Whaleback Golf Course was opened on 9 January 1981 by then Mayor Ern Clark.

In the 1970s a private golf course in Riverton was closed and the land was developed for housing. At the time the City recognised the need to provide opportunity for public golfing and in 1976 $80,000 was allocated for the development of a golf course.

Sitting on Crown Land, the land was chosen as it provided a buffer for Parkwood residents between the industrial area of Canning Vale and the noise of Roe Highway.

The shape of the land resembled that of a whale and the road running along the north side followed the "whale's back" – hence the name of Whaleback Avenue and the name of the new golf course.



Pictured above (left) is Mayor Ern Clark at the opening in 1981, with a re-enactment photo (right) taken on the 40th anniversary in 2021 with Mayor Patrick Hall. Pictured in both is Peter Hopkins, who has been the Golf Course Controller since opening day.

Since the opening of Whaleback Golf Course many improvements have been made to add to the golfing experience and keep it modern.

Have a walk down memory lane:

Driving Range

In late 2002 the two-storey day/night driving range was completed. Toptracer Range was introduced in June 2019, just the second facility in Australia to offer virtual ball-tracking technology, that tracks ball speed, accuracy, and distance of every shot in every bay.



The entrance to the golf course has undergone some change over the years. Below are photos from 1985, 1992, and 2020.

Whaleback Entrance 1985

Whaleback entrance

Whaleback entrance 1992

Whaleback entrance 2020

1st tee

The 1st tee before and after landscaping in 1997.

Whaleback 1st tee

Maintenance Shed

The Maintenance Shed was upgraded in 1992, below are the before and after photos.

Whaleback Old Maintenance Shet

Whaleback maintenance shed

While playing the course, you may see these unusual buildings around the 6th, 7th, and 8th fairways.


Whaleback Bunker

The buildings were originally part of a secret radar station built during WWII. The two buildings are integral to each other, as one was used as the operations room and the other its support generator room.

According to advice provided by past service personnel, the site previously included timber-framed structures used as living quarters. The remaining structures were required to run the Radar Station, hence their concrete construction.

In 2018 the City and the R.A.A.F. Association of W.A. investigated the history of the station and discovered that the station came into operation on 16 September 1943. It had seven commanding officers, the last being appointed on 1 April 1946.

On 15 November 1996 as part of Australia Remembers 1945 – 1995, then Mayor Lekias attended a small ceremony with veterans at the site and unveiled a plaque which reads:

"These bunkers mark the site of R.A.A.F. Ground Control Interception Radar Station Number 144, operated here from 1943 to 1945.

This plaque has been mounted as part of 'Australia Remembers 1945 - 1995' by the Radar Group of the W.A. R.A.A.F.A. with the assistance of the NSW Radar Branch of the R.A.A.F.A. NSW"

Attendance at the commemorative event included R.A.A.F. ex-personnel who were stationed here during WWII.

The bunkers have since been re-purposed to accommodate local community groups. Scouts have been in occupation from before 1976 and the Girl Guides' use of the small building commenced some years later.

History acknowledgment: City of Canning Heritage Services, whalebackgolf.com.au
Photo acknowledgment: Australia @ War by Peter Dunn (ozatwar.com)

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