TIRHATUAN – THE NAME
The first settler in all of the area east of Dandenong Creek was a Scottish Presbyterian minister, Rev James Clow, whose Corhanwarrabul pastoral run extended for approximately 36 square miles to the foot of the Dandenongs. In August 1838, Clow obtained the squatting rights for this land and he established his homestead in 1841 to the north of Wellington Road, a couple of hundred metres from the present bridge over the Dandenong Creek. He named his homestead “TIRHATUAN” which was believed to be the local Aboriginal word for the sugar glider possum that can still be found in the area.
James and his son had not been particularly successful squatters, but the purchase of two acres in Swanston Street, near the current Myer store site, eventually made them both wealthy men. It seems that the abandoned homestead eventually tumbled down in the 1860’s.
TIRHATUAN – THE COURSE
Many years ago the local shire, with commendable foresight, decided that, should the area ever be flooded, Dandenong must be saved. With this aim in mind, a retarding basin was built and Tirhatuan Park Golf Course was built within the retarding basin. The theory was that if a severe flood hits, then Dandenong would be protected and the course would be submerged. Thankfully this has never happened and there is probably little chance of an event in the future.
The first nine holes(currently the back 9 holes) were opened in November 1978, and the second nine holes(currently the front 9 holes) in February 1982. The head professional at that time and to this day is Brian Barugh. In recent years Brian has not only been responsible for directing golf, but also has taken on the maintenance of the course, which has undoubtedly led to an enhancement in the course presentation.
If you have never played the course before or haven’t played it for several years, take the time to venture down and I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.