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Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: January 21st, 2013, 8:18 am
by Boics
I'm an avid golfer who gets out and about our magnificent courses as often as possible.
Whilst on the course I am always of interested in the tree's - much of which are particularly aged, well preserved and maintained.
Some are trampled and naturally Bonsai'd whilst others become feature's of a golf course that very adequately depict Bonsai styles right through from group, windswept, upright to literati.

I thought I'd start this thread to post locations and tree's that I admire on my journeys.

First cab off the rank...

"The Dunes" Mornington Peninsula and what I am quite sure to be Leptospermum Laevigatum - Coastal Tea Tree.

Re: Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: January 21st, 2013, 8:48 am
by anttal63
NICE !!! :tu:

Re: Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: January 21st, 2013, 9:12 am
by Mojo Moyogi
Boics, We Victorians are a spoiled lot, some of the best bonsai in Australia and some of the best golf courses in the world.

I know the Dunes very well, there are some awesome twisted Tea Trees in the car park too. If you get the chance and haven't played there yet, have a round at the Legends Course at Moonah Links, it's very challenging and picturesque.


Re: Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: January 21st, 2013, 9:17 am
by Boics
G'day Mojo.

I was at Moonah Legends course the other day in fact..
Great track and some awesome specimens there as well.

Unfortunately I was way too hung over from a wedding the night before and too pre-occupied with a terrible golf game to take any pics.
Next time......

Re: Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: January 21st, 2013, 11:47 am
by soda

You are not going to believe this but I posted this @Dunes tree aleady!

Some other favorites

Moonahs on the 18th hole of the Moonah Course at the National (as previously posted)

In Melbourne Commonwealth (my home track) and Riversdale have some great specimens.


Bali -Nirwana GC


Re: Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: January 21st, 2013, 12:16 pm
by Boics
Cheers Soda.

Love your view of "The Dunes" Tea Tree!
It's an even better view than the side I took the pic from as it better portrays the full twists and turns!

Off to 13th beach later in the week - see if i can find any worthy thread candidates there....

Re: Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: January 21st, 2013, 12:24 pm
by soda
Some nice radiatas on the Creek Course at 13th Beach, but the Beach Course is the pick golf wise.

How about this one at Pebble Beacg GC


Re: Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: January 27th, 2013, 1:29 am
by Mojo Moyogi
AusBonsai Golf Day?


Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: January 28th, 2013, 7:40 am
by soda
Yep lets make it happen, I vote the dunes!

Re: Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: January 28th, 2013, 8:33 pm
by Boics
I'm keen.

Yet to play Commonwealth!? :|

Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: January 28th, 2013, 8:37 pm
by soda
Could make it happen, 3 guest limit thou

Re: Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: October 8th, 2013, 11:29 am
by soda
Frankston Golf Club (some times known as the Millionaires Club)

Had the very good fortune to play one of Australia's great golf secrets yesterday and no doubt our finest 9 hole golf course. The vegetation history is a good story in itself and an amazing array of native vegetation exists throughout the little known property.


Bit of a long but interesting background courtesy of AusGolf / Golf Architecture which discusses the vegetation history and the introduction of the lawn mower!

HIDDEN GEM - Frankston Golf Club
Frankston, Victoria

Upon first inspection you may be excused for concluding that the Frankston Golf Club (FGC) is a modest venue for the pursuit of golf. However, as the initiated well know, one must be immersed in the remarkable history of the club to fully appreciate this ‘hidden gem’.

‘The Little Course’, as it is affectionately known, was first laid out in 1913 with nine holes spaciously arranged on 246 acres of land. There is little record of the original designer of the course, however there is a reference in the Club’s minutes of the 3rd of February 1913, to a Mr. R. Banks, who reported on the measuring and planning of the nine-hole course. A further nine holes were planned for but were never realized, which is perhaps fortuitous, as much of today’s character is afforded by the quaintness of nine holes. Its founders Mr. A.H Sargood and Mr. R. Debenham, must be granted much of the credit for ‘The Little Course’, for it was ‘their vision and energy’ which led to its creation and continued development.

Steeped in history, it is difficult not to be overawed by the many stories of generosity, dedication and perseverance, which have shaped this remarkable course. In 1917, after the events of World War 1, and at the suggestion of Mr. A. Curries, the first plantings of introduced native tree specimens took place (100 x Eucalyptus ficifolia). This would begin approximately three decades of intensive landscape development, which would forever change the future of the FGC. Noted botanist and horticulturalist, Mr. E. E. Pescott was invited to prepare a tree planting scheme. Of particular interest is the planting of Eucalyptus ficifolia, E. calophylla, E. globulus, Acacia elata, A. prominens, Pittosporum undulatum, Callitris sp., and Angophora costata, which thrive on the FGC today. In fact Debenham, having purchased 500 Eucalyptus ficifolia, donated 250 for planting at the Metropolitan Golf Club, which so began a practice of the two clubs exchanging many plants, such as Thryptomene sp. to Metropolitan, and Prostanthera rotundifolia (of which little remains at Metro) from Metropolitan to ‘The Little Course’.

Immediately following Pescott’s scheme the first Plantation Committee was formed consisting of Mr. J. G. Mann and Mr. W. R. Grimwade, who would later be ably assisted by Course Curator Mr. J. Swanson up until his retirement in 1951. Aims for the Landscape Development of FGC were written (most likely a first for a golf club) and many hundreds of plant specimens were subsequently propagated, transplanted, while seeds were collected and broadcast onto prepared ploughed seed beds.

However, the bush fires of January 1944 devastated much of these planting, after which Mann noted; ‘the fires swept the course and destroyed everything which comprised the foregoing history’ of the FGC. It was not until October 1950 did Mann note that ‘fortunately immediately after fire, light rain and ground covered inches deep with warm ashes, ideal conditions for germination….millions of self sown seedlings of every variety everywhere. When war over (WWII) and labour obtained….course cleaned up and burnt timber disposed of, greens remade, many 100’s of seedlings transplanted. Today links are once more in splendid order and as beautiful and attractive as before the fire.

Not to be deterred, in Mann’s last entry after the fire of 1944 he refers to Grimwade and Swanson’s journey to Western Australia in September of 1947 to collect specimens for planting at the FGC. Many of which survive today on the course, such as; Chamaelaucium axillare, Cliathus sp., Hypocalymm spp., Anigozanthum sp.,Thryptomene saxicola and the small eucalypt E. forrestiana. In addition plantings from the Grampians and NSW all contribute to make FGC ‘renowned for its fine collection of a colourful and interesting range of Australian native plants’ which continues to attract interest to this day.

Such was, and is, the greatness of the native landscape plantings of the FGC, it is likely to have been a significant factor in attracting notable visitors to the course, along with the considerable native fauna which was kept in an open range type zoo, in and around the links. FGC, in the mid to late 30’s, according to the records of Swanson, was responsible for giving Healesville Sanctuary their first emus, koalas and kangaroos, as well as providing young kangaroos and emus to the Melbourne Zoo.

‘The Little Course’ has received many distinguished visitors, and reportedly it was not unusual during the 20’s to see eighteen chauffeurs in the car park. The motor car was not always confined to the car park. In the 30’s Mr. Archie Currie, established a scenic drive around part of the course, which showcased the colorful native flora and fauna. The Duke of Gloucester’s Drive, as it came to be called, began at the clubhouse, running alongside the 1st fairway, turned around three parts down the 2nd, up alongside the 4th to the green and then returned back to the clubhouse. In addition, Sir Robert Knox was also largely responsible for other official and unofficial visits of Royalty to FGC. In 1954, Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales visited, with the Prince planting a Eucalytus ficifolia beside the 9th green, which commemorated the coronation of King George XII. Amongst others the English cricket team visited regularly, as well Sir Dallas Brooks, Lord Somers and Lady Somers who frequented the course.

Yet another interesting piece of history is that in 1921 Mr. A. H. Sargood bought back to FGC, via boat, two motor mowers from England, namely a Burgess 16 inch and a Busy-bee 30 inch.

Significantly they were the first motor mowers to come to Australia, at a time when all other courses, including; Royal Melbourne and Metropolitan were cutting fairways and greens with horse drawn ‘slashers’. Reportedly vistors to FGC would come and look in amazement at the sight of these motorized wonders, which revolutionized playing conditions.

Maintenance practices were to say the least minimal by today’s standards. It was not until 1929, that manure or super-phosphate was utilized. Even then fertilizing only occurred once every four years.

Course Superintendent Mr. J. Geary, (1986 – present day), is respectful of FGC’s unique history and realizes the important role he and his staff have in preserving and enhancing this unique course. Geary is lauded by many of his peers for his ‘natural systems’ approach to turf grass management and his willingness to work with the natural environment.

With a limited budget, and just two other staff members, the team produces high quality sustainable playing surfaces, without subscribing to the ‘high input’ regimes which many other courses are slaves to, in order to maintain perceived aesthetic excellence.

Today FGC occupies some 115 acres, the result of various sub-divisions of land for residential purposes. The land still however retains the same three essential ingredients of the original parcel of 246 acres, namely - topography, sandy soils and native vegetation.

Changes to the course have been few since the rebuild of greens after the devastating fire of 1944. Most notably, the 9th hole was reconstructed in 1996, in order to rectify drainage problems and to strengthen what was considered a strategically ‘weak’ hole.

Otherwise, modifications have been limited to improving upon basic elements of the course to take advantage of the natural attributes of the site. This sound and prudent philosophy recognises the inherent potential of any golf course and to allow for it to evolve and improve, within the bounds of its original conception, where warranted.

The strength of FGC lies not only within its history, but, within the simplicity of its physical composition. There is little in the way of fussy mounding and complicated green complexes. The course is relatively short in length, measuring some 2900m, but the greens are small and sloping as they rely largely on surface drainage.

The golfing experience, both conscious and sub-conscious, is dream-like, and one cannot help but feel the presence and soul of golfers past. The routing takes the golfer on a journey, which capitalizes on various natural and contrived views in and out of the property, as one moves from enclosed areas of the course to higher ground.

To a large extent it is the historic planting which controls and contributes much to the quality of this ‘hidden gem’. Frankston Golf Club is an excellent example of the power of landscape planning for the enhancement of a golf course.

by Paul Mogford
courtesy of the Golf Architecture Magazine

Re: Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: October 8th, 2013, 12:50 pm
by Boics
Good stuff Soda.

Sounds like a pretty exclusive spot!
I've never heard of such a prestigious 9 hole golf course!

You've inspired me to upload some of the pics I've been taking..
Slack at uploading but still play every weekend...

These ones from Eagle Ridge some 6 months back I reckon.

I reckon it's a Banksia Integrifolia (maybe), Casuarina (dunno) and Melaleuca Armillaris (Maybe).

Re: Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: October 8th, 2013, 12:56 pm
by DavidWilloughby
Quite possibly my new favourite thread on ausbonsai, I can't believe I have not seen this before today :palm:

Some fantastic photo's Gents from some fantastic courses. I have to agree that you guys in Victoria are certainly spoilt when it comes to Golf courses. My favourite course of all time is the Old Course at the National, the Moonah course there is a brute as well but there is something about the Old course. These are not my photos as I got them from google and are of the Old Course:


*A view from the first tee looking down the fairway with a lone Moonah tree as per the new routing of the course.


*A view from the fourth tee being the first of the par 3's you now face.


*A view from the Seventh tee and for me its the best Par 3 in the Country, played it twice and parred it each time lol

Keep the photos coming Gents, I will have to go through some old photos to see if I have any shots from other courses.

Also, love the shot of the Monterey Pines at Pebble Beach.



Re: Bonsai inspirations from the Golf Course.

PostPosted: October 8th, 2013, 1:34 pm
by soda
On a side note its interesting 'tree' times for Australia's better courses. So many were established in the 30's and the tree plantings at that time are all coming to the end of there lifespans. The high winds in Melbourne a week of so back reeked havoc across many. Commonwealth GC lost a handful and Victoria GC had one fall out onto a parked car. The older members love the tree lined fairways and big imported specimens, however moreso the trend is towards an indigenous more open style (say Royal Melbourne or Kingston Heath) , causing much angst and debate in the memberships of some clubs as to how to proceed.