The Leongatha Golf Club was formed in 1909 and a course was constructed on a portion of the Recreation Reserve, located on the northern boundary of the Leongatha Township. The official opening of this course took place on the 18th of May 1910. This course is now known as Woorayl Golf Course.
In the mid 1950’s, the committee of Leongatha Golf Club began investigating possible sites that would be suitable for an 18 hole golf course. It was not possible to expand the club to 18 holes in its location for two reasons, (1) the cost of land, and (2) the land surrounding the course was not suited to the growing of grasses required for a course.
On 24th march 1958, 138 acres of land was purchased on the Inverloch-Koonwarra Rd, approximately 17km south of Leongatha and 12km north of Inverloch. The Leongatha Golf Club officially opened the new course on the 11th March 1961.
In addition to the golf course itself, the club has constructed the clubhouse (in three stages – completed in 1979), the managers residence (1990) and course maintenance equipment buildings. In 1982, the club purchased an additional 25 acre property close to the golf course. The purpose of this land acquisition was to construct a dam so that the club would not suffer water shortages during dry seasons. This dam has a surface area of approximately 10 acres.
H.V. [Hedley Vernon] Morcom
Course Designer Leongatha Golf Club
H.V Morcom was one of Australia’s foremost golf course designers. His father Mick Morcom had implemented Alister MacKenzie’s designs at Royal Melbourne, where he was head green-keeper for many years. Upon completion of his schooling, Vern worked with his father at Royal Melbourne learning about green-keeping, construction and design of holes, bunkers and courses.
Vern was the Superintendent of Kingston Heath Golf Club from 1928-1967 and was responsible for constructing the bunkers on that course. He was a partner in the firm M.A. Morcom & Son which consulted to councils and golf clubs throughout Australia.
Vern Morcom designed Leongatha Golf Club in February 1956 and visited the course several times during its construction from 1957-60. For all his design projects he wrote comprehensive notes of instruction to be followed when constructing the course.
In his Forward to the history of the Morcom Family, A Round Forever, Mike Clayton wrote that “Vern Morcom was clearly one of the most highly regarded men in Australia’s golfing community and aside from his full-time employment at Kingston Heath, was a prolific consultant to golf clubs and was engaged to design, modify or construct numerous golf courses throughout Australia.”