A short preamble of golf in Kyabram prior 1958 is required as it provides a sense of the nearly 100 years the game has been conducted across various locations in the town. Prior to 1911 practice links were situated at the site of the old Kyabram Hospital. In 1911 Kyabram's first golf links were formally opened at the Racecourse Reserve where Parkland Golf Course is today. Initial subscriptions were 10/6 for men and 5/- for women with a membership base of 41.
A new course called Pine Grove was established to the north west of the town in the sand hills now the site of the old tip. Golf was played there for about three decades, with golfers having to cross a railway line in the course for enjoyment of the complete course. 1946 saw a return to our present site with competition being formally started 1948. But in1957 the course being condemned and closed.
On the 11th March 1958, a meeting in the town hall attended by 20 enthusiastic people a new Kyabram Golf club was formed. Elected President was Major Alf Watson, with Gordon Fraser Secretary. Vice Presidents were Ron Stagg and Frank Batterham.
The ladies committee was formed on the 5th June 1958 under the leadership of Roma Fraser, with Hazel Batterham as Secretary.
Opening day was held on the 12th April, 1958.
Legal concerns resulted in the club changing its name to the Kyabram Reserve Golf club in 1960 and holding this identity under the Goulburn Valley District Golf Association. Over the following three years the club struggled to maintain its existence. With this in mind the then secretary Ron Stagg put forward the idea to convert the course into an 18 hole par three after reading about the concept in a magazine. The club decided to follow this golf innovation from America leading to the opening of Victoria's first par three course took place on April 15th 1961.
Reserve golf club in action 1962
The re-called annual meeting was successful in electing male office bearers for the fast approaching season, but male interest in the club is still at a very low ebb. In April 1962 a working bee was held to prepare to prepare the Kyabram Reserve course for the coming season. Two tractors and mowers trimmed the fairway. With sand scrapes oiled and spread and a new strike of grass following rainfall in the previous week, the course was a picture according to club President Gordon Fraser.
The club introduced a rule that only registered golfers may use the links. Players may be members of the club or affiliated with the V.G.A. This move was made to stamp out irresponsible golfers who displayed no regard for the amenities, or abused sand scrapes and greens flags. Course officials noted that in the previous year bicycles had been ridden over scrapes, holes dug into tees, and other wanton disregard of the principles of behaviour on a golf course. It was about 1962 that another name change took place with the club choosing "Kyabram Par Three" as its name.
Another identity change occurred in 1968 with the current name of Kyabram Parkland Golf Club created. It was thought that with the amount of trees which had been planted and the bird life it was attracting since its inception that a parkland scene best represented the club.
1973 saw the demise of the clubrooms; an old shed that hosted many unwanted creepies and crawlies, possums that roamed the rafters on meeting nights, a haven for machinery. On heavy rains the water found its way across the floor to another destination. An $800 former farmhouse was transported from Lancaster and established where we are today. Many working bees transformed
the old building into a comfortable building able to host 100 people. Part of the current club house bar is the last remnant from that time.
Bingo started 1977. After a number of venues (Kyabram Club and Albion Hotel), Bingo started in 1977 in conjunction with the Containers social club. However the arrangement was short lived with Parkland going on its own. After a number of venues bingo finally came back to Parkland when poker machines were introduced to Victoria.
Eventually the club decided that articulated water was needed on the course. It was only after the flood in 1974 that the course became more or less flood proof when a concrete drain was laid through the course courtesy of the Government's RED Scheme. 1978 saw the beginning of the greening of Parkland. Tee-offs and fairways all of a sudden were covered with grass (green). In a few months membership had more than doubled, now boasting 160 men and women with 30 juniors.
Parkland was incorporated on the 17th of October 1986. The start of a significant program in 1987 led to the development of a more suitable clubhouse, one to suit the current times. Such was the desire to have new facilities a $40,000 loan to help with the cost of construction, and was paid out in three years. That year subscriptions were men $45.00. and ladies $35.00. Green Fees were $3.00.
In October 1992 the club invited a professional consultant Kevin Hartley from the firm of Golf Recreation Planners to draw up plans for the development of two grass greens - number one and number eighteen. Over the next ten years 18 greens were developed. Members put their shoulder to the wheel, trees were removed (in the middle of the night) to make way for the future development, dirt and sand were carted and an automated watering system was installed.
Parkland gained a club licence on May 11th 1992.
The mid nineties saw the introduction of a trading stall which continues to prosper, with tomatoes and many other varieties of fruit, vegetables, plants and plenty of other commodities. Such names as "Pumpkin Jack" and "Quirkies" stall have been names that have been part of that scene over the time.
Parkland's on field performances, although not great in numbers are rich in quality. Twelve flags represent the contests in pennant. Junior development has been a significant part of the scene with players going on to state recognition. Such names as Glenda Prior-Ivill and Graeme Brown who learned their golf here come to mind as champions in their own right at State Level. Brett Kellow and David Cartwright are two members who have represented the club at country week. Both men and women members have held executive positions at district level.
A history of the club would not be complete without mentioning the initiative of members in their foresight in bringing to Kyabram two amateur state run championships – the men's and women's par three championships.
The club has moved forward in technology, being the first club in the district with our neighbour Valley View to introduce the golf link program.
We thank all of those early members of the club for their contribution in developing and expanding Kyabram Parkland Golf Club. From just a handful of dedicated people we now have a registered membership greater than 500, making us the 6th largest club in the Goulburn Valley District. Hopefully these members will continue to support the endeavours of our club.
Below: The old clubrooms used as a machinery store shed. It was the old Kyabram Race Club's open sided catering building.