|In many countries golf is regarded as an elite sport, particularly
as golf courses require expanses of land, often in urban areas.
In Australia plentiful space and our sporting culture has
ensured a strong following of the sport.
Both the Australian Golf Club in Sydney and the Royal
Melbourne Golf Club can lay claim to being the oldest golf
club in the country. While the Australian was founded in 1882,
it did not operate between 1888 and 1895. Royal Melbourne,
although founded later on in 1891, has been in continuous
operation, making it the longest functioning club.
Despite their longevity, neither club can claim to be the oldest
golf course in Australia. The Bothwell course in Tasmania was
established in 1839, and may well have been the first golf
course in the Southern Hemisphere. The first game was played
there by Scotsman Alexander Reid, who brought with him from
Scotland clubs and the standard golf balls of the day called