Portarlington Golf Club was formed in 1909, though it appears that golf was being played at least ten years prior to that time on a 6-hole layout along the esplanade of the coastal town on the Bellarine Peninsula.
The club then moved in 1914 to a 9-hole course laid out by professional Dick Banks at the local racecourse. The club seems to have folded during World War I but it was revived again in 1923.
Various premises were tried before the club finally settled at its current location. According to a centenary publication, “a layout and rabbit proof fencing was approved and work on the new links began. The 9 holes with sand and fine, oiled, bluestone scrapes were constructed.
Fairways were carved out of the wattle trees and bracken and fern with most of the material for the scrapes being gathered from a sand pit on the 6th fairway. Golf commenced on Saturday 25th September 1937. Transforming the land from a paddock to a playable course took only 25 days.”
The club developed another five holes in 1959, with Eric Horne (an architectural associate of Peter Thomson) designing the layout at no cost. By 1963, there were eighteen holes in use.
Additional land was then purchased, allowing Eric Horne’s company, Greenmaster, to redesign the layout, with the new course officially opened on 8th March 1980.
Tony Cashmore developed a master plan for the layout in the mid-1990s, resulting in the upgrade of fairways to Santa Ana couch grass, the installation of a new 5th hole, the re-shaping of some greens, fairways and bunkers, along with improved drainage and the removal and re-planting of trees.
In 2020, Neil Crafter and Brett Mogford were appointed as the club’s new design consultants.