The Little Bay area lies less than a half-hour drive from Sydney’s Central Business District and it was first used as a sanitation camp to isolate patients during the city’s smallpox outbreak in 1881–82.
The government built a hospital to treat infectious diseases, which was used during the bubonic plague of 1900 then again when soldiers returning from the Great War in Europe brought the flu virus back in 1919.
The Coast Hospital (which was renamed the Prince Henry Hospital in 1934) had an elementary golf course for patient recreation since the early 1920s and this was developed into a rather basic 18-hole layout by hospital staff and university employees in the 1960s.
Volunteers spent many hours forming the course into a respectable layout, restoring areas that had been used as a tip by the hospital. Interestingly, an additional source of labour for the clean-up was provided by inmates from the nearby Long Bay Gaol.
The Coast Golf & Recreation Club was officially opened in May 1965 by Sir John Marks, Chairman of the Board of The Prince Henry Hospital. Staff from Prince Henry and Prince of Wales Hospitals and the University of New South Wales became founding members.
The former laundry building was converted into a licensed clubhouse and membership was opened up so that local golfers from outside the hospital and university communities could enjoy the facility.
At the start of the new millennium, services were transferred to the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney and the site became available for residential use. The club was granted a 75-year lease so it decided to embark on a new phase of renovation and upgrade work.
James Wilcher was called in to redesign sections of the course that would have otherwise interfered with newly built houses. Improvements were also made to fairway drainage, cart paths and a couple of new green were introduced at the 9th and 13th holes.
In 2017, it was agreed to spend over a million dollars replacing the irrigation system and a bent grass nursery was established with a view to upgrading greens as it becomes necessary.