Golf in Australia

Country Australia
Governing body Golf Australia
National team Australia
International competitions
A golf course at Apollo Bay, Victoria

Golf in Australia refers to the sport of golf played in Australia.

Governing Body

Golf Australia is the national sporting body that runs golf in Australia.


The PGA Tour of Australasia is the main men's tour in Australia. It was founded in 1973 as the PGA Tour of Australia, and changed to its current name in 1991. The tour is one of the five charter members of the International Federation of PGA Tours, making it a 1st tier tour. In 2007 the tour has a schedule consisting of 12 events, but only three of them are sole-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia. The PGA Tour of Australasia's development tour is the Von Nida Tour.

Australia's premier golf tournament and national Open is the Australian Open, run by Golf Australia, which has been held since 1904. Other tournaments include the Australian Masters, which has been held since 1979, and the Australian PGA Championship, which has been held since 1905.

In women's golf, the ALPG Tour has operated since 1972. It became a member of the International Federation of PGA Tours in 2009 when that organisation expanded to include all of the major women's tours. In its most recent season, 2011–12, the tour consisted of 12 events. The two richest are respectively the Ladies Masters, held since 1990, and the Women's Australian Open, held since 1974. Both events are co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour, and since the 2012 edition, the Women's Australian Open has also been co-sanctioned by the U.S. LPGA Tour.

In addition to regular tournaments, Australia has hosted the 1998 Presidents Cup, 2001 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, 2007 Lexus Cup, 2011 Presidents Cup and 2013 World Cup of Golf. The 2016 World Cup of Golf is scheduled to be played in Melbourne.

Australia's top golfers, whether male or female, generally move to more lucrative tours—the European Tour or the U.S. PGA Tour for men, and the Ladies European Tour or the U.S. LPGA Tour for women—at the first opportunity.

The Australian Amateur Championships for men and women is the premier amateur event in Australia. This tournament is also run by Golf Australia.


Alexander Brodie Spark

There are several claims for the earliest golf played in Australia. To date there is only one claim with contemporaneous evidence. This primary source evidence comes from ten entries in 1839 in the diary of Alexander Brodie Spark.[1][2] These show that golf was played in 1839 at Grose Farm, which is now part of urban Sydney. Spark and his friends instituted the New South Wales Golf Club on the 1st of June 1839, but the Club and the golf at Grose Farm had very short lives and there is no direct connection to the current NSW Golf Club. Spark was a wealthy merchant, a well connected and well respected member of colonial society, and can be considered as a reliable witness. Golf at Grose Farm was strongly influenced by Royal Blackheath Golf Club in England.

Alexander Brodie Spark Diary Extract

The NSW Golf Club (no continuous connection to the present NSWGC) and Grose Farm are the first golf club and first golf course in Australia. The oldest club and course in continuous existence are different. Determining them is difficult and there is no consensus. The oldest continuous surviving club is believed to be The Australian Golf Club in Sydney. The members met as an informal club in 1882/83 and the Club was formally constituted in 1884, but the Club lost its home course from 1888 to 1895. They may or may not have played elsewhere. They continued to exist as a legal entity by keeping their bank account open and in credit. When they resumed playing, at a new course in Queens Park, they played for the same trophies as in 1884. Their Cadogan Cup is the oldest golf trophy played for in Australia.[3]

As a result of The Australian Golf Club's lack of a course for a period, the Royal Melbourne Golf Club maintain that they are the oldest golf club in Australia 'without interruption'.[4] Other claims are made for early golf played at Ratho in Tasmania,[5] though these are now believed to relate to Bothwell in 1860 and contemporary evidence dates the Ratho course to the early 20th Century.[6]

Apart from the references below, The Brassie of February 2015 and November 2015, contains articles with further on early golf history in Australia.[7]


Australians have won a total of 26 majors in men's and women's competition. Some notable players include:


  1. The Diaries of Alexander Brodie Spark 1836 to 1856, held at the Mitchell Library, Sydney, Special Collections A4869 & A4870.
  2. The Respectable Sydney Merchant: A.B. Spark of Tempe by Graham Abbott & Geoffrey Little, Sydney University Press (1976).
  3. The Australian Golf Club history accessed 27 Nov 2007
  4. Royal Melbourne Golf Club history accessed 7th August 2016
  5. Ratho Farm website accessed 7th August 2016
  6. Australian Golf Heritage Society Accessed 7th August 2016
  7. The Brassie published by Australian Golf Heritage Society
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Golf in Australia.
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