The Royal Melbourne Golf Club organized
an annual event known as the Victorian Golf Cup which Harry Howden won three consecutive years from 1896.
Two years later the tournament became known as the amateur championship of Australia and the winner of the
Victorian Golf Cup was officially recognized as the Australian amateur champion. Harry Howden was four-times
amateur champion and his brother Jim Howden was champion in 1899 and 1900. Harry Howden won the Royal
Melbourne Cup in 1897, 1899, 1900 and he died of tuberculosis in 1922.
Louis A. Whyte (left) was the first winner of the Australian Amateur Championship in 1894. Whyte was a
member of Geelong Golf Club in Victoria State. The Amateur Championship was organized by Royal Melbourne
Golf Club and played over the Caulfield Links. The site is now occupied by a park near the junction of
Hawthorn and Balaclava Roads. Louis A. Whyte committed suicide in 1911 aged 59 years. Harry Howden is
pictured on the right.
Robert A.A. Balfour-Melville (above) emigrated to Australia in 1877. Robert and his twin brother John
were born in Bonnington Brae House in Edinburgh. Robert was an accountant and outstanding sportsman,
he resided in Fernhill Road in the district of Sandringham in Sydney and his uncle J. L. Balfour Melville
lived in McLauchlin Avenue, Sandringham. R.A.A.Balfour Melville won the Victorian Golf Cup in 1895 and
is listed as the Australian Amateur Champion that year.