With the 28th Pioneer Cup 2015 recently notched up at the Walpole Country Club, it would seem to be a good time to look back at the early days of planning a golf course.
Three attempts were made in 1959, 1961, and 1963 to form a golf club with little success.
However, at a meeting in 1970 a new committee was formed and three people were selected to meet the Parks Board and the Manjimup Shire Council in order to procure a suitable site for a course.
The previous site considered—a small area west of Coalmine Beach Caravan Park—was abandoned at that meeting.
The formation of the golf club was a bold move and many people thought the project was too ambitious for a small community.
However the doubters had forgotten about “determination” and before long the site was approved and work began.
With the aid of bulldozing contractors R & N Palmer, Bunnings Sawmill and the then Forests Department, preparations for a nine-hole course were soon under way.
As the project continued, the input from the entire district was phenomenal and there were few families who did not contribute in some way.
Farmers worked with tractors, loaders, ploughs, root rakes etc to establish the fairways; all this as well as moving a building from Tone River to use as a club house.
The final count of volunteer hours included to bring the project to fruition was—to coin a modern word—awesome!
It is a most picturesque course of 18 holes now, and there have been some minor alterations in the intervening years.
One such renovation met with a resounding cheer; the improvement of a particularly boggy patch in the first nine holes which demoralised even the most experienced golfer.
One had to strike the little white ball in just the right way to hit it completely over this hazard!
Walpole soon became known for its spectacular golf course and bowling green—a Country Club of which to be proud.