In the early half of the 20th century, golf in Drouin was somewhat of a moving feast, having been played on various private properties around town.According to a letter written to the West Gippsland Advertiser in 1910 a Mr. H.T. Robertson is credited with launching the game in Drouin by making a few holes near the railway station. With the help of Major Stephen, he then developed nine holes on land rented from a Mr. McLaclan, which lead to the formation of the Drouin Golf Club in 1902. A year later the club was officially registered with the Victorian Golfing Association.
An eager group of people used the golf course in those early days, playing either stroke or bogey golf; Dr Stableford didn’t develop his method of scoring until much later. One of the more notable members of the club was the Honourable Michael Scott, who helped found the club and went on to win the first Australian Open Championship, held at Botany Bay in 1904.
The great depression hit the club hard, and when the Second Word War broke out it was forced to close. Following a public meeting, the club was reformed in 1955 on just over 40 hectares of undulating Crown land that was already being used by the race club.
A Committee was formed and work got under way to clear the scrub from the area inside the racetrack. When this was done sand greens were formed and golf restarted in Drouin.
In 1967 the Gas and Fuel board decided to put a pipe line through the course which caused much disruption to play and the need for bridges to be built over the work in order to play the 12th, 14th and 16th fairways.
The next big step (in the 1980’s) was the purchase of land on the town side of the clubhouse. This enabled the club to extend the first and second holes and develop a practice fairway.
Then toward the end of the 1980’s, a 200-acre property became available for purchase to the south of the club. This was bought with profits from the earlier purchase and by raising debentures from the members.
An additional nine holes was laid out in 2002, thus giving the club the distinction of having the only 27-hole course in Gippsland, indeed, one of only a handful in Victoria.
Michael Scott (1878—1959) has the distinction of winning the first Aust. Open in 1904 and again in 1907, but his achievements were not restricted to this part of the world. The youngest of seven children of the Earl of Eldon arrived in Australia to farm in 1904 and was one of the founders of the Drouin Golf Club.
By the time he returned to Britain in 1911 he had also won four Australian Amateurs, five Victorian Amateurs, the Riversdale Cup and scores of lesser events, including four club championships in a row at Royal Melbourne from 1907.
After returning to Britain he continued to play at the highest level for another 20 years. The crowning glory of his career was winning the British Amateur in 1933, a couple of weeks short of his 55th birthday. In becoming the oldest man to win the title, he went one better than his brother, Osmund, who was runner up in 1905.
Unlike their sister Margaret, who won three (1893-95 British ladies titles and then retired, Scott kept playing until the end and in 1957, at the age of 79, shot a round of 69.
Michael Scott’s Career Wins
1904: Australian Open
1905: Australian & Vic Amateur
1907: Australian Open, Australian & Vic Amateur
1908: Vic Amateur
1909: Australian, Vic & NSW Amateur
1910: Australian, Vic & NSW Amateur
1912: French Amateur
1922: French Amateur
1933: British Amateur
George Shand Stories
Listed below are interesting stories about our club and member profiles published by George Shand.