Kooringal Golf Club started out with a 9-hole layout in 1947 but Vern Morcom extended this to eighteen holes five years later. The layout underwent a $1 million renovation by Craig Parry early in the new millennium.
The following edited extract is taken from Toby Cumming’s The Golf Courses of Vern Morcom:
“The first meeting regarding formation of the Williamstown Golf Club was held on 22 August 1946. A possible site had been identified in Altona, State Government land known as the ‘buffer area’ to the explosives reserve. The base was sandy, with large areas of shell frit, the topography gently undulating and the foliage mainly bracken fern and rushes; the only trees were at the western end.
Saturday 5 July 1947 marked the official opening – the course consisted of 9 holes, with a par of 35. In August 1947, the committee engaged Vern Morcom to prepare an 18-hole layout plan. By July 1948, the new holes had taken shape, with their greens roughly formed. To fit two loops of nine in, Vern had little choice but to include many holes on a southwest-northeast alignment. The completed 18-hole course was ready for the first day of the 1952 season.
Morcom was invited back in 1955 and, in a lengthy report, he expressed congratulations on the amount and the quality of the work that had been done. There is much that has changed since 1955, including the layout of most of the back nine. Some of the strategic intent has been lost too.
The major reconfiguration dates to the 1960s, when the leased Steedmand land came up for sale. The club – now called Kooringal, having changed name in October 1958 – baulked at the asking price, deciding instead to replan the links within the 100 acres of Crown leasehold. This involved replacing the 15th , 16th and 17th holes (and) the revised layout opened on 1 January 1968.”
Kevin Hartley made some subsequent changes to the course and Craig Parry carried out a renovation early in the new millennium.