50 years of Ringwood Golf

Published on 07 March 2024


Ringwood Golf is celebrating its 50th birthday this month!

Today, Ringwood Golf is known as a busy and stunning 18-hole course with a well-stocked pro shop and fully licensed café, Mister Fox. The site, however, was home to just nine holes when the course first opened on 30 March 1974.

Ever since it opened its doors, the course has been popular with locals, with players even playing a round and then lining up to play again! Expanding to 18 holes two years after opening, the course has continued to grow in popularity ever since.


Archival image of Ringwood Golf from the 18th hole, around the late 1990s
Source: Ringwood and District Historical Society

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Kylie Spears, said the milestone is well-deserved for Ringwood Golf, which is one of two Council-owned 18-hole golf courses in Maroondah.

“Council is proud of Ringwood Golf’s reputation as one of Melbourne’s finest public golf courses.

“Its 50-year legacy and continued success are a testament to the course’s popularity within the golf community, both here in Maroondah and wider Melbourne,” Cr Spears said.

“The milestone also celebrates the passion and dedication of Ringwood Golf’s members and employees over the years.

“We look forward to celebrating many more years of Ringwood Golf.”


Archival image of the 1st tee being built at Ringwood Golf, around 1974
Source: Ringwood and District Historical Society

Ringwood Golf Club member Bruce Smith is a Ringwood Golf regular who has been hitting rounds at the course for 48 years.

Though Bruce began life as a football player, he is now a Life Member of Ringwood Golf Club, has captained pennants for over 30 years and has had an invaluable impact on golf at Ringwood.

Bruce recently reflected on Ringwood Golf through the years.

Five decades of golf at Ringwood 

Bruce Smith was just a casual golfer when he was introduced to Ringwood Golf course by three Club members in 1976.

“We got along quite well during the game. At the completion of the round, they talked me into joining the Ringwood Golf Club. That was the start of a very long relationship,” Bruce said.

Bruce went on to serve on the Ringwood Golf Club committee for over 20 years, including two six-year stints as Club President. During his Presidency, Bruce was instrumental in developing the annual Ringwood Pro Am tournaments for professionals and amateurs to compete. Various celebrities were invited over time to help attract crowds.

“We had some of the Melbourne Tiger boys out, Wilbur Wilde, and of course all your Pros. We started off with $5,000 prize money and ended up at about $18,000, so it just grew and grew.”

Thousands of new players were introduced to the course during the 10 years that the Pro Am event ran. The tournaments also supported the community, as some of the money raised each year was distributed to local charities.


Archival image of the flower garden outside Ringwood Golf pro shop
Source: Ringwood and District Historical Society

An ever-popular course

Ringwood Golf offers something for players of all skill levels. The wide, open fairways and large greens provide beginners with an enjoyable round while strategically placed bunkers challenge players with lower handicaps.

Bruce said he continues to see the game, and the beautiful Ringwood Golf course attract more and more people.

“People come from everywhere to play here. The main reason golfers play at a particular course is primarily the way it is presented, maintained and whether it is easy or hard to play a reasonable game of golf.”

Bruce commends the Ringwood Golf team for their “expert care” of the course and all the improvements he has seen over the years. When he began playing at Ringwood Golf, the second nine holes had only been open for a short time.

“It was muddy in a lot of places and your ball would sink six inches into the mud. The greens were grass, but they were quite rough,” he recalled.


Archival image of the 9th green being built at Ringwood Golf, around 1976
Source: Ringwood and District Historical Society

Hooked on the game

Having now devoted several decades to golf, it is interesting to learn Bruce stumbled upon golf by chance when he was 18 years old.

“I was working part time at a pub and some guy came in and wanted to sell his bag and golf clubs to pay for his car rego. A couple of mates started having a hit and I said I’ve got a set of golf clubs!”

He said the game and the camaraderie continue to keep him hooked.

“Having played competitive sport all my life, I enjoy…pitting myself against my mates and endeavouring to improve my game and handicap.

“I enjoy the company and a bit of socialising after a game. That’s where I started and I’m still going.”

Find out more

Experienced community coaches and PGA professionals are available at Ringwood Golf for a range of clinics for beginners and experienced players. Individual lessons as well as adult, women’s and junior clinics cover chipping, putting, pitching, bunkers, full swing and more.

Click here to book a round at Ringwood Golf or find out more about coaching and clinics. You can also call Ringwood Golf on 9298 4500. 

Image gallery

Tagged as: