The origins of Hobart Golf Club – it was granted royal distinction in 1925 – can be traced back to 1901 when members played on a site now occupied by the University of Tasmania, though organized golf in the area had actually been established by members of Newlands Golf Club five years before that date. Unfortunately, this particular Newlands Golf Club is no longer active.
The founding members of Royal Hobart Golf Club played on a course at Sandy Bay (which played, incredibly, to a par of 89, including four par sixes and one par seven hole) under the watchful eye of the first Tasmanian professional, a Scotsman named James Hunter.
The club relocated to Rosny in 1915 and it remained there for over forty years before finally settling at Seven Mile Beach on a sand-based 175-acre site beside Hobart airport where course architect Vern Morcom laid out the 18 holes, which were officially opened in 1963 by the Governor of Tasmania, Sir Charles Gairdner.
There’s no easing into a round on this tight, tree-lined parkland track as the 440-yard 1st hole is ranked stroke index 1 on the scorecard. Back-to-back par fives precede the toughest hole on the back nine, the 432-yard left doglegged 14th, where the tee shot is threatened by water to the left of the fairway.
The course at Royal Hobart Golf Club is renowned for the quality of its bunkers and the club has hosted many Tasmanian Opens and national Amateur championships. Perhaps its crowning glory came in 1971 when Jack Nicklaus claimed the third of his six Australian Opens here.
Richard Chamberlain has drawn up a Master Plan for the club and work started on this in 2020 with a new 7th hole and practice area.
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In 1928, Morcom took over as the course superintendent at Kingston Heath, a position he held for forty years, and he made sure MacKenzie’s bunker plan for the layout was implemented in every little detail.
Barnbougle Lost Farm