The Denmark Country Club took a significant step forward in June 2013 with the official opening of the redeveloped clubhouse and golf course by the Hon. Terry Redman MLA, the Member for Warren Blackwood.
During a three year project, funded by the State Government through Royalties for Regions and the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Shire of Denmark and with enormous volunteer input, the fairways were reticulated, grass greens were established and the clubhouse was renovated and partially rebuilt.
The tennis courts were increased from four to eight courts in 2011 thanks to a dedicated fundraising effort by tennis members and combined with grants from the Shire of Denmark and the Department of Sport and Recreation. Tennis members and visitors now have eight synthetic grass courts available for play, the largest number of such courts at the one site in the Lower Great Southern district.
The original Denmark Tennis Club was formed in 1924 with the first courts being opened in 1926 at a location on the banks of the Denmark River.
In the 1980’s, an invitation was extended from the Denmark Country Club to relocate tennis to the current site on South Coast Highway. Four hard courts were initially laid and these were then resurfaced with synthetic grass in 2005. This new all-weather surface enabled tennis to be played year round and encouraged older members to continue to play on for many more years.
Members and visitors may now enjoy playing golf and tennis year round complemented by a modern clubhouse with full bar and kitchen facilities.
These are recollections of Ruth Maloney, the daughter of Mary Marwick, one of the founders of the club and Ladies President from 1938-1942 and 1946.
The contribution of Mary Marwick to the Club is celebrated each year with the 27 Hole Ladies Stroke event played for the Mary Marwick Memorial Shield.
“The Denmark Golf Club was born over a game a game of bridge. In 1932 Mr Hugh King came to Denmark as headmaster of the State School which was then situated in Strickland Street. Being a keen bridge player he found three others who played regularly to make up a four. They were my mother, Mary Marwick, Isobel Holmes and a Scotsman Jock Calder. Hugh King had been a member of Royal Perth Club and was keen to start a club in Denmark. His enthusiasm soon rubbed off on the other three bridge players. After much discussion and planning it was decided to raise money and look for a suitable venue. The four bridge players donated a hundred pounds each and Dick Nockolds Snr and Mr John Clark were approached. Both men contributed another hundred pounds each. A total of six hundred pounds was a great deal of money in those days.
Next step was to find suitable land close to the town and the search began. Mr and Mrs Crampton had a house on Scotsdale Road with several acres cleared and fenced into paddocks behind their residence. Mr Crampton was approached to lease the paddocks; he agreed and so began busy-bees to lay out holes and sand greens. If my memory serves me right, there was no clubhouse and only six holes to begin with, however plenty of exercise was provided by walking up and down the steep hills and climbing through the fences with clubs and bags. I used to go with my mother and carry her skinny bag which held about 5 or 6 clubs. It wasn’t long before I too was hooked on the game and stayed on for 64 years.
In 1933 with more interest in golf it was decided to move the location in order to build a nine hole course without the hazards of fences and hills. The Road Board was approached for land and the club members were successful in obtaining several acres of virgin bush where the club is today. Clearing the trees was a daunting exercise. The course was designed by a Perth professional whose name eludes me, even though I had lessons from him. He was a frequent visitor to Denmark for many years afterwards.
The first hole ran parallel to the main road and I have very vivid memories of the second hole, which was a par three, carved out from big trees, black sticky soil and thick scrub. After the men had removed the trees, stumps and branches we picked up the rest until the ground was clear. That hole ran north and south behind the first hole and isn’t there anymore. It was our greatest achievement at the time.
My aunt, Mini Offer was the first to score a hole-in-one and created great excitement on the day. The ninth hole was where the eighteenth is now. The clubhouse was a shed erected next to the ninth fairway. Score cards and rule books were ordered and so began in earnest the Denmark golf club. Alan McWhinney, who was the chemist before Noel Morrison, became the men’s first Captain and my mother Mary Marwick was the first ladies Captain.
Now the club was a going concern it wasn’t hard to recruit new members. My mother was keen to enrol more players and persuaded her sister May and her sisters-in-law (one of whom lsey Byleveld became club champion eleven times) to join.
Hilda Rickey, Marg Offer and myself were the three youngest members and were the butt of many a joke played on us by the men. I remember making a cake for afternoon tea – it was a foursomes competition – and when our four arrived at the end of the field there was the cake still intact with a big notice on it “Not fit for human consumption”.
I have wonderful memories of those early days and have been interested in the Club ever since. I hope all who play there will enjoy the game as much as I did.”
Beginnings of the Club – Extracts from the first meetings held
In February 1932 a meeting convened by Messrs King and McWhinney was held in the RSL meeting room for the purpose of creating the possibilities of forming a golf club. Mr King was elected Chairman and Mr McWhinney was elected Secretary. A provisional committee consisting of Messrs W Caulder, J Weullemin, R Coppin to act with Chairman and Secretary was formed with the objects of testing possibilities and finding suitable sites for a golf club.
Extracts from the minutes of meeting 2nd March 1932
– Mr H King as Chairman
The Chairman gave a brief resume of the work done in connection with the proposed club. Suitable sires had been examined and it was considered that portion of Location 12232 & 548 on the Denmark-Albany road would best serve the purpose of links and that the land was part of reserve would prove fairly easy to secure. Close proximity to township and scarcity of heavy timber were also taken into consideration.
It was resolved that the membership fees would be 1 pound 1 shilling for gentlemen and 10 shillings for Ladies for foundation members only. It was suggested that Surveyor Paine be asked to assist in survey work.
|Foundation members present at the wind up in October 1954.||From left J Clark, H.H. King, R. J. Nockolds, Mrs Holmes, Mrs Marwick and W.A. Calder|
|Mrs M. Marwick||Mrs L. Payne|
|Mr D. Sheed||Mrs W. Sheed|
|Mrs L. Bayley||Mr K. Wolfe|
|Mr D. Warne||Mr G. Wilson|
|Mr R. Smith|
|Mr H.E. King||Mrs H.E. King|
|Mr W.E. Bayley||Mr F. Bayley|
|Mrs C.A. Silver||Mr J.F. Ricketts|
|Mr J. Holmes||Mr W. Harrison|
|Mr T. Glover||Mr N.D. Thornton|
|Mr L. Fennell||Mr N. Morrison|
|Mr J. Bayley||Mr J. Golding|
|Mr E. Kernutt||Mrs E. Silver|
|Mr R. Silver||Mr D. Berridge|
|Mr F. Hiscock||Mr W.E. Bayley|
|Mr and Mrs L. Marsh||Mr and Mrs E. Walker|
|Mr and Mrs D. Nockolds||Mrs C. Onions|
|Mrs M. Pittick||Mr H.S. Redman|
|Mr L. Wrightson||Mr J. Bayley|
|Mr K. Myles|