Ben’s great highlights

By Robert Muir

Ben Nowell, who turns 90-years-of-age this Friday, June 5 has many great memories of Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort, especially the time the course became Australia’s largest public access golf course.

“The highlight of my life at the golf club was the building and opening of the Murray Course in 1986,” he told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.

Ben’s title was club curator but the title of course superintendent – as it is known today – is a far more appropriate name for the important and complex role.

He was in charge of course operations from 1962 to 1990 and said another highlight was working with the two Murray Course designers Thomson/Wolveridge.

“It was great to work with them. They were just so good – so precision accuracy with everything,” Ben said.

“I had very loyal staff. I started with two and finished with 20. The only tractor we had was an old Ferguson.”

Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort is beautiful according to the about to be four score and ten year old. ”I never thought it would be anything like this when I started in 1959,” Ben said.

It has been the contributions of people like Ben, who was a club director for 12 years and so actively involved in bowls at the club, which has the club resort in such high regard. 

Of his imminent 90th, he said: “I’m glad to make it! I’m in fairly good health – you’ve got to have a lot of luck. I have a great wife (Myra).”

Club president Gil Cunningham described Ben as “as a great story, a great historian of the club”. “Ben was our course superintendent and the great quality we have today of our courses can in an appreciable way be attributed to him – he had great input with creation of the Murray Course,” the president said.