truly reflects the history of the Hawkesbury as a rural district.
The 5740m par-70 layout offers a reasonably flat playing surface, with slight undulations that is offset by great variety in design and bunkering.
What results is a course that offers plenty for newcomers to the game, but a fair challenge for more experienced players.
Visitors to the course have particularly acclaimed the back nine – which boasts its own “Amen Corner”, where the water hazards come into play.
The smooth greens and well-kept fairways maintain its reputation as one of the Hawkesbury’s premier golf courses – a testament to the grounds staff, green keepers and board’s commitment to providing the best facility possible.
And it is this level of care and passion for the game, combined with the fresh outlook and support of Richmond Club, that will help the golf club bounce back as it has so often done through its history and continue to promote the great game in the Hawkesbury.
Contact Craig Hodge regarding sponsorship of this tournament on 4578-1739 or visit www.richmondgolfclub.com.au
RICHMOND GOLF APP
RICHMOND Golf Club is delighted to announce the launch of our new proprietary smartphone app.
Features of the app include:
• Members’ area;
• Club news;
• Push notifications;
• Course tour; and
• General club information.
The app also includes a fully-integrated Members’ Area.
To log into the Members Area use the same login details (membership number/password) as you currently do for the members’ log-in on the club’s website.
All functionality within the Member’s Area, including My Bookings, Make a Booking, Leaderboards and Member Directory are provided in a mobile-friendly format for ease of use.
The Richmond Golf Club app is now available for download from the iTunes (IOS) or Google Play (Android) app stores.
To download simple search for Richmond Golf Club or if you are reading this email from your mobile device, you can click on the following link to view their Mobile App launch page, which contains direct links to each store.
The Richmond Golf Club app forms an important part of the club’s marketing and communications strategy and the club encourages all members and visitors to download the app to their mobile devices.
Over the next few months, the club plans to add many more inter-active features to the app platform, which will be communicated to members as they are released.
RICHMOND Golf Club, believed to be the oldest golf club still on its original site in Australia, has a long and colourful history spanning 124 years – surviving two world wars and playing host to countless rounds of golf.
The game was first played in the Hawkesbury in October, 1897 on a small nine-hole course located on the Hawkesbury Agricultural College paddocks and Richmond Common.
On March 15, 1899, the golf club was officially formed with 17 gentlemen and 10 lady members.
The first clubhouse, located where the 18th green is today, was only a bark shed with a tin roof and dirt floors.
Although this makeshift clubhouse was primitive during the early days of the club, golf was a game reserved for the upper-class, and an invitation to join was a significant rite of passage.
World War I had a large impact on membership as the men left to do battle overseas.
The club went into recess and remained dormant for 12 years while a war barracks for soldiers was built where the present-day clubhouse now stands.
By the 1930s, interest in golf began to grow and people from all backgrounds were encouraged to take up the sport.
Indeed, 1933 was the most successful year yet for the club with 41 registered members and a win in the inaugural Nepean District Inter-Club Finals.
The success was short-lived however, as World War II again put a strain on membership and drove the club into a second recess.
Although a new nine-hole course was opened in June, 1940, the war made money tight for both the club and Richmond residents.
American servicemen took over the clubhouse to house soldiers, and in 1942 it was destroyed by fire.
At the end of the war, in 1946, it was agreed that the course be taken over by local council and leased by the club.
In the early 1950s, constant flooding closed the course again, although plans were in the works for extensions to the rebuilt clubhouse and an additional nine holes on the course.
By 1959, after thousands of hours of voluntary labour by members, the full 18-hole course and clubhouse, as they are known today, were officially opened.
In late 2011, the Richmond Club responded to a call for assistance from the golf club to ensure that a vital community asset remained in the Hawkesbury.
After a period of voluntary administration, both clubs entered into a Deed of Company Arrangement and management agreement in May, 2012 to assist with golf club operations after both memberships agreed for an amalgamation to proceed.
The process was finalised by the end of that year, ensuring that the heritage of the course remains in the hands of the Hawkesbury community.
RICHMOND VETERANS LEAD THE WAY
RICHMOND Golf Club’s veterans were founded in 2009 after a game of golf between four veteran members.
Seeing the potential of developing a social veterans group in Richmond, they quickly became involved with the NSW Veterans’ Golf Association (NSWVGA), with their first official meeting held later that year.
The group in its infancy helped form the Western Sydney Region of the NSWVGA after the collapse of the Nepean Association.
Today the Western Sydney Region Veterans’ Association (WSRVGA) has more than 750 members, with eight clubs involved.
The Richmond Veterans’ Golf Club has grown considerably since this time with some 150 male members and are extremely proud to have 50 female members, this not only encourages wives of members to join, but also ensures the success of the vets.
They play regularly on Monday and contribute to many charitable events held at Richmond Golf Club and the community.
Many have praised the distinct heritage feel of the Richmond course – as its legacy as the oldest course on its original site in Australia shines through.