A Brief History of
Pioneer Valley Golf Club Inc
The Pioneer Valley Golf Club is a relatively young club with the official opening in 1984.
It started life as a parcel of 21 hectares of virgin cattle country and light forest land and within two years had become a nine hole golf course.
In February 1982 a meeting was called at the Marian Community Hall to gauge interest in a proposed golf club in the area. A steering committee was formed with the local Marian Police Sergeant, Tom McGurgan, elected as the inaugural President and the Marian Mill Timekeeper, Brian Fiegert, elected the inaugural Secretary.
By October that year, the steering committee, after investigating a number of prospective sites within the district, was offered a 21 hectare parcel of land on Leichhardt Road, Mirani, which was owned and controlled by the Department of Natural Resources.
Fifty-five Foundation members provided the initial financial impetus for the club.
The late Mr Bren Alman, who at the time was the Professional at Mackay Golf Club, assisted with the design of the original nine holes ( the present back nine) of the club. While sitting at the Mirani Hotel one afternoon he was asked for his advice and on the back of a beer coaster, he drew nine lines which eventually became the club's nine holes.
Interested people volunteered their time and machinery to commence carving out the course from the virgin forest land. Farmers with tractors spent hundreds of hours clearing, slashing and shaping the design.
By Opening Day on 25 March 1984 the club had 130 members. The original Club House was constructed from four portable "dongas", purchased from a near-by construction site.
Eventually the present Club House was constructed and opened on 8 June 1991, by the State Member for Mirani, Mr Jim Randell.
The club was called "The Valley Golf Club", however the name was changed to The Pioneer Valley Golf Club after its Incorporation on 31 August, 1988, when it was discovered that another Valley Golf Club existed elsewhere.
The modern-minded club gave women equal status as full members, unlike most clubs of the time where women were only granted an associate membership. Indeed, two ladies, Mrs Judith Hall and Mrs Jo Doyle were elected onto the inaugural governing committee at the time of the club's opening.
As the club grew, the next progression was to a full eighteen hole golf course. There was a major difficulty in that the club was not able to access the land adjacent to the club house as it was privately owned cattle country and the eighteen holes would have to be built in a row with no way back to the club house after nine holes. Brisbane golf course designer, Mr David Burrup, was called in to create an interesting layout for the second nine holes on the available land, incorporating a 65 megalitre dam, which would be constructed for irrigation purposes. Again volunteer labour was used to build the second nine holes, which were opened in 1998, in time to run the Club's first North Queensland Men's Open Amateur Championships.
After a short time, with the club suffering severe loss of club house income and with the logistical problems of eighteen holes of continuous play in running major club events, the Committee of the day decided to "bite the bullet" and purchase the land adjacent to the club house from the Curran family and to construct two extra holes which would allow the vital access back to the club house. Hence holes now numbered 1 and 9 were opened a short time later and complete the present design that players enjoy today. The $120,000.00 loan involved in securing the land to develop the final two holes was fully paid off in 2011.
At the Club's tenth Anniversary Dinner Dance in March 1994, foundation member, Mr Robert Craig, was presented with a Life Membership to honour his ten years of active volunteer service in the construction and ongoing maintenance and development of the Course.
1999 was a year of innovations as the main competition day was changed from Sunday to Saturday and we played host to a new district event, The Zone 1 Championships, in which Pioneer Valley took out the Best Club Award. Pioneer Valley also hosted all four divisions of the men's pennant finals as well as the junior pennant final.
In July 2000 Pioneer Valley staged its inaugural Platypus Purse Pro Am and this was to become a regular premier event on the club calendar.
In 2005 the club was successful in achieving three different government grants for a beginners clinic, a new fairways mower and most importantly a $50,000.00 Federal Government Community Water Grant to pipe and pump treated waste water from the Mirani Treatment Works on Eungella Road to our course dam for fairways irrigation.
The club has continued to grow and develop and has become an integral part of the Pioneer Valley, providing employment to both full time and part time staff, a first class golf course for competition and social golfers from near and far, a learning centre for up and coming junior golfers and a social outlet for the community as a whole.