History of a prominent Sydney golf club, founded in 1931 by Jews in response to the discrimination they experienced in many other golf clubs.
Golf is a game that doesn't care who you are, what you have, who you know, what you look like, what you believe, or how you behave off the course. Golf should be the most inclusive and democratic of all games.
But prejudice and mean-spiritedness have pervaded the game said to have been made in heaven. Jewish golfers in the 1930s and 1940s weren't able to join the top Sydney clubs. They played at courses that gave them special time slots or even, in one notable case, an army hut as their separate clubhouse. It was demeaning and hurtful, especially to people who were good citizens and who contributed to the national enterprise. They tired of the patronising tolerance of some clubs and the seeming generosity, but golfing segregation, imposed by others.
Post-World War II, Jewish golfers had had enough and decided to form their own club - not out of a desire to be clannish, 'tribal' or exclusive, but as a way of breaking out of the traditional New South Wales Jewish philosophy of being 'non-distinctive', of succumbing to pervasive, perhaps even 'genteel', antisemitism. Their bold decision to assert a visible Jewish presence took the form of finding some land, borrowing some money and building their own course.
This is the story of Jews in New South Wales, their attitudes and values, their social and sporting institutions from 1931. It is a course of history that led not to a club for Jews but to a Jewish club open to everyone. It is a significant slice of Australian history - of prejudice and anti-prejudice; of meanness and generosity; of cultural psychological, social and physical hurdles to be overcome before being able to confront another of life's difficult obstacles - golf.