The Coast Golf Course

The hospital golf course, established around 1922, occupies an extensive tract of land lying to the west of the Coast area, and this drained by way of streams into the dam.

Many fine golfers have hacked their way around this celebrated course, which boasts a series of exotic names for the various holes:

  • The Ditch
  • The Coast,
  • St. Michael’s,
  • The Scrub (a flagrant understatement),
  • Hooker’s Hate,
  • The Trap,
  • The Bank (hitting beyond the green and over the road into ward 22 placed the ball out of bounds),
  • Herdsman’s Carry (a par 4 across a patch of matted jungle towards the old herdsman’s cottage) and
  • Last Hope (par 5 self-explanatory).

Dr. R. J. (Bob) Malcolm, a colourful golfing personality, was upset one day on the tee while hitting off, by some Philistine calling him to the phone from the R.M.O. quarters nearby. Bob heaped torrid invective on the unfortunate’s head for spoiling his shot, when his eloquence was arrested in midflight by a shout from his golfing companions. His ruined shot had holed in one. Malcolm, who was a resident medical officer at the Coast from 1925 to 1929 and then senior surgical officer from 1935 to 1942, maintained an interest in the hospital and its personalities. He was champion of the N.S.W. Golf Club in 1929 and a first class swimmer. 

In those days the omamental lake was a golfing hazard not only by virtue of the carry needed to clear it, but also because of the livestock subsisting on its waters. One memorable menace was “Major”, the male swan, a bird of aggressive tendencies at certain seasons of the year, when it was his custom to approach an innocent golfer crossing the narrow bridge over the lake, with wings flapping and beak snapping. There was only one honourable way of dealing with this situation, namely to grasp the aggressor with determination around the neck and fling him back into the water. Honour satisfied, Major then swam in dignity away from the scene of the encounter, to return to the attack when the next golfer appeared on the bridge.

A 1925 Aerial photograph of The Coast Hospital