Royal Fremantle, established in 1905, is one of the few Golf Clubs that still occupies its original site. The site, Reserve No.6638 was gazetted on 12 May 1899 and vested in the Fremantle Municipality on this date.
During 1904 a band of some twenty enthusiasts met regularly at His Lordship’s Parlor (later known as His Majesty’s Hotel) for the purpose of forming a Golf Club and on the 20 July 1905, the Club formally came into existence when a deputation met the Oval, Parks and Reserves Committee of the Fremantle Municipal Council.
The proponents had located land which appeared suitable – an A-Class Reserve of about 196 acres vested in the Government and which was leased to the Currie Brothers for cattle grazing and used by the Polo Club. It was well located for use as a golf club, being close to the electric tram line which was being built at the time.
Present at the meeting were Cr W H Llewellyn, Cr W A Fearn, Cr R W Needham and Cr F Nicholas representing the Municipality and Mr J Herbert Eales and Mr A M Oliphant representing the proposed Golf Club.
Council’s Minutes record that it was proposed to form a Golf Club in Fremantle and that while the Club would embrace players of Fremantle, Cottesloe, Claremont and even Perth, it was the intention of the organizers to form a Club for all players and to make the subscriptions such as to admit all classes participating in this sport.
After some discussion, the delegation undertook that the Club would submit a written proposal to the Council. The Chairman and the Councillors expressed themselves as being willing to give the matter their early and favourable consideration.
This was done on 9 August 1905 and the Fremantle Municipal Council approved a loan of £500 to assist with the development of the first nine holes.
These were laid out by Arthur Oliphant and Peter Anderson one Sunday afternoon in 1905. Anderson, at the time Headmaster of Scotch College in Claremont, was a former British Amateur Champion who at one time held the record for the Saint Andrews Course.
With the Council approval in hand, the Club comprising approximately 60 members, was formally established at a meeting on 8 September 1905. Incorporation followed on 4 November.
A deputation consisting of Messrs Oliphant, Eales and Solomon (Jnr) waited upon the Committee at a Special Meeting of Council on 22 September 1905 and submitted a plan showing the proposed laying out of the first 9 holes for golf play on the Park Lands.
The deputation advised the Committee that, acting in concert with the Polo Club, the Golf Club was arranging for a visit to the grounds by the Hon. Minister for Works with a view to approaching him on the question of water supply and reticulation for Polo and Golf ground purposes.
The deputation also asked that, pending the incorporation of the Golf Club as a Corporate Body which had already been advertised in the Government Gazette, the Committee would allow the question of a guarantee in the matter of payment to the Council of an annual sum equal to 8% on capital expended, to stand in abeyance.
After discussion the deputation was advised by the Chairman that, subject to Council’s approval, the Committee would:
Approve of the laying out of the links as shown on the plan lodged, subject to a reservation that in the event of the Council deciding to sell the land adjoining the boundaries of High, Montreal and Stephen Streets, or any of them, the Club to remove their holes and tees outside the described area of 200 feet.
The Committee would allow the matter of guarantee to stand over for one month, the Club to submit the proposed guarantee in proper legal form after its Incorporation and Registration.
Before retiring the deputation said they desired to thank the Town Clerk and Town Engineer for the able assistance that had been given to them in pushing the matters forward, which had been so willingly extended.
On 12 September 1907 a deputation from the Golf Club due to problems with wandering goats, suggested a wire netting fence be erected around the land, Council’s Committee recommended that in preference to considering the advisability of expending a large sum of money (estimated at 120 pounds) upon the work of running a ‘pig’ wire netting around the reserve, the Golf Club be recommended to exhibit notices warning persons that goats trespassing on the Links Reserve will be shot.
It had been an enormous, laborious task to turn the rock-strewn area into a golf course. The effort of providing landing stages between tees and greens, with everything surrounded by piles of stone, was a feature of establishing what eventually became grass-covered fairways.
The major long term problem was always adequate water supply. Other early worries included cattle, rabbits and goats with the latter eating young tree plantings as fast as they were planted. Even vandalism was evident.
Thus the Club progressed toward its first 25 years despite the setback caused to all by the Great War of 1914-1919. Recovery from that point was slow. At the end of 1914, Membership was 198 Men and 57 Ladies but this number dropped to a low of 74 total in 1919. By 1930 male membership had increased back to 153 whilst female membership had grown to 112.
This period finished with the highlight of achieving Royal status. On 9 May 1930, Passfield, Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, advised the Governor that his Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to grant the use of the prefix Royal to the Fremantle Golf Club Incorporated.
This was conveyed to the Club by Governor Sir William Campion on 14 June 1930. So, Royal Fremantle was then the Premier Club in Western Australia.
Chronology of Significant Events
1905 Royal Fremantle Golf Club was established on an A-Class Reserve of about 196 acres
1906 Nine holes became playable
1907 Fremantle Ladies Golf Club was formed
1907 Official Opening by the Governor of Western Australia
1909 Royal Fremantle became the first Eighteen Hole Golf Club in Western Australia
1911 The New Clubhouse was built
1911 Royal Fremantle hosted the inaugural State Amateur Championship
1920s Interclub Competitions were held
1930 The Club achieved its Royal status
1968 The course undertakes a major redesign of 3 holes
2005 Centenary Year
2019 Vote to change the constitution to a “One-Club” membership passed
His Excellency the Honourable Christopher John Dawson AC APM
His Excellency the Honourable Chris Dawson AC APM was sworn in as the 34th Governor of Western Australia on 15 July 2022.
The Dawson family have been part of the early colonial settlers over five generations of farming and law enforcement. The Governor’s great-great-grandparents arrived in the then Swan River colony in Western Australia in 1830.
Chris Dawson AC APM was educated at Perth Modern School before joining the Western Australia Police Force in 1976, going on to provide 46 years of service in Australian law enforcement.
He served in country and metropolitan positions, criminal investigation, training and senior roles. The Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2002 saw him awarded the Australian Police Medal for distinguished service.
After 10 years as Deputy Commissioner, he left WA for a national role in Canberra between 2014 to 2017 as Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Crime Commission, amalgamating several agencies into the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. He also served as Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology during this period.
He was appointed Commissioner of the Western Australia Police Force in August 2017, serving until July 2022. During the period of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Commissioner Dawson coordinated the State of Emergency and the Vaccine program.
In the Australia Day Honours List for 2023, Governor Dawson was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to public administration through law enforcement roles, to reconciliation, and as the 34th Governor appointed in Western Australia.
He is married to Darrilyn Dawson, Education Consultant, with two married children and five grandchildren.
Minjee started out at Royal Fremantle as a Junior, working her way through the Cadet System. She had a clear gift for the game, as she piled on the Junior Tournament wins, and started to win Women events. Being part of multiple WA State Girls and Women’s Teams, Minjee thought it was time in 2015 to turn Professional. From there till now, she has achieved the following-
- 1x Major Winner
- 6x LPGA Tour Winner
- 2x Ladies European Tour Winner
- 2x Australian Olympic Golf Team (2016,2020)
Minjee is a clear star in Worldwide and Australian Golf, and we are sure that there are many more Tournaments and Majors to be put in her trophy cabinet.
For all extensive info on Minjee Lee, Click Here
MIN WOO LEE
Much like his sister, Min Woo joined Royal Fremantle at a young age to start his quest for golfing greatness. Quickly working his way through the ranks, Min Woo was selected on multiple WA State Boys and Men’s Teams. Whilst also adding “Youngest Royal Fremantle Club Champion” to the list. With 2 WA State Amateur wins, as well as Interstate Amateur Events, Min Woo turned to the Professional side in 2019. He ran out of the blocks, coming in a Tie for 4th at his first European Tour Event in Saudi Arabia.
Min Woo has won twice on the European Tour, with his first coming on home soil, at the 2020 Victorian Open.
Min Woo had a relatively quiet year throughout the rest of 2020, with a few top 10s and 5s thrown in there.
It was in Scotland where Min Woo came through again, taking out the 2021 Scottish Open, against the likes of Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Xander Shcauffele
We are sure there are many more highlights of Min Woo to come.
For all extensive info on Min Woo Lee, Click here
Joining Royal Fremantle back in 2007, Oliver under the guidance of member and father, Darren Goss, was able to become a clear star here at the Club.
Taking out back to back to back Junior Club Championships in 2009,2010 and 2011, Oliver did the double and won the 2011 Men’s Club Championships as well.
In 2012, he went even better, as he became one of the only Amateurs to win the WA State Am and the WA Open in the same year.
2013 marked the end of Oliver’s time in Australia, as he received a full scholarship to play for the University of Tenessee in America. Whilst over there he played in numerous National Events, the most significant being his performance in the 2013 US Amateur, where he came up agonisingly short and runner-up, to eventual world star, Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Although Runner-up was enough to secure himself a spot in both the 2014 US Masters and the 2014 US Open.
The Master was where Oliver really showed the world who he was, making the cut and winning the Low-Amateur Honours.
Turning Pro after the US Open in 2014, Oliver got some starts on the PGA Tour, where he found himself leading a tournament after 2 days, paired with Marc Leishman.
Oliver now coaches at Royal Fremantle Golf Club. Click below to book a lesson.
Another Junior to come through our system, was the current PGA Tour Player, Greg Chalmers. Greg won the 1989 Junior and Men’s Club Championships, at the tender age of 15. He would go on to win the Junior title once again in 1992, then completing his Amateur career at Royal Fremantle with a win in the 1993 Royal Fremantle Amateur.
Greg would go on to win the Australian Amateur in 1993 and the French Open in 1994 still as an amateur.
Chalmers turned professional in 1995, but really kicked into gear in 1997, when he won on the Challenge Tour and the Australiasian Tour.
The lefty career has consisted of two Australian Open wins, two Australian PGA Championship wins, and one win on the PGA Tour at the Barracuda Championship in 2016.
To see all up to date information on Greg Chalmers, Click here