The Royal Sydney Golf Club

The Championship Course has evolved over the past 100 years, but never with a single design vision to guide its development

It is now demonstrating the inevitable consequences of the lack of a cohesive long-term philosophy and land management strategy. This is reflected in its Australian golf course ranking declining from 4th to 48th in the past 30 years and has coincided with growing broader community concern with long-term environmental issues including water efficiency, climate change and biodiversity (all issues raised in Woollahra Council’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy).

In an effort to meet these dual environmental and sporting challenges, the Club has embarked on an ambitious long-term plan. It will require some ‘sacrifice’ in the early years, especially with the understandably emotive issue of tree removal. However, short term pain will result in major long term gains. It is proposed that 595 trees be removed from the property and be replaced with 1,888 new trees of very diverse native species – resulting in an actual net increase of 1,293 trees on the course itself.

A ‘do-nothing’ option is not a viable proposition.

This is due to a combination of factors – the ageing infrastructure will need renewal and rationalisation; the dominance of senescent and mature age trees suggests hundreds of trees will need to be removed over the next decade or so; and the dramatic decline in the course’s rating reflects an on-going deterioration in a number of the course’s design elements and an increasingly-recognised lack of strategic intent within the course’s current layout.

RSGC believes the key elements of its proposed golf course renovation and landscape rehabilitation project, being contemporary, comprehensive and holistic, will significantly address all of these factors. The Club’s intent to be more environmentally friendly and to make necessary changes to the golf course are entirely compatible and could provide an excellent model for other land managers.

Why change?


Course Master Plan