The Association came into being on 1st January 1950 but its founding was built on earlier unions of clubs in the metropolitan area.

Until October 1929, all clubs in Queensland had direct representation on the Queensland Golf Association. However, the increasing number of delegates entitled to attend meeting made for an unwieldy structure and a new organisation, the Queensland Golf Council, was inaugurated. It comprised District Associations although The Brisbane, Royal Queensland and Indooroopilly Golf Clubs (to become known as the “constitution clubs”) retained direct representation on the Council. This special status of the three clubs was said to be due to their seniority and status, they having had played a major role in the conduct of the former Association. However, this situation did not rest easy among the other Brisbane clubs over the next twenty years.

The other metropolitan clubs were Wynnum (founded 1922), Sandgate (1922), Goodna (now Gailes) (1924) and Oxley (1928). They were originally included in the Moreton and South Coast District but this grouping was short-lived as next month they formed the Outer Brisbane Metropolitan Association; so named as it was for clubs outside a five-mile radius from the General Post Office: the three constituent clubs were inside this boundary. Nudgee (1929) and Virginia (1930) joined soon after.

When the Victoria Park Golf Club was formed in March 1931, it was within the five-mile radius so a change of name to Greater Brisbane Golf Association (GBGA) was made.

By the outbreak of the Second World War, Association membership had grown to eleven with Enoggera (now Keperra) (1931), Pacific (1936), Peninsular (now Redcliffe) (1936) and Ashgrove (1939).

District championships and inter-club matches commenced in 1930 and ran these in parallel to the Golf Council’s pennant matches which catered for all Brisbane clubs.

Jealousy of the privileged position of the constituent clubs was acerbated by the inequitable number of delegates each enjoyed. The constituent clubs had two each whereas the GBGA commenced with only one, the same as the country Districts. Much was made of the number of golfers each represented and agitation for a greater voice in Golf Council affairs began immediately but it took until December 1933 before a second delegate was approved. The argument then began for a third delegate and this was achieved in February 1938.

With the outbreak of war in 1939, membership and attendances fell, petrol and liquor rationing affected income and new golf balls were unobtainable. Nevertheless, by mid-1943, officials at the Golf Council and the GBGA began a move to have all Brisbane clubs belong to the one Association. This was met with initial resistance from the constituent clubs and it was not until November 1949 that representatives from all fourteen metropolitan clubs agreed to form the Brisbane District Golf Association to take effect from 1st January 1950.

There created a body truly representative of all Brisbane golfers with authority to control all domestic matters.

There was now only one pennant competition, which was later expanded to include a Senior and Junior series. At different times, Ipswich, Sandy Gallop and Redland Bay Golf Clubs were invited to participate. Vigorous debate on the conduct of pennants has always occupied much time and the rules have varied considerably over the years in the search for a format acceptable to all clubs.

The championship programme was progressively extended to include Foursomes, Senior, Veteran, Junior and Metropolitan Schoolboys’ events. A Champion of Champions event was held from 1950 before later being taken over by the Golf Council as a Statewide competition. Inter-district pennant matches began in 1985, initially with the Gold Coast District.

A full-time secretary is employed and the cost of running such an active programme is met by a capitation fee on club golfers. In return, the Association provides pennant trophies, sponsors a training programme for Juniors and a BDGA trophy day at each club.

Bruce Richter
December 2010