The history of Royal Canberra Golf Club, or its predecessors, is almost as long as the history of the national capital itself.
The foundation stone for the city was laid in 1913 and in that same year, a few golfing enthusiasts established a nine hole course on a site near to, what is now the city centre. Subsequently, in 1922, those stalwarts domiciled themselves on a new nine hole, sand green layout at Acton, sharing space with the Acton racecourse and leading to problem lies through omni-present hoof marks on the fairways.
Things took a turn for the better, however, when in 1926, the Federal Capital Commission constructed a new golf course on an adjacent site at Acton, where the Canberra Golf Club had its first real home. That Acton course was built on the banks of the Molonglo River and, with the river as a constant threat to wayward shots, soon earned a reputation as a superb and challenging test of golf. With minor changes only to the layout, but major changes to the clubhouse, it remained the home of Royal Canberra Golf Club until 1962, the "Royal" status having been granted by King George V in 1933.
The Walter Burley Griffin plan for Canberra called for the damming of the Molonglo River to form a lake and so it was that, in 1962, with its Acton site due to be submerged in that plan, the Club moved to its present site at Westbourne Woods. In the 40 years since that move the Royal Canberra Golf Club has developed into Australia's pre-eminent inland golf course. Venue for a number of major tournaments, both amateur and professional, over the years the Royal Canberra course regularly features in Australia's top 50, relying on its natural beauty, its marvellous variety of trees and challenging design to occupy a rating well above many newer, resort-style courses.
For persons interested in learning more about the history of this icon of Australian golf, the Club's 75th Anniversary publication "The First 75 Years" , published in 2001, is available for purchase. Enquiries can be directed to the Club or via e mail to email@example.com
WESTBOURNE WOODS ARBORETUM
As custodian of the Westbourne Woods Arboretum, Royal Canberra Golf Club employs its own arborist Mr. Gary Thomson. In the 2010/11 financial year
The Friends of the Canberra Arboretum Association conducts a guided walking tour through the Westbourne Woods every second Sunday of the month. Visitors from overseas and interstate are regularly in attendance. Numbers are limited and bookings are essential. More information can be found by visiting their website at http://sawapl.tech.officelive.com/Facta.aspx