The Coast Golf & Recreation Club was officially opened in May 1965 by Sir John Marks, Chairman of the Board of The Prince Henry Hospital.
Prince Henry Hospital commenced it's working life as a quarantine facility at the end of the 19th Century and was originally quite a remote area of Sydney, toward the end of the tram line to La Perouse, on the beach side of the northern peninsular of Botany Bay. The original hospital was known as the Coast hospital.
The following excerpt from" A Coast Chronicle - The History of Prince Henry Hospital" by Clement R Boughton illustrates the early history of the Club.
"The hospital has had a golf course since about 1922 for staff recreation. At various times large numbers of the staff were under voluntary quarantine, while the isolation of the Coast discouraged frequent trips away from the hospital.
"Many fine golfers hacked their way around the original course, whose holes boasted a series of exotic names: "The Ditch", "The Coast", "St.Michael's", "The Scrub" (a flagrant understatement), "Hookers Hate", "The Trap", "The Bank" (hitting beyond the green and over the road into Ward 22 placed the ball Out Of Bounds), "Herdsman's Carry" (a par-4 across a patch of matted jungle towards the old herdsman's cottage) and "Last Hope' (par-5, self-explanatory). Dr. George Lumley (RMO 1927-28) said that the course par was set by Jim Ferrier, then New South Wales Champion.
Sir Harold Dickinson was CEO of Prince Henry Hospital from 1960-63 and during this time the Board decided to resurrect the golf course, a staff amenity which had fallen on hard times, in order to protect the coastline and preserve the foreshores of Little Bay as open space.
Staff members from Prince Henry and Prince of Wales Hospitals and the University of New South Wales were invited to become Foundation members of The Coast Golf & Recreation Club.
The old hospital laundry was designated to become the Licensed premises for the golf club. The building being a "u" shaped brick construction with the northern aspect in weatherboard. Initial renovations in 1969 filled in the "u" shape to create a function room.
Members volunteered many hours in working bees to form the course into a "respectable" layout and restore areas that had been used as a tip by the hospital. An additional source of labour was provided by the nearby Long Bay Gaol, as the 1966 Annual Report from Prince Henry reads: "With the co-operation of the Department of Prisons, progress was made to restore the foreshores surrounding Little Bay." The course was finally an 18-hole layout by the early 1970's, with native flora being retained wherever possible. Membership was opened up so that people from outside of the hospital and university communities could enjoy the facility.
In order to complement the excellent 18 hole golf course (on which qualifying rounds have been played for entrance to the Australian Open Golf Championship and the Australian Professional Golfers' Association Championship, as well as a number of State Golf Championships) the Board saw the need to upgrade the Clubhouse and it's facilities.
In 1997 the clubhouse was internally renovated. Heritage consultants, Godden Mackay identified significant aspects to be retained and incorporated into the renovated facility.
As the building had such a long working life, not much of the original 19th Century design had remained intact, however the key features of the iron roof-scape, wooden "A" frame supports and the original style windows were kept as heritage features. The previously hidden vistas to sea were opened up with the enclosure of the balcony and the installation of large windows along the north and east facing rooms.
Upgrades have allowed the kitchen to service a 120 seat dining facility which is very popular for weddings and as an a la carte restaurant, plus bistro meals for a wider audience.
With the closure and sale of Prince Henry Hospital, the course moved into the transitional ownership of Landcom. The Club was granted a long term lease (75 years) and began its next phase of renovation and upgrade work.
The establishment of a residential neighbourhood around the golf course led to some course redesign, chiefly the 7th and 10th holes. The revised layout being a par-70. Upgrades to electrical supply enabled air-conditioning of the clubhouse (early 2007) and a new Pro shop and cart storage facility were completed at the end of 2006.
The course has continued to improve over the past decade with ongoing improvements to fairway drainage, cart paths and two new greens on the 13th and 9th holes. With the introduction of a bent green nursery in 2014, the Club will continue to replace at least one green every two years.