history 1924 introMeetings to form a golf club were held at the Strand Hotel on the 6th, 10th and 18th
December 1923. The Meetings would put into place the procedures to be adopted in the formation of a golf club, which would be known as The Cairns Golf Club. At the time the Strand Hotel and its sister hotel, the Pacific, were situated on the Esplanade where the present Pacific Hotel now stands. The Strand occupied the corner of Spence Street and the Esplanade with the Pacific next door on the Esplanade.

The inaugural meeting held on the 6th December, attracted an attendance of 15 persons - six others sent in apologies. The meeting elected Mr. A. J. Draper as Patron (pictured below), with Mr. J. O. Ellis accepting the position of President. Messrs. The Position of Captain was not created.

The three early Meetings set the following ground rules -

  1. – Members were to pay a yearly subscription of £2/2/0d.
  2. – Associates Members were to pay a subscription of £1/1/0d.
  3. – Both Members and Associates paid the same ground fee of sixpence (6d) for 9 holes.
  4. – Both Members and Associates came under the control of the one governing Committee.

At the inaugural Meeting a Sub Committee was delegated to approach a Mr. Dean, who owned a paddock at Edge Hill, with the intention of laying out a 9-hole course. The area selected fronted Pease Street and would later become the site of the present Edge Hill State School. On the 26th January 1924 (Foundation Day) the official opening of the Edge Hill Golf Course was performed. The position of Captain was not included and the duties were performed by the President, it was not until the Annual General Meeting held on 8th September 1924 that Mr. C. Taylor was appointed as the first Captain of the Club.
In appreciation for his work performed in the formation of the Club, Mr. Ellis was presented with a suitable gift on his departure. The trophy cabinet in the Clubhouse presently holds a desk set which is engraved with Mr. Ellis's name.

Mr. Draper was the patron of the Club from 1924 until 1928. The Draper family was very prominent in the affairs of the Club. Mr. Draper was the father of Molly Draper who would by her generosity to the female members of the Club etch the Draper name in the records. Molly was a twin and joined the club in 1924, and in 1936 she donated trophies to the then Associate Members known as the Molly Draper Medals that are still played for until recently.

history 1924 2ndTransportation to and from the Edge Hill links was a problem, with the Committee arranging bus services to the Course on weekends. In 1924 the Club examined relocating the Course, with two choices being considered. The first was at Freshwater and the second at Burpu, on the southern boundary of Cairns. The Burpu site was selected due to its location, being on the main road and more accessible than the Freshwater Site. The Committee set aside £500/0/0d for the completion of a 9 hole course at Burpu. The origin of the name, Burpu, is unknown, but appears of aboriginal origins, at the time it was the name of a railway siding situated outside the site of the golf course. The Siding has since been abandoned and the name disappead from council maps.

The opening of the 9 hole course at Burpu was set down for the 26th January 1926. The 9 hole course at Burpu would later develop into the course played today. As with the Edge Hill course, transportation became a problem. Steps were also taken to arrange transportation by asking members with cars to provide transport for those less fortunate.

During 1926, the golf club was the hub of social activities for the town of Cairns. The Minutes
reveal that a request was made by Associate Members asking that ladies “on and after attaining the age of 16 years” be admitted as non-playing members. The request was approved and a subscription fee of 10/6d was set.

By 1927 green fees for Members had risen to 2/-d per day or part thereof, those for Associates remained the same. In the years to 1927 committees had difficulty in meeting expenses, and the Treasurer’s report for 1927 showed an overall loss of £85/8/11d. Much of the blame for the loss was put down to a cyclone which devastated the area in February of that year.

At the 31st December 1927 the Membership of the Club was – Members 56, Associates 31, Country Members 5, Non Playing Members 6.

Golf Buggies were were unheard of in early years and Caddies were the `in thing'. Caddies were paid 1/3d for 18 holes of golf, but if a Caddy lost a ball on a fairway he was fined 3d.

There has always been conjecture as to the correct Colours of the Club. A Meeting held on the 8th September 1924 records show a motion was moved that the Club colours be Royal Blue and Red. Committees over the years considered the colours to be `hot,' and many changes were made

The Cairns Club was instrumental in the formation of the Far North Queensland Golf Association, when at a Club Meeting held on 23rd May 1927, it drew up a constitution for the formation of the Association. Copies of the articles were sent to all clubs, and a meeting, which was held at the Strand Hotel in Cairns, was set down for Sunday night 5th June 1927.

1927 revealed that the first six months to June the bar showed a loss of £29/8/11d. Bar staff were not employed and Members served themselves on an honorary basis. After June 1927 a barman was employed and by December the same year, a profit of £21/0/0d was made. The barman's wages for the weekend was a guinea.

The course was mown with horse drawn equipment and one of the 2 horses owned by the club strayed onto the railway tracks and was struck and killed. The club denied ownership of the horse because it did not have the money to remove and dispose of the animal. A replacemnet horse was obtained but an “ignorant townie” frightened the animal where it decamped and was never seen again. The Professional at the time offered his car to tow the mowing machine.

The lease in place at the site became freehold in 1928 and the first official program was printed that year with opening day set down for the first Saturday in May. This year also saw A and B Grades introduced, with players on 16+ being deemed as B Grade. Membership in 1928 Members 57, Associates 31, Country Members 4, Non-Playing Members 6.

The first Life Member of the Club (Mr A J Nevitt) was awarded in 1928 with 5 other Life Memberships puchased (equivalent of 5 yearly subscriptions) to assist with the clubs finances to purchase a new mower.

From 1926 to 1929 toilet facilities were shared by members and associates. 1929 saw special separate facilites constructed and associates given rights to the course after 2.30pm on one Saturday each month (Ladies Day). This was later changed to Sunday. The window on the verandah opening into the bar was to be opened on weekends to allow associates to obtain refreshments.

Membership as at December 1929 stood at – Members 55, Associates 40, Life Members 6, Country Members 9 and Non Playing Members 3, a total Membership of 113. The above figures indicate the amount of interest shown by females in earlier years in the game of golf.

Mr A. J. Draper