The three musketeers celebrating our 50th year, we were all born in the
same year and were friends since our teenage years.
Keith (the little Arab) Alan (Big Al) and holtieshouse, only Alan and I were part
of the Gold Cross Golf Club, Keith was not in favour of the early starts and is
a bit of a golfing snob anyway.
Alan and his son Gary were an integral part of the club until Alan and Jan moved
to Yarrawonga about 16 years ago, Alan passed away in Sept. 2004.
Many years ago in 1960 when we three musketeers were all about 24 years old
we took up the game of golf, this is not a story about golf, rather it is a story
about a wonderful social golf club.
Alan worked for a ladies shoe manufacturer “Gold Cross Shoes” and in 1962 some of the workers there decided to start up a social golf club Alan joined this club and proposed me as a member, I became the first member of the club who didn’t work for Gold Cross.
Membership was kept to about 20 players when the club was formed, with the exception of five senior members aged about the forty mark the rest of us were all around mid twenties, we were all busily getting our live/families/careers together and had neither the time or money to join a normal golf club, so we played each Saturday morning at first light at a public golf course.
Come rain hail or shine there were very few Saturdays that didn’t see at least a dozen of us lined up at the first tee as daylight came to the Yarra Bend Public Golf Course, this was and still is a magnificent golf course, busy at any time the weekends would see probably 1500 to 2000 groups tee off, despite this heavy traffic the recuperative powers of Yarra Bend still make it one of the best courses I’ve ever played on, and over a thirty year love/hate relationship with the game there have been many courses with which to compare “The Bend.”
Now all this is leading somewhere as you may have guessed, Nicki, the birthday girl in my previous post, is the daughter of another very long standing member of the club, Brian and I only had a short time to relive some of the times we spent together at the club, but here is some updated news.
The club is still going strong playing every Saturday morning at first light except for one… no its not the Christmas or Easter weekend that misses out, it’s the weekend of the annual trip away, once a year the members travel to a suitable golf course for a weekend of golf at a different venue.
Now I am speaking of a “Social” golf club here… but one that has been in existence for 45 years and has played at the same public course 51 Saturdays at daylight for the last 45 years. (Yes 45 Years)
Membership these days is around 40, there are several second generation players now and even a third generation (grandson) of one of the founders.
We played at Yarra Bend in those early days because none of us belonged to a private golf club, now-a-days the situation is vastly different in many cases, Brian is a good example, he is a stockbroker, lives in an exclusive suburb of Melbourne and is a long standing member of a very good private golf course, but he dedicates his Saturday mornings to the club at “The Bend”.
This club right from its inception has always had a full board, President, Treasurer, Captain, and handicapping committee, and has never had to exclude a member in all those years, new members still have to be nominated and seconded before being considered for membership.
I was only a “member” for about 5 years when my employment moved me away from Melbourne, but at every chance over the next ten years or so I played with the club as a guest, I was even invited to a couple of the “trip away” weekends and I was delighted to be able to attend.
My golfing game took a turn for the worse (pun intended) when I broke a small bone in my right wrist only two or three years after starting to play because I returned to playing sooner than I should have and favoured my injured wrist a lot (and I’m a left hander) I developed a slice that had to be seen to be believed…. but that’s a whole other story.
This one is about the golf club that I feel privileged to have been a part of all those years ago, and I was delighted to hear that it is still thriving.
I will see if Jan can supply any photo's when she returns home I don't have any I'm sad to say.