Oral History Project

Recognising the need to record our living history, the Society initiated its Oral History Project in 2013. Since then, Carol McKirdy from History Herstory has interviewed some of the outstanding past personalities of golf in Australia, and drawn out their thoughts on many aspects of the game.

Each of the interviews is available here, with the length and file size listed - e.g. (1:07:15 -  61.57 mb).

Full interviews are also available for listening at the Museum any time during our normal hours of operation.

The Australian Golf Heritage Society owns the copyright of these interviews in all formats. Reproduction for purposes other than private study or research requires direct written permission from the Society. Any permitted reproduction of copyright material, including fair dealing, must acknowledge the AGHS as the owner of the material.

1. Tom Moore

Tom Moore
 Tom Moore's career in golf started as a 16-
 year-old in 1947 at Asquith Golf Club, and - a
 bit like Johnnie Walker - is still going strong.
  His professional career began in 1953, and
 saw him serve at Bert Oldfield's Sports Store,
 at Muirfield Golf Club for 23½ years, and at
 the Auburn Municipal Golf Course for a
 further 20 years.

 In this interview, Tom explains the life of a club
 professional in the 1950s, 60s & 70s, the way
 that equipment has changed and evolved in
 his experience and the role he played in
 establishing the heritage golf movement in
 Recorded 15 March 2013.

Play the complete Tom Moore interview (1:07:15 -  61.57 mb) 
Interview Transcript Click here for full interview transcipt.

2. Dan Cullen

Dan Cullen
 With a dream of being a Club Professional,
 Dan Cullen entered his first pro shop at the 
 age of  14 completing a Traineeship at the
 Western Australian Golf Club under the
 guidance of Eric Alberts.

 He won the 1937 and 1938 W.A. Opens,
 and in 1939 defeated Bobby Locke in an
 exhibition Royal Perth Golf Club. He  moved
 to Sydney, and by 1941 was in the  RAAF.

 Dan passed away in January 2016 aged 101,
 and we were indeed privileged to share the
 insight into his long, varied, and fruitful life
 that he provided here.
 Recorded 28 March 2013.

Play the complete Dan Cullen interview (1:08:55 - 63.10 mb)

3. Edgar Oakman

Edgar Oakman
 In his 60 years as a professional, Edgar
 Oakman has done time in the workshops of 
 Carnegie Clark (under the direction of
 Carnegie himself), and then worked at the
 Avondale, Killara, Moss Vale, Rabaul,
 Dunedin,  Katoomba, Nelsons Bay, and
 Wentworth Falls Golf Clubs.
 In addition to telling the story of his long,
 interesting and varied life, Edgar also explains
 the genesis of the 'Edgar Oakman Collection'
 which today graces the Australian Golf
 Heritage Society's Museum at Granville.
 Recorded 22 April 2013.

Play the complete Edgar Oakman interview (1:38:35 - 90.26 mb)
Full interview transcript Click here for full interview transcipt.

4. Alex & Dave Mercer

Dave & Alex Mercer
 One of golf's great double acts, Alex and
 Dave Mercer discuss their respective careers
 that began in the 1950s and are still going

 Their strong backgrounds in teaching give a
 different perspective on the role of the club
 professional, and their views on the changes
 in equipment over the years are insightful.

 The also speak with some authority on the
 PGA, and the changes that the organisation
 has undergone over the years.
 Recorded 30 September 2014.

Play the complete Dave & Alex Mercer interview (1:23:41 - 76.61 mb)

5. Frank Phillips

Frank Phillips
 With 17 wins on the PGA Tour of Australasia -
 including two Australian Opens - and the 
 national Opens of the Philippines, Singapore, 
 Malaysia and Hong Kong, it is easy to see
 why Frank Philips was rated as one of the
 best ball strikers of his era.

 In this interview, Frank discusses his life and 
 professional career, and shares his thoughts
 on golf in Australia in the 50s and 60s, the
 best players he ever saw and how they
 compare to the players of today, his choice of
 the best courses, and his philosophy on the
 Recorded 21 March 2015.

Play the complete Frank Phillips interview (1:25:22 - 78.15 mb).

6. Margery McWilliam

Margery McWilliam
 Margery McWilliam's life was steeped in golf.

 Encouraged by her father to take up golf after
 being injured playing hockey, Margery
 married professional Bill McWilliam and
 naturally followed him as he moved from
 country NSW, to metropolitan NSW, to
 Malaysia, and then back to metropolitan NSW.

 Her more than considerable contribution to
 women's golf in NSW is discussed at length,
 as is her similar career in club golf.

 Margery has been honoured by the NSW
 Sports Federation, NSW Sports Awards, and
 with an Order of Australia for services to golf.
 Recorded 7 June 2015.

Play part one of the Margery McWilliam interview (53:45 - 49.22 mb).

Play part two of the Margery McWilliam interview (22:53 - 20.95 mb).

7. Edwina Kennedy

Edwina Kennedy
 The name Edwina Kennedy is familiar to any
 student of Australian golf.

 Allegedly presented with her first set of clubs  
 at the age of two, Edwina joined the 
 Wentworth Falls Golf Club at the age of seven
 and had broken 100 by the following year.

 At sixteen, she won the Australian foursomes
 with Sue Goldsmith, and then the Australian
 junior championship four years in a row.
 In 1978, on her nineteenth birthday, Edwina
 became the first Australian to win the British
 Women's Amateur Golf Championship.
 Recorded 5 January 2016.

Play the complete Edwina Kennedy interview (1:45:15 - 96.30 mb)

The AGHS 'Women in Golf' project is supported by Arts NSW's Cultural Grant Program, a devolved funding program administered by the Royal Australian Historical Society on behalf of the NSW Government.

8. Marea Hickey

Marea Hickey
 At the age of 10 Marea was given a cut down 
 hickory shafted club by her parents, so that
 she could have a hit when she strolled around
 the golf course.

 Showing great potential, Marea came under
 the coaching of Gosford Golf Club pro Peter
 Churcher who was a firm believer that Marea
 was born to be a golfer.

 In 1962 Marea joined the L.G.U Coaching
 Squad and as this was her last year at school,
 she entered in the NSW Schoolgirls Golf
 Championships. This was her first competition
 and with surprise she won!

 Marea was the youngest woman to win both
 the Australian and New Zealand Titles in the 
 same year (1964), at the age of 18.
 Recorded 15 March 2016.

Play the complete Marea Hickey interview (1:12:40 - 66.53 mb)

The AGHS 'Women in Golf' project is supported by Arts NSW's Cultural Grant Program, a devolved funding program administered by the Royal Australian Historical Society on behalf of the NSW Government.


9. Judy Perkins

Judy Perkins
 As a youngster in Goulburn, Judy Perkins
 showed promise early by reducing her
 handicap from 36 to 4 in a matter of eleven 

 From practicing around the Goulburn
 course with fellow member Bruce Devlin as a
 15 year old, to winning the Australian 
 Foursomes Championship, becoming a 
 NSW rep player, representing Australia
 locally and overseas, being twice Australian
 Amateur champion, being recently made a
 life member of the ALPG, and still playing
 golf  off a single figure handicap, Judy's
 story is nothing but fascinating.
 Recorded 13 May 2016.

Play the complete Judy Perkins interview (1:11:18 - 65.28 mb)

The AGHS 'Women in Golf' project is supported by Arts NSW's Cultural Grant Program, a devolved funding program administered by the Royal Australian Historical Society on behalf of the NSW Government.

10. Noel Bartell

Noel Bartell
 Noel's record in amateur golf was nothing
 short of outstanding.

 From the early 1950s until the late 1990s, 
 Noel's golfing resume included national,
 State and club honours, including the unique
 achievement of two NSW Champion of
 Champions victories, and 48 club
 championship events at NSW Golf Club.

 In this interview, Noel reflects on his life,
 his outstanding and prolonged playing
 record, his administrative experiences, and
 the time he spent over the years with various
 golfing identities.
 Recorded 7 October 2016.

Play the complete Noel Bartell interview ( 1:27:02 - 79.68 mb)

Interview Transcript Click here for Noel's playing record.


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