Induction into the Hall Of Fame of Michael Church

Michael Church

Induction as a Hall of Fame Member of Northern Golf Club
Michael has been a member of Northern Golf Club for over 33 years since joining in 1985. In that time Michael’s love of the game and Northern Golf Club have become clearly obvious in his willingness to serve on many committees, giving both his time and expertise.
Michael has served on committees at Northern Golf Club from 1995, as a Committee Member, Vice Captain, Captain for 3 years, Vice President and eventually as President for 5 years from 2010 to 2015. He is proud of his leadership in writing the Club’s history, celebrating the Centenary in 2012 and rewriting the Club’s Constitution which has resulted in a document for the future and a reform of membership with new categories and opportunities.
He is a wealth of information and is happy to relate many stories about earlier times at Northern (some go on a little longer than one anticipates) but that’s the historian and school teacher coming out of him. His obvious love of history, especially golf history, sees him as an integral part of the Australian Golf Historical Society.
Michael has been a significant contributor to Junior Golf at Northern as well as to Golf Victoria for many years. He has run 44 junior tournaments at the Club, two per year, since 1997, even some girls-only events as well. He also introduced the Junior Medal in 1999 which gave girls the first opportunity to play on Saturdays. More recently he has turned his attention to Seniors Golf and introduced our own Veterans’ championships, held the Northern Senior Open for a number of years and started the North West Senior Pennant competition in 2010. Michael has also provided Junior and Senior reports for the Annual Report for past 20 years.
He is proud lover of pennant and has been a keen supporter of Northern’s Pennant teams over many years, both as a Team Manager or Club Official. He is noted for his journalistic reports and photographic talents which members have enjoyed. His Pennant Wrap reports are appreciated by all. Michael served as a Councillor on the Victorian Golf Association for many years and his time was highlighted by his involvement in interstate series matches and managing the State Junior team in Perth in 2006. He has made many friendships across Victorian golf and was nominated for Volunteer of the Year by the Golf Industry in 2104.
He is always keen to follow the traditions of the Club and to bring members together to enjoy each other’s company in the spirit of the club. If it was enjoyable in the old days why not try it again. However Michael was always willing to try new ventures and although not always successful he was there to give it a go; The Fedex Cup and Masters Breakfast. He and his wife Glenis are strong supporters of the Members and Reverse Draws.
Michael has worked tirelessly to develop and maintain the social aspects of golf at Northern introducing the mixed triangular events with Gisborne, Green Acres and Northern, and also promoting involvement in the Northern Melbourne Cup event with its annual Calcutta and he strongly encouraged mixed couples to play in the Divorce 4Ball.
Michael recognises the importance of encouraging social groups within the Club to develop friendships and camaraderie among members. He is the major force behind encouraging the Italian members and has re-introduced the Northern Italian Golf Day and supports other IGA events on our course.
Michael is keen golfer and while not a winner of the Club’s major tournaments has been successful in a number of 4Ball Match Play and Pro-Am events. He has won two Past Captains and Presidents competitions and other events while representing Northern and strongly promotes Northern at any opportunity.

Michael’s Contribution

General Committee/ Board
1995-1996 Elected Member General Committee (Committees served – Match, Membership, Junior)
1996-1999 Vice President (Chairman Membership, Match, House)
2000-2001 Vice-Captain (Chairman Match, Membership, Greens, Finance)
2001-2004 Captain (Chairman Match, Greens, Finance, Membership)
2005-2010 Vice President (Chairman Membership, Greens, Finance, Match)
2010-2015 President

1996-2000 Manager VGA City Zone (Northern zone) Premiers 2000
1997- Initiated City of Moreland Boys & Girls Tournament, now Northern Junior Open
1997- Initiated Mastercard, Ben Hogan, Taylor Made Junior Classic Tournaments
22nd year of Junior events 2018. (48 Juniors events held at Northern)
1998-2000 Manager District Junior Girls squads
2000- Introduced Northern Junior Medal, included girls
2000- Introduced Junior Match Play Championships
2000- Introduced Junior Club Championships (present format)
2006- Northern’s involvement with VGA Boys Championships – partnership with Yarra Yarra
Now GV Boys & Girls Championships – National event

2001- Club Senior Championships introduced – Veterans event
2007- Introduced Northern Senior Open (co-share with Gisborne 2 years, now Northern only)
2010- Initiated Senior Pennant Competition in District

Other Competitions
2001- Introduced Sunday Players Plate
2006- Co-ordinator Triangular Day (Northern, Gisborne, Green Acres)
2002-2017 Organised Melbourne Cup Day event – Calcutta 16 years
2001- Introduced Divorce 4 Ball – now sponsored by Reynolds/ Mitchell
2010- Fedex Cup competition – discontinued
2013 Introduced Italian Members annual event.

1999- Proposed 6 Life Members (J.Lawson, J. Hastie, J. Manning, E.Thorp, F.Mott, J. McCormack)
2001 Initiated Club Policy development program with Stuart Croft, Garry Theobald, Managers)
2000 Involved in CEO appointments (3) (Croft, Smith, Fisher)
2003 Chairman Club Professional appointment panel (Barradell)
2007- 2015 Represented Club on Golf Historians Society
2007- 2013 Commenced 2012 Centenary Year Project,
2007- 2013 Club History project (Brendan Moloney)
2012-2013 President Centenary Year
2008-2011 Chairman Articles Revision Committee
2010-2014 Chairman Practice Fairway land sale project – Meetings with Moreland City Council


1998-2018 Dads Army member

Victorian Golf Association 2003-2010
2003-2010 Elected to VGA Council.
2003-2010 Member Magazine Committee, Planning & Development Committee
2003-2010 Member VGA Junior Committee
2003-2010 Attendance at VGA Pennant matches as Rules Official & VGA Council Representative
2004-2010 Co-ordinator of VGA 4 Ball & Family events at various venues
2006 Represented VGA at opening of Moonah Links
2008-2010 Chairman VGA Seniors Committee – developed current GV Seniors program
2005-2010 Managed Junior Squads Country visits – Beaufort, Cobram-Barooga, Elmore, Bright, Euroa
2006 Manager Victorian State Junior Team (Perth)
2005-2010 Official Scorer Vic Opens at Woodlands, Spring Valley
2009 Rules Official – Interstate Series, Peninsula Golf & Country Club

Centenary Year Programs

February Official Opening Luncheon – Past & Present Captains & Presidents
April Northern Golf Land Company week
September Gala Dinner
September St Johns Week
December Golf Week – Mens/ Ladies re-union days
April 2013 Opening Day celebration – Cocktail Party

Golf Society of Australia 2007 – 2018
2007- 2018 Attended Golf Historians Forums (3 per year)
2017 Involved with GA Collections Committee/ Golf Museum project
2017 Elected to GSA Committee

In Michael’s own words…


Took 3 years to get elected – I blame my campaign manager (!) Alan Phelan. But it was a closed shop then.
Asked question in 1995: what do we do for Juniors? And won the job.

Started writing newsletters to the juniors – almost 80 but gave up when social media took over the news.

Am proud of my Junior & Senior initiatives:
Junior tournaments, pennant and the Junior medal which allowed girls to play on Saturdays – that took some effort to achieve.
Senior pennant, senior club championships and the Northern Senior Open which ran for 5 years but we were too far for players to come.

Have served on the Board for 18 years in a 20 year period – longer than any previous member.
3 stints –
Beaten by Davo for President in 2000,
retired after 3 years as Captain in 2004.
Made 2 comebacks,
President for 5 years to 2015. Reckoned I had done my share.

Nominated 6 life members, enjoyed the 6 years book writing project, five years on reforming the Constitution and the centenary year and all of the celebrations.

While all of that was going on I enjoyed 10 years on the VGA Council and was particularly honoured to be asked to manage our state junior team in Perth in 2006 – we didn’t win, and to be appointed chairman of the seniors committee in 2008. There was pennant and other junior teams too.

Now I’m on the Golf Society with Golf Australia and busy sometimes with the collection of books – soon to exceed 3000, golf magazines and hickory golf clubs. About to begin a club restoration project. It’s all in storage at the moment but we’ll have a museum at Sandringham one day to show it all.

I run the Italian golf day each year – a centenary project, enjoy working with Dads Army and I have a junior tournament coming up in December. And I called the Calcutta on cup day for 16 years.