Golf was first played at Southport in 1924.

That short sentence sparks a few questions.

Why 1924?

After World War I, there was a boom in the construction of municipal golf courses and golf clubs in Queensland. Wynnum was formed in 1921, Sandgate in 1922 and Goodna (now Gailes) in 1924.

Southport was a thriving holiday resort in 1924, but it was in competition for holiday makers with Redcliffe and Sandgate and the town council thought that a golf course would add to the offerings for visitors to the coast.

The Brisbane Courier on February 2, 1924, noted “The popularity of Southport as a holiday resort is undoubted, and one of its chief attractions in the future will be the golf links.”

Why at our current location?

The land was owned by South Coast Recreations and included a cinema and hotel. South Coast Recreations had bought the land from a local dairy farmer, Mr Holden and a 9-hole golf course was built on the land.

The land was quite a way from the built-up area of Southport and on the road to Meyer’s Ferry which transported people to Main Beach.

Photo: Aerial view of Southport circa 1925. The photographer is unidentified, and the Gold Coast Libraries Local Studies Collection is the source of the image..

What was Southport like in 1924?

In 1924, Southport was a small town of approximately 3,500 people and was a flourishing holiday destination for Brisbane residents and country people.

Meyer’s Ferry was a very important institution as it linked Southport to the beaches across the Nerang River as there were no bridges yet completed across the river.

1924 was the era before Surfers Paradise even existed. The beach area of Elston was not renamed Surfers Paradise until 1933. The first Surfers Paradise Hotel was not built until 1925 and the Jubilee Bridge did not open until 1925 which connected Southport to the beaches.

Photo: Meyer’s Ferry in the 1920s – The photographer is unidentified, and the Gold Coast Libraries Local Studies Collection is the source of the image.

Southport’s history

The township of Southport had grown since it was first surveyed in 1875 in a location that was known as Nerang Creek Heads. The population in 1881 was 230 people.

In 1885, Queensland Governor Musgrave built a holiday home on a hill just north of Southport which led to the surrounding coastal area gaining the reputation as a resort for Brisbane’s wealthy and influential. Once a railway line was extended in 1889 to the coast, numerous guesthouses and hotels were soon established up and down the coastline.

Interesting historical snippet

In 1903 the Australian handbook described Southport’s main institutions and holiday services: