Mystery of the golf balls

Information and photo obtained from the Murray Bridge Golf Club Inc Celebrating 100 Years booklet.
Information and photo obtained from the Murray Bridge Golf Club Inc Celebrating 100 Years booklet.

The game of golf was first played at Murray Bridge in 1904.

The first links were quite close to the town centre near the home of Bill (FW) Jaensch. It was later near the lagoon between Rocky Gully and the abattoirs.

The game lapsed during World War I.

The Murray Bridge Golf Club were then located on the property of Mr Benjamin Jaensch near Long Island, approximately two miles from the town.

The Jaensch family was a very hospitable one with five sons eager to play golf and entertain their friends with golfing and boating picnics.

The course was comprised of nine holes (later extended to 18) which took advantage of the natural land features.

Several of the holes were adjoining the river bank. There was an open channel between two holes of the golf course and many players, to their disgust, couldn't quite make the hole.

As the course was on private land there were difficulties in stabilising the layout of the golf course because of the farming activities and then part of the property was also sold, so they couldn't continue on the site.

Therefore the Long Island course was abandoned and the club went into recess during the Second World War.

Fortunately, in November 1945, a tract of land comprising about 75 acres adjoining the Murray Bridge Race Course became available.

At that time it was called Ritter's Paddock. The land was purchased at public auction.

(Information and photo obtained from the Murray Bridge Golf Club Inc Celebrating 100 years booklet).

Mr Wells, a market gardener on Long Island Road, had purchased eight acres of the Golf Course, to add to his own property at Long Island from Ben's son, Mr C A Jaensch in 1938.

Later when cleaning out the channel in preparation of putting a direct pipe from river to pump, they discovered hundreds of brown encrusted muddy looking eggs.

The Wells' boys filled two large sugar bags full of golf balls. These were golf balls that never made the channel crossing.

This property is now the home of a large retirement village.

Information told by Ken Wells

Murray Bridge & District Historical Society Inc

"A Community Saving Our Past"