Founded in 1895, Ballarat Golf Club had an 11-hole course in play within a month of its formation but it didn’t take long – only two weeks, in fact – before it became a 9-hole layout. This was then expanded to eighteen holes a decade later.
The club name was changed to Ballaarat Golf Club during World War I when the secretary – an employee of the Ballaarat Water Board – felt this was the correct spelling (“balla” meant resting and “arat” translated as place in the Aboriginal language) but the title reverted back in 1994.
Alex Russell developed a master plan for the club in 1929 and his recommendations took five years to fully implement. From the early 1930s until the start of the new millennium, the only course modifications of any note occurred in 1973 when the 9th hole was removed and a new 5th introduced.
In 2008, property developer Roadcon purchased the eastern part of the course in return for creating a new quality championship course on the western portion of the old course and on former common land to the north.
Peter Thompson and Ross Perrett designed the new layout and because small sections of the original course were retained – parts of the old 3rd, 7th, 13th and 14th – the club claims to still be custodian of the country’s oldest 18-hole course on original land.