Nomads Australia – The History
Wayne Richardson and Johan Landsberg, two ex-Southern Natal Nomads from South Africa, re-met in Sydney in early 2001 having both migrated earlier to Australia. Missing the camaraderie and the friendships formed during Nomads events they decided that they would explore interest from fellow golfers and friends to try and emulate the fundamental objectives of Nomads to form an Australian Nomads Golf Club. Planning sessions started over several “Braai’s and the first “fly the flag” game was held at Gordon Golf Club in July of 2003. 19 participants attended the day and post-game learned more from Wayne and Johan about the true objectives of Nomads – "furtherance of golf, support of those less fortunate than ourselves and fellowship”. These objectives are well entrenched in Nomads and always encouraged by having a great time doing this in a disciplined and organised way through the medium of Golf.
Support and approval were sought from the South Africa Nomads Executive to establish an Australian Nomads Golf Club and have the use of the Nomads brand and the established badging logos. This was granted under the condition that the fundamental objectives and rules of play remain the same as that of the South African Nomads Club.
Interest and support were such that the Nomads Australia Club was formally inaugurated in December 2003 with 48 Founder Members. Wayne Richardson was elected the Founding Captain and Johan Landsberg the Founding Vice-Captain to continue the growth of the club. Wayne approached Peter Thomson who agreed to be the Nomads Golf Club Australia Patron. After Peter Thomson’s passing in 2018, NATEX approached Jack Newton to become the Patron of Nomads in Australia which he accepted.
Based on the growth of its membership it was decided in 2005 to split the Nomads Australia Club in two. Hence Sydney North and the Sydney Hills Clubs were formed. To ensure that the new clubs continued to grow and follow the constitution and rules of play the Australian National Executive was also formed. Wayne Richardson was unanimously elected the President and Johan Landsberg the Vice-President to ensure the Club grew under the Nomads objectives. Johan produced a draft constitution that reflected the local conditions in Australia. It was decided at this point to retain the Blue colours as the Nomads Australia colours and new colours were selected for the two Sydney Clubs.
Johan Landsberg coordinated the first Charity day in 2005 which raised $23,000 for the Starlight Foundation. This started the annual Charity day where the Vice-Captain of each Nomad Club has the privilege to select a Charity and coordinate the Charity Golf Day to raise funds. Since our first Charity day in 2005 until 2019, Nomads Charity days have raised well over $750,000 for various Charities, donated over $200,000 to the Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation and over $16,000 for other Furtherance of Golf ventures. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 no Charity days were hosted in 2020.
Regrettably, the initial burst of enthusiasm displayed by the Sydney Hills Club was not sustained and its members were reincorporated into the Sydney North Club in December 2006.
Wayne Richardson moved up to Queensland in 2006 and together with ex-Gauteng Nomad Paul McIlroy saw an opportunity to establish a Nomads Golf Club in Brisbane which incorporated a social golf group called the Springaroo’s. With the permission of the Springaroo’s members and after a trial period of five months, the club was inaugurated as Nomads Golf Club Brisbane on 27th July 2008, with 46 founder members.
With two strong clubs now forming the foundation of Nomads in Australia, it was decided to host the first Australian Nomads National Golf Tournament in 2009. Wayne Richardson officiated and coordinated a very well supported successful Nationals Tournament at Noosa Springs on the Queensland Sunshine Coast. Well supported from New Zealand and Southern African Nomads this tournament has now become the highlight in Nomads Australia’s playing calendar.
In 2011 the growth of the Nomads Sydney Club once again warranted the establishment of a second club in the area. The Sydney South Club was inaugurated under the captaincy of Tony Gooding and a small group of members from the Sydney North Club. Although our smallest club, with strong leadership we expect good growth for the Sydney South club in the next few years.
The fourth Nomads Club in Perth was founded in July 2013 with a founding membership of 47 eager participants. The club membership now has a mix of South Africans, Zimbabweans, Brits, New Zealanders, and Australians which is testament to the core values of the Nomads organisation as a whole. The Perth Club continues to grow steadily and hosted their first National Tournament in 2015 at The Vines.
The fifth Nomads Golf Club in Australia is Sunshine Coast Nomads in Queensland and was inaugurated in October 2014 with a founding membership of 49 members. The Club has had tremendous growth and hosted their first National Tournament in 2018.
The National President of Nomads Australia along with an invited contingency travel to South Africa to participate in the South African National Tournament each year. This is a great experience being a part of the largest amateur tournament in the world and a wonderful week of fun, camaraderie and meeting members from all Nomad Clubs around the world.
The possibilities for future Nomads Clubs within Australia are endless and whilst assistance is readily given to those wanting to form a Nomads Golf Club in other Australian States and Cities, the over-riding consideration for acceptance is that, allowing for modifications which are necessitated by local circumstances, the fundamental Principles of the SA Nomads and Australian Constitution are upheld - "furtherance of golf, support of those less fortunate than ourselves and fellowship".
More details of the Constitution and our rules of play are available on the website and the following link provides details on the foundation of Nomads in South Africa – (Introduction to our founder, Mike Florance)