Moss Vale Golf Club was founded in 1902, when golf was played on a member’s Sutton Forest property.
In 1904, the Club leased land behind the Royal Hotel in Moss Vale, and a highly respected Professional, Carnegie Clark, was engaged to design the course layout. At that time, the Club boasted 101 members – and a debt of 17 pounds.
In November 1905 the double opening of the first Clubhouse – at Araluen in Arthur Street – and an extension to the course drew a respectable crowd, with Goulburn sending a team to play a combined Bowral and Moss Vale team.
By 1908, the Club had purchased land on a lease-back arrangement, and Carnegie Clark returned to layout the new course.
By the end of the 1920s the Club was fast becoming a social centre as well as a golf club. Card games became so popular that House Rules had to be drawn up, and the first poker machines, known as Kelly Gang machines, were installed.
But the Club’s fortunes faltered during the Depression in the 1930s, although the course remained well patronised. So much so, on Saturdays, Associates (now known as women!) were restricted from playing before 4pm unless they had a handicap under 23.
Dormie House hotel opened for business in 1934 with room for 55 guests and was an immediate hit, bringing increased revenue and visitors to the Club.
In 1936 the course was extended to 18 holes after more land was purchased. That layout remains largely the same today, although well-established avenues of pines, elms, gums and striking claret ash now flank the winding layout and the creek running through the course has to be crossed 12 times during the round.