The history of club taree
The amalgamation of two of the Manning Valleys most historical registered Clubs, the Taree RSL Club and the Taree Golf Club in December 2001 cemented the future for both the organisations whilst creating opportunity for the establishment of a brand new clubhouse facility for the residents of Greater Taree.
After sourcing designs, Leighton Contractors were awarded the opportunity to provide the magnificent 2000 square building. With an $8 million budget construction began in September 2002 and was followed by a thirteen month construction phase. Taree RSL and Golf Club Ltd opened its doors on November 26th 2003, establishing a new era for the Club’s in the Manning Valley and leaving behind decades of memories for the two amalgamated clubs, their members and in general the community of the Taree.
Taree RSL Club
The “United Service Club” of Taree was formed by the local branch of the RSL after a meeting on the 14th March 1947. A few years later and with a name change to Taree RSL Club, the committee of 11 and a band of hard working volunteers allowed the club to move into its first building, an ex-army igloo in Victoria Street on the 14th July 1950.
On the 26th October 1953, the Club moved to the top floor of the RSL Memorial Building in Pulteney Street, which would become its home for the next 50 years. The lower level of the building originally housed Radio 2RE and was also a Doctors surgery before the Taree RSL Sub Branch moved in. 1960 saw the appointment of the Clubs first Secretary Manger, Nigel Dallas a position he held for 30 years. The 1960’s also saw women accepted as members and the club strengthened financially as a result. The Club expanded to occupy the town ballroom which was located on the first floor and an auditorium was officially open on the 12th April 1969.
The early 70’s saw further expansion, to include a dining room, snack bar and cocktail bar. The club hosted big name stars from Australia and overseas and was the focal point for the Hughley successful Aquatic Festivals. The Taree RSL Club purchased the Pulteney Street location from the RSL Sub Branch for $1 million with the provision that the Club always provide an office for the Sub Branch.
Over the 1980’s and to the early 90’s about $1.5 million was spent on repairing, renewing and refreshing the building which had endured thirty odd years of wear and tear and thousands of people passing through the doors. The Club amalgamated with the Taree City Bowling Club during this period.
The club traded successfully during the 90’s but was becoming increasingly aware of the need for expansion or relocation to improve members facilities. Several options were sought, however amalgamation with the Taree Golf Club in 2001 provided the reason for relocation and construction of the new Club on Wingham Road.
Taree Golf Club
The first meeting of the Taree Golf Club of eight golfing stalwarts took place on the 25th May 1915. From this first meeting, the Club was formed and the committee was appointed.
The first committee meeting was on the 29th May 1915, and the first ball was hit on the 12th June of the same year. This event was deemed to be so successful that it was decided to open the Club officially one week later on the 19th June 1915.
The site of the first course was the back portion of the showground property where the cattle pens, pig sites, building and logs created some interesting hazards. The showground was owned at the time by the Agricultural Society and in 1925 the golf members decided to purchase their own land, with the purchase taking place on the 5th August that year for 700 pounds ($1400). This was the site of the Clubhouse nine holes.
A ladies committee was formed on the 17th March 1926. The new course was declared open on the 2nd July 1927 with a total of 20 members and 15 lady golfers.
In 1933 it was decided to extend the course. The Whiteford Estate of 55 acres was purchased including a fine dwelling which became the Clubhouse. The first ‘fruit” machines were installed in the Clubhouse in 1937 with a $3.00 jackpot. During WWII the Club struggled to survive and the Whiteford Estate was sold, however in 1946 the members joined together and the Estate was repurchased.
In the early 1950’s there were only 12 holes in play, however in 1954 under the leadership of M.C. Yarad the remaining 6 holes were completed. A further 50 acres were purchased adjoined the front nine upon which now include the three ‘new’ holes.
In the 1970’s government funding allowed fairway watering to be installed on the Clubhouse side with the sale of land in the 1990’s the project was completed.
The course now carries 21 holes with a par of 71.
In November 2006 Taree RSL and Golf Club introduced a trading name, Club Taree, which is now the identity of the organisation.