Australia Golf

Win a Golfing Holiday Package for Two!

Win a Golfing Holiday Package for Two!

27/06/2022, Australia, Golf, Golf Australia, Article # 30757684
RACV Royal Pines Resort

Inside Golf, Handiskins and Peter Lehmann Wines are offering a great prize to one lucky reader: a Golfing Holiday Package for 2 people (Twin Share or King room) at RACV Royal Pines Gold Coast from Wednesday 3rd May to Sunday 7th May 2023.

The “Peter Lehmann Wines Golf Challenge Giveaway Package” is valued at $2,999 and includes:

  • 4 nights’ accommodation including daily breakfast
  • Welcome dinner and drinks – Wednesday 4th May
  • Peter Lehmann Signature Wine dinner – Thursday 5th May
  • Presentation Dinner and drinks – Saturday 7th May
  • Two qualifying rounds of Stableford Golf including carts plus a Wine Skins final for the top 4 qualifiers
  • A welcome pack on arrival at the Welcome dinner
  • A Peter Lehmann Wines Golf Challenge polo shirt per player
  • Thousands of dollars of wine prizes up for grabs
  • Monster Charity raffle supporting Jarrod Lyle’s Charity LEUK the DUCK
  • Prize does not include airfares

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Simply enter your details in the entry form.

If the form does not load, click here

(See Terms and conditions on the Inside Golf Website. Strictly ONE entry per person/email address. DUPLICATE ENTRIES WILL BE DELETED, AND MAY RESULT IN INELIGIBILITY FOR THE GIVEAWAY. By entering, you agree that your details will be added into the Inside Golf and Srixon Databases — you will be able to unsubscribe at any time. Full Terms and conditions here)

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Huntingdale Golf Club & Cranbourne Country Club now into the next phase of their partnership

Huntingdale Golf Club & Cranbourne Country Club now into the next phase of their partnership

23/06/2022, Australia, Golf, Golf Australia, Article # 30754447

At a historic night on Wednesday 8th June, the Huntingdale Golf Club members, by an overwhelming majority, voted in favour to proceed with the Club’s new OCM Master Plan. 

The delivery of the Master Plan and the partnership with the Cranbourne Country Club will ensure the future sustainability of the Huntingdale Golf Club. The innovative and modern OCM design, depicting classic Sandbelt characteristics, will re-establish Huntingdale in the upper echelon of the Melbourne Sandbelt. 

Huntingdale Golf Club, together with Cranbourne Country Club, will continue to work on this historic agreement whereby Huntingdale Golf Club will accept Cranbourne members over a period of time, in exchange for an injection of capital to fund the Master Plan’s golf course works. 

For the record, the key elements of the partnership include: 

• Cranbourne Country Club agrees to pay $10m to Huntingdale Golf Club subject to Huntingdale golf course works milestones; 

• Huntingdale Golf Club will admit an initial tranche of new qualifying members, nominated by Cranbourne Country Club, on completion of the Huntingdale golf course works; 

• Huntingdale Golf Club members will have access to play at the Cranbourne golf course during the renovation of the Huntingdale golf course; 

• The Cranbourne Country Club member introduction to Huntingdale Golf Club will be a phased and controlled process. 

Next Steps: 

The affirmative vote by the Members enables Huntingdale Golf Club and Cranbourne Country Club to progress to the following next steps and priorities: 

• Finalise the financing of the Master Plan, which will be documented through a long-form agreement with the Cranbourne Country Club. 

• Work closely with OCM to develop detailed designs. 

• Engage additional contractors to support the development of detailed designs. 

• Commence golf course construction works November 2023 

Huntingdale Golf Club Captain Greg Smith said:

“On behalf of the Club, I thank all of our Members for engaging with us through this process. We have a passionate membership who want the best for the club. The extensive two-way communication program over the past 6-12 months has been of critical importance to improve and refine our planning. This project is without a doubt the most significant decision the club has made in 30 years. The redevelopment of the golf course by OCM is in the best long-term interests of the Club. We thank all of our members and the Cranbourne Country Club for their support and share the collective enthusiasm for returning Huntingdale to the status that once made the club a ‘must play/must join’ option of Sandbelt golf. 

“As we have stated previously, the partnership with Cranbourne Country Club will assist the funding of Huntingdale’s golf course capital requirements, provide an alternative course (Cranbourne) during the reconstruction works and furthermore provide a strong pipeline of new members. The new pipeline of members provides sustainable cashflows into the future without impacting existing members access to and enjoyment of the course and its facilities.” 

Cranbourne Country Club President Mark Wollan said: 

“We are excited to move into the next phase of this important project. Our partnership with Huntingdale Golf Club, which recognises Cranbourne’s golfing history and community significance, is of great value to us and has been positively received by our membership.” 

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Ambitious move to appeal to new audience

Ambitious move to appeal to new audience

16/06/2022, Australia, Golf, Golf Australia, Article # 30744893

By Michael Davis

IT is not the role of Inside Golf to be a cheerleader for any of the game’s governing bodies.

However, we are not backward in coming forward when genuine credit is deserved.

And this is absolutely the case following the inspired move to combine the men’s and women’s Australian opens.

Long before the Covid pandemic, certainly the men’s open had been floundering, a victim of geography, the golf calendar and the voracious PGA Tour.

This was far less so for the women’s event, courtesy of the LPGA. Still, in my view, the women’s tournament lacked a bit off impact in terms of whom it attracted to Australia.

But now, in a world-first for golf, the two events are joining forces.

It is nothing short of an inspired and creative move.

There is a lot of backslapping and mutual admiration going on among the various officials from government departments and sporting bodies after pulling this together. Good luck to the bureaucrats.

The real innovators, though, were organisers of the Victorian Open at 13th Beach a good few years ago. They boldly combined the men’s and women’s tournaments in what was an inspired move and an overnight success.

Although the two national opens are a bigger production, organisers can be more than confident that Australian golf galleries will embrace them.

Let’s face it we have been starved of top flight tournaments golf for a good few years now. And it certainly looked unhopeful for the future once Covid shut the world down.

The two opens will be played at the same time and at the same venues, with the event to be held on the world-famous Melbourne Sandbelt from December 1-4.

Victoria Golf Club is the primary host venue across all four days of the tournament and Kingston Heath Golf Club is set to host play on the first two days. 

The men’s event will headline the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of 

Australasia, while the women’s event will be sanctioned by the WPGA Tour of Australasia.

In another first for the Australian Open, the men’s event will also be sanctioned on the DP World Tour, putting Australian golf on the world stage for two consecutive weeks with the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship to be staged at Royal Queensland the week prior.

Field sizes of 144 men and 144 women will compete for an equal split of the minimum $3.4 million prizemoney on offer.

This year’s Australian Open will also feature the third edition of the Australian All Abilities Championship, which assembles the top 12 players on the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability. 

Golf Australia’s CEO James Sutherland says the new format is a significant strategic move. 

“This truly is a coup for Australian golf. It presents a great opportunity for the game and will take the two Open championships to another level,” Sutherland says.

“We’ve seen the success of the Vic Open in this format, and more recently the Webex Players Series where men and women play for the same title.

“We’re incredibly excited to be able to make this announcement, and it wouldn’t have happened without the support of Visit Victoria and the Victorian Government.

The men will play for their own Australian Open title, the Stonehaven Cup, and the women for the Patricia Bridges Bowl. Both trophies have been won by some of the best golfers to play the game.

“We have huge aspirations for this event. This new format will provide the springboard for a wonderful celebration of golf,” Sutherland says.

“The move aligns with our new national strategy and our ambitions to appeal to a new audience. In keeping with our belief that golf is a sport for everyone, the strategy demands that we present our tournaments as inclusive and fun events.”

On the Australian All Abilities Championship, Sutherland said: “The Australian Open has been a world leader in this space.” 

Sutherland, the former head honcho at Cricket Australia, has come along at the right time for golf.

Those who thought he was just looking for a retirement gig on around a minimum of what is believed to be $500,000 a year, were way off the mark.

The man knows no half measures. 

His big picture strategy for the game from hacker to elite level is most impressive.

Let’s hope he sticks around forever because he is elevating golf to its rightful position on the sporting landscape. And we’re happy to come along for the ride.

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Should Augusta National GC abolish the lifetime exemption rule and stop players like Sandy Lyle, Lar

BUNKER-TO-BUNKER….Inside Golf writers have their say!

By Michael Court

DON’T do it … please?

Don’t deny us a chance to pay tribute to some of the greatest golfers of all time. Americans love their champions, especially the golfing ones. And we aren’t that different.

I just spent an hour or so watching a “scramble” format match that was added as part of the PGA Tour Champions Insperity Invitational. And thanks to the likes of Nicklaus, Trevino, Player etc, I found it more entertaining than the tournament itself even though likeable Kiwi Steve Alker won the main event.

Just the sight of a rotund Tony Jacklin and a pudgy David Graham trying to hit a shot over water – and coming up way short – didn’t put me off. On a couple of holes, the great Jack Nicklaus didn’t even bother hitting because he knew he couldn’t hit it as far as Annika Sorenstam. So, he didn’t bother.

“Welcome to my world” I found myself saying because, sadly, our golf games do go downhill when we reach that senior status. Golf, like almost every sport, is a young man’s game.

But I digress, the US Masters has been – and always will be – an invitation event that was dreamt up by the late, great Bobby Jones to meet and greet his mates and have a bit of fun on a golf course when they got together.

Let the legends themselves decide when they are too old – or embarrassed to play on against the ‘flat-bellies’. They should be accorded that honour. And if they feel they can get it around Augusta National, let them – and applaud them all the way around.


By Peter Owen

THE refined gentlemen who run things at
Augusta National Golf Club aren’t quick to embrace change. They grip tightly to what they believe is tradition, maintaining until 1983 that only African-Americans could be used as caddies, and even today insisting that caddies wear those curious white boiler suits.

And they reluctantly, and only comparatively recently, allowed women into their membership and it isn’t so long ago that they refused to allow television cameras to record anything that happened on the first nine holes of a Masters tournament.

Convention, ritual and habit are very important to the people who run one of the world’s biggest golf tournaments. But there’s one tradition they really need to change. 

Golfers who win the Masters get a lifetime exemption to play in the tournament. That means they can play until they drop. And some of them seem hell bent on doing just that.

I hate to see legends like Vijay Singh, Jose Maria Olazabal, Bernhard Langer, and even Fred Couples, tackle a course, and take on competition, that is clearly way beyond their capabilities.

Tournament organisers clearly thought it would be a tribute to these wonderful players to have them come back each year, but there’s no glory in shooting in the 80s, finishing at the tail of the field, and inevitably going home after 36 holes. It’s an embarrassment.

But such is their character that they’ll continue to show up as long as they’re invited. Spare them the indignity.


By Larry Canning

MY question here is more about the size of the field and the American-biased exemptions … sorry “invitations” that go out each year. 

The Masters is a major yet you have to be invited to play. Why? 

The field for the other three majors – PGA Championship, US Open and British Open – will be 156. The final field for the 2022 Masters was 90. Why?

Anyone who wins one of the 35 US PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship is automatically invited. But despite a major, a win virtually anywhere else in the world isn’t worth a cracker. Why?

A player can actually qualify for the PGA, US Open and Open Championship through a bunch of different ways, just like you can on all four of the tennis Grand Slams and this, despite Wimbledon being run by a private club not unlike Augusta. 

The All England Club has clearly embraced the concept that a modern Grand Slam as being a “world” major. 

I don’t have so much of a problem with some of the old farts teeing it up, well, except for Larry Mize. I don’t have any issue with the Masters being a major. It’s a magnificent tournament!

I just question why in 2022 it remains so selective with its field. I know Augusta National is breaking down some of its barriers and the National Women’s Amateur is a wonderful initiative, but surely it’s time to open up Magnolia Lane to anyone good enough to qualify!


By Michael Davis

IT might be old-fashioned of me, but I love the quirkiness of the people who run the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

And that extends to those whom they invite to play in their tournament every year. As tradition is paramount at Augusta National, past champions are honoured forever and a day.

Once they have donned the green jacket, they are invited to play the tournament for the rest of their lives.

Most past champions bow out gracefully when it’s time – just as 1991 Masters champion Ian Woosnam did this year. Welshman ‘Woosie’
turned 64 in March and decided he had had enough. Gary Player made the cut aged 63 in 1998 and played his last Masters in 2009, aged 74. The 86-year-old still turns up every year to entertain the patrons at the par-3 event.

Some past champions hang around to shoot two rounds of 85 and disappear into the sunset until the following year. Others, like 64-year-old German Bernhard Langer, actually still contend. Fred Couples often thrills the galleries too. To me, that’s the beauty of the Masters. 

It’s quaint that they continue to have the opportunity. Augusta National is not going to be governed by the latest big thing in golf at the expense of one of their past champions. And I love it.

Whatever the past champions shoot doesn’t matter a hoot. Their presence adds to the mystique and soul of the Masters. Let’s hope this joyful part of the Masters at Augusta is never abandoned. 

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Porter’s ambitious plans for junior golf

Porter’s ambitious plans for junior golf

16/06/2022, Australia, Golf, Golf Australia, Article # 30744875

By Rob Willis

EWAN Porter knows a bit about golfing talent. 

A junior prodigy with a +4 handicap before turning professional in his teens, Porter had an abundance of it. 

Twice a winner on the US Nationwide Tour, qualified for three Open Championships, long off the tee and with the fearless attitude needed to compete with the world’s leading players, Porter had all the tools and enjoyed reasonable success. 

Golf at the elite level however can be a difficult road and at age 30, a combination of factors saw the competitive fire begin to burn out. Porter got away from golf for a time, before reinventing himself as a much sought-after commentator and podcaster, both in Australia and abroad.  

But for all his personal achievements, perhaps the most impressive of all, and hopefully to continue long into the future, is his promotion
of junior golf through his adidas Junior Sixes Tour. 

A concept inspired by a desire to honour the legacy of his father who passed away in 2018, through the Junior Sixes Porter is providing opportunity for young golfers to hone their craft and chase their golfing dreams.   

“I always wanted to do something in junior golf but never knew how,” Porter began. “If I was going to do something I wanted to do it differently and properly.” 

Porter’s idea was to build a junior tournament involving the leading players in the country, with professional tournament exemptions on offer to the winners. 

Ewan Porter (centre) poses with two of his young stars.

“That first year in 2019 (at Cronulla GC) we had 36-holes stroke play and we had the top eight boys and the top eight girls who went into a series of six-hole knockout matches,” Porter recalled. 

“The major carrot at the time was there were two tour exemptions for the boys and two for the girls, which for out of the blocks, first event, was pretty lucrative. I didn’t want to host a junior tournament where they just played for a $40 voucher.

“When the dust settled, I realised there was an opportunity to create something a little bit bigger and to have a series of events with the six-hole knockout incorporated.” 

Australian junior champion Jeffrey Guan, then just 14, shot six-under for the two rounds to win the stroke play section, Hayden Hopewell defeating Elvis Smylie in the boy’s six-hole matchplay final. Cassie Porter (no relation), another to emerge from that inaugural event, has turned professional and is now forging a successful international career. 

“So the talent was phenomenal,” Porter enthused.

Emphasising the quality of the young golfers at his first event, utilising a Junior Sixes exemption, Hopewell would go on to finish inside the top-10 at the Gippsland Super 6 tournament on the Australian Tour. 

“I always wanted to do something in junior golf but never knew how. If I was going to do something I wanted to do it differently and properly.”

“It was the first professional tournament he’d ever played and that gave our Sixes event a lot of credibility,” Porter said.  

Guan, Hopewell, Smylie, Porter, Harrison Crowe, the recent winner of the NSW Open and Justice Bosio, are among the junior stars to cut their teeth in Sixes events. 

From those not-so-humble beginnings, the Junior Sixes now has corporate support, the backing of high-profile golfers such as Aussie Lucas Herbert and world top-10 player Victor Hovland. It has grown into a series with even more professional exemptions provided.

In 2020, eight Junior Sixes events were conducted, with a national final at the Newcastle Golf Club. Then, with challenges surrounding Covid continuing, the 2021-2022 seasons were combined, featuring 22 events – 18 played with a format of 18-hole stroke play, followed by six-holes of matchplay to decide a winner. 

Players are competing for nine tournament exemptions, as well as four adidas golf and two TaylorMade scholarships. 

“Out of the 22 events we have four majors, which are all World Amateur Golf Rankings events and those tournaments are 54 holes,” Porter said,
with the winner decided with the top boy and top girl playing a six-hole knockout. 

“With regards to opportunities and pathways, I know I probably sound a little bit biased, but there is really nothing like it.” 

In highlighting the expansion and growth, the Junior Sixes Tour hosted its first international event recently at Royal Wellington in New Zealand, with a world final scheduled for September at Kingston Heath Golf Club. 

“With the borders opening up I’m hoping to be able to get some top juniors from around the world playing,” Porter said of his Melbourne finale.  

In addition to the tournaments in Australia, Porter is trying to use his connections with the Ladies European and Challenge tours to create even more playing opportunities.

This is just the start with big plans and a huge future ahead with talented male and female golfers set to be the beneficiaries.

Without giving too much away, with a major announcement to come, the Junior Sixes is looking to expand to not only involve junior golfers but amateurs of all ages. World Amateur Rankings points and even more professional tournament starts will be made available. 

“It’s very satisfying,” Porter said. “I tell people I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved with my golf and commentary, but it really does pale in comparison to being able to provide the opportunities we do and I guess you could call it giving back. It’s really rewarding.” 

For more on the Junior Sixes, including information, results and schedules, go to the website at www.juniorsixes.com 

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US Open: Bookies favour Jon Rahm

US Open: Bookies favour Jon Rahm

16/06/2022, Australia, Golf, Golf Australia, Article # 30744876
MAMARONECK, NY – JUNE 18: Geoff Ogilvy of Australia poses with the US Open trophy after his one stroke victory in the final round of the 2006 US Open Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club on June 18, 2006 in Mamaroneck, New York. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

FOUR decades ago David Graham became the first Australian to win the US Open when he finished three strokes clear of Americans Bill Rogers and George Burns on the East Course of Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

For the record, Graham fired rounds of 68-68-70-67 for a 273 total – seven-under par.

His final round 67 was brilliant as he missed only one fairway and hit 18 greens in regulation, which impressed the great Ben Hogan who said Graham’s final round was “near perfection”.

Since then, only one other Australian has won the US Open – Geoff Ogilvy in 2006.

Ogilvy carded consistent rounds of 71-70-72-72 – 285 (five-over par) to finish one stroke ahead of Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and Colin Montgomerie.

This year’s championship will be played at The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts from June 16-19. Spain’s Jon Rahm is the defending champion.

At the time of writing, Rahm was the bookies favourite at 11/1 followed by Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler at 13/1.

Cam Smith leads the charge for Australia and is at 19/1 followed by Jason Day 51/1, Adam Scott and Marc Leishman at 67/1 and Matt Jones at 201/1.

David Graham.

US OPEN STATISTICS

AUSSIE WINNERS
David Graham 1981
Geoff Ogilvy 2006

AUSSIE RUNNER-UPS
Kel Nagle – 1965 to Gary Player
Bruce Crampton – 1972 to Jack Nicklaus
Greg Norman – 1984-’95 to Fuzzy Zoeller, Corey Pavin
Stephen Leaney – 2003 to Jim Furyk
Jason Day – 2011-’13 to Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose

MOST VICTORIES
Willie Anderson – (4) 1901-’03-’04-’05
Bobby Jones – (4) 1923-’26-’29-’30
Ben Hogan – (4) 1948-’50-’51 ’53
Jack Nicklaus – (4) 1962-’67-’72-’80
Hale Irwin – (3) 1974-79-90
Tiger Woods – (3) 2000-02-08

TWO-TIME CHAMPIONS
16 players have won two titles – Alex Smith (1906-10); John McDermott (1911-12); Walter Hagen (1914-19); Gene Sarazen (1922-32); Ralph Guldahl (1937-38); Cary Middlecoff (1949-56); Julius Boros (1952-63); Billy Caster (1959-66); Lee Trevino (1968-71); Andy North (1978-85); Ernie Els (1994-97); Lee Janzen (1993-98); Payne Stewart (1991-99); Retief Goosen (2001-04) and Brooks Koepka (2017-19).

MOST RUNNER-UP FINISHESS
Phil Mickelson (6) 1999-2002-,’04-’06-’09-’13

MOST CONSECUTIVE STARTS
Jack Nicklaus 44 from 1957 to 2000

MOST CONSECUTIVE ATTEMPTS IN TOP 10
Ben Hogan (15) 1940-1960

MOST CONSECUTIVE ATTEMPTS IN TOP 2
Bobby Jones (5) 1922–1926

OLDEST CHAMPION
Hale Irwin 1990 45 years, 15 days

YOUNGEST CHAMPION
John McDermott 1911 19 years, 315 days

FIRST CHAMPION
Horace Rawlins (Eng) – 1895  Score 173 Winner’s share $150

OLDEST PLAYER TO MAKE CUT
Sam Snead – 1973, 61 years old

LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY
Tiger Woods – 2000, 15 strokes

LOWEST WINNER MARGIN
2011 – Rory McIlroy – 268 – 16-under par
2017 – Brooks Koepka – 272 – 16-under par
2019 – Gary Woodland – 171 – 13-under par
2000 – Tiger Woods – 272 – 12-under par

HIGHEST OVER PAR WINNERS
1919 – Walter Hagen – 301 – 17-over par
1927 – Tommy Armour – 301 – 13-over par
1934 – Olin Dutra – 293 – 13-over par

ALL FOUR ROUNDS UNDER 70
Lee Trevino – 1968 – (69–68–69–69)
Lee Janzen – 1993 – (67–67–69–69)
Rory McIlroy – 2011 – (65–66–68–69)

MOST STROKES UNDER PAR FOR 72 HOLES
Rory McIlroy – 2011 – 16-under – 268
Brooks Koepka – 2017 – 16-under – 272

CHAMPIONS BY NATIONALITY
Nationality – Wins – Winners
United States – 86 – 60
Scotland – 12 – 9
England – 7 – 7
South Africa – 5 – 3
Australia – 2 – 2
Northern Ireland – 2 – 2
Jersey – 2 – 2
New Zealand – 1 – 1
Argentina – 1 – 1
Germany – 1 – 1
Spain – 1 – 1

AMATEUR WINNERS
Francis Ouimet – 1913
Jerome Travers – 1915
Chick Evans – 1916
Bobby Jones – 1923-’26-’29-’30
John Goodman – 1933

MOST FREQUENT VENUES
Oakmont Country Club – (9) 1927-’35-’53-’62-’73-’83-’94-’07-’16
Baltusrol Golf Club – (7) 1903-’15-’36-54-’67-’80-’93 

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Captain Karrie set for Olympic Games

Captain Karrie set for Olympic Games

16/06/2022, Australia, Golf, Golf Australia, Article # 30744863

By Michael Davis

KARRIE Webb will be nominated as captain of Australia’s golf team for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.

Webb, the legendary seven-time major winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member, steps in to replace Ian Baker-Finch, who has retired from the role after captaining Australia at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

She will possibly become the first-ever woman to captain both men’s and women’s teams at an Olympic Games golf competition. 

In previous Games since golf returned to the schedule in 2016, nations have used separate men’s and women’s captains, but Golf Australia, which made the announcement, chooses to use a single captain for both competitions.

Webb has also agreed to coach the Australian women’s team at the World Amateur Teams’ Championships this year.

That event is being held at the same venue that will host Olympic golf, Le Golf National, in August-September, meaning that Webb will get first-hand information about the Olympic host course just outside Paris.

Karrie Webb and Golf Australia boss James Sutherland after the announcement of the Olympic Games captaincy. Photo courtesy of Golf Australia.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be nominated,” Webb said. 

“The Olympic Games are very special to me and I’m a patriotic Australian, so to have an opportunity to work with the best Australian players on the biggest stage in sport is incredibly powerful.

“Aside from all that I’m very familiar with all the players who are likely to be in contention to play in Paris and in some cases, they are close friends of mine.

“I’m rapt to see that golf is in the Olympics as I think it has the potential to help grow our game globally as well as in Australia. Our best Australian players continue to fly our flag so well internationally and I know they will do so in
Paris 2024 hopefully coming away with a medal or two. That’s what I’d love to see.”

Golf Australia CEO James Sutherland said both his organisation and the PGA of Australia, which assists with Olympic campaign funding, were grateful to Baker-Finch for his efforts in pulling together two Olympic campaigns.

“While we’ve fallen just short of medals in those two Olympic Games, a lot’s been gained,” Sutherland said. “Ian Baker-Finch has been a big part of that because he’s fostered a camaraderie and a spirit that was very evident. Australian golfers have represented their country at the last two Olympics with great pride and, of course, skill.

“We’re thankful to Ian for his work and the foundations that he has built, and we’re delighted that the baton can be passed from one great Australian golfer to another.  

“Karrie Webb is eminently qualified for this role. Her playing record is quite remarkable but it’s not just that with Karrie. Her contribution to our sport and Australian golf has been enormous – and she has always embraced opportunities to become a mentor and friend to so many young stars of our game.

“Karrie is a hugely classy person and has always given back to golf.  It makes her an obvious choice to fill this role for Paris and hopefully beyond.”

The Olympic Games golf competition is an individual stroke event played over four rounds. Golf was first played in the summer Olympics of 1900 and again in 1904 before it was taken off the program for more than a century. 

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Huge shout out to incredible course superintendents

Huge shout out to incredible course superintendents

16/06/2022, Australia, Golf, Golf Australia, Article # 30744851

THE horrendous summer weather experienced on the east coast of Australia in early 2022 has of course been devastating for so many people. 

There are so many families who have lost their houses and possessions. The scenes we witnessed from Lismore and Woodburn at the height of the two separate floods were just heartbreaking for all of us who witnessed the tragedy unfolding.

While we need to keep a sense of perspective and understand that golf clubs are not to be included in the same vein as people houses and businesses, they are often the lifeblood and focal point of the community and, sadly, many golf courses in NSW and Queensland have also been severely affected by the flooding.

The knock-on effect of the huge amounts of rain which fell certainly presented us with a number of challenges at our tour events in recent weeks.

For us and our partners at the PGA of Australia, we had arrived in Sydney for The Webex Players Series Sydney hosted by Braith Anasta as the first tropical low to hit the East Coast in 2022 was taking its toll on South East Queensland and Northern NSW, and as the week went on it continued drifting south also battering the city of Sydney and Bonnie Doon GC over the course of the week. 

In the end we were unlucky not to get a 72-hole event completed, however given most Sydney clubs were closed during our tournament week I suppose we should be thankful that we actually got a 54-hole tournament played.

The week provided many challenges for the head superintendent Cameron Smith and his incredible team at Bonnie Doon and they did an amazing job of presenting the course as it was and ensuring it remained playable for most of the tournament week. 

The Players Series Hunter Valley, hosted by Jan Stephenson and Peter O’Malley, was the next event and on arrival at Cypress Lakes Resort we witnessed the damage the massive rain event had caused. It was obvious that play would not be possible at all early in the week and the pre-event practice rounds and pro-am were eventually cancelled. 

The forecast for the tournament week was grim, and we were all starting to wonder if we would be able to play any golf that week. 

NSW Women’s Open champion Maya Stark.

Thankfully, and again due to the enormous amount of work superintendent Craig Molloy and his team put in to get the course playable we were somehow able to complete a 54-hole tournament, an outcome completely unthinkable at the beginning of the week.

Following the Easter break the WPGA Tour headed back to Australia’s favourite golf course, the Bonville Golf Resort, where the fourth edition of the Australian Women’s Classic was played.

It was fantastic to welcome back the players from the Ladies European Tour after a two-year hiatus due to Covid, however we were again faced with some challenges as a total of 2.34 metres of rain had fallen at the resort since  January 1. 

This figure is more than five times the annual rainfall for that period highlighting the challenges superintendent Aaron Todd and his team had to face just getting the course ready for play by members, let alone trying to present a course for a major professional tournament with live TV coverage.

Thanks to the sun shining early in the week the course was playable for the first two rounds, however when heavy rain started on Friday evening and play was suspended due to the course flooding, there were many people wondering (including myself) if we could somehow find a way to finish the 36 holes required to make the event official. 

On Saturday, after almost 40mls of overnight rain, there was no play possible in the morning, however somehow we manage to complete the second round at 4:30pm which was a huge relief to everyone involved in the running of the event.  

The weather gods allowed us to finish the third and final round on Sunday afternoon where Englishwoman Meghan Maclaren claimed an emotional victory – her third title in the state of NSW.

After Bonville we headed up to Tweed Heads where we witnessed 22-year-old Swedish sensation Maja Stark take out the NSW Women’s Open title at Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club, just four weeks after the course was inundated by the Tweed River for the second time in 2022. 

Fortunately the weather was kinder to us the week prior to and the week of the tournament itself, meaning we could get the full 72 holes in – the first time that has been possible on the WPGA Tour since The Players Series Murray River at Cobram-Barooga in late January.

Again it was a huge effort from superintendent Peter Lonergan and his team to present the course as they did. It was actually incredible how good the course was by the time the event started.

I think that most people involved in golf know that our golf course superintendents and their staff are the unsung heroes of our industry. They work some crazy hours and their commitment to delivering their golf course in the best possible condition day after day is really to be admired.

I have seen this at very close hand this year at all of our tournaments, but in particular at these four most recent events and I cannot praise the work the respective teams put in enough just to ensure that our events could be played. 

Next time when you are out having a hit and you see one of the green staff out on the course, just take a couple of minutes time to say a quick hello and a thank you. I know it will be greatly appreciated! 

The post Huge shout out to incredible course superintendents first appeared on Inside Golf. Australia's Most-Read Golf Magazine as named by Australian Golfers - FREE.



https://www.insidegolf.com.au/news/wpga/huge-shout-out-to-incredible-course-superintendents/
GM Matthew Furze finds happy home

GM Matthew Furze finds happy home

16/06/2022, Australia, Golf, Golf Australia, Article # 30744852

LIKE a lot of golf clubs, the front office, pro shop or on the course is where you find out what makes a golf club tick.

That worked perfectly for Asquith Golf Club general manager Matthew Furze, who found a happy home at Asquith and has now worked in the golf industry for 29 years.

Furze began his love affair with the game as a trainee golf professional at The Australian GC at Kensington.

Since then, he has had stints at clubs like Killara, Ryde-Parramatta, Duntryleague in Orange and now has seven and a half years looking after the Asquith club, one of the busiest, and most popular clubs north of the Harbour Bridge.

“Moving around those clubs helped me gain the experience and knowledge that has been invaluable to me so that I can consistently deliver the overall experience to members and guests here at Asquith,” said Furze.

“Over the years Asquith has made changes to the course layout with some major changes in the early years when the M1 motorway dissected the course.

“As is the way at Asquith Golf Club, members volunteer and roll up their sleeves to assist when it’s required.

“We have a great course that challenges all levels and abilities and is accessible to all. And we are pretty proud of what we have to offer.”

Asquith Golf Club general manager Matthew Furze.

Like many clubs around Sydney, and the rest of the country, golf at Asquith has been booming before, during and since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“Our membership base has always been strong and with Covid hitting all of us golf has become even stronger with membership up in all categories,” he said.

“We currently have more than 1000 playing members and recently experienced a waiting list, something which hasn’t been the case for more than 10 years.”

Like most of his members, Furze is proud of where the club and course is and what the future holds.

“I believe that the future potential for course and clubhouse is positive and exciting,” says Furze.

“The next five years will see the club progress with much-needed upgrades that will allow the club to stay relevant within the community and provide a home away from home as well as a great place to dine, play and relax.

“I am keen to see our future plans come to fruition and make Asquith Golf Club the place to be.

“We are a club that welcomes all and has the best value for money on the North Shore. 

“And we want everyone to experience what Asquith has to offer.”

“What brings me to work each day is the interaction with such great staff.”

Asquith Golf Club offers a championship 18-hole course maintained to the highest standards and the clubhouse presents a panoramic view of the course.

According to Furze, the clubhouse offers a welcoming feel and caters for lunch and dinner with a menu that excites the taste buds and leaves you wanting more.

“Always leave room for dessert when you come here,” he grins.

Furze says the best thing about Asquith is undoubtedly the membership, which is so welcoming and friendly.

“What brings me to work each day is the interaction with such great staff and the ability to collaboratively make a difference.

“I’d suggest members would agree the course and the staff are our greatest attraction.”

Like most clubs around Sydney, collaboration became necessary during the pandemic when people were urged not to leave their local government area and to look ‘local’ if they wanted a game of golf.

“We have many visitors and social clubs that frequent our great course all year round,” said Furze.

“During Covid all clubs reciprocated with tee times in order to assist membership in general to have a game through what was a very difficult time for all clubs. 

“It was important that all clubs came together for the greater good of golf … and that makes you proud of the industry that we are in.

“The number one priority for the club was to ensure that staff would be okay through Covid. And I have to say staff have been amazing through this difficult time and rolled with the punches, which we all faced. 

“It was not easy but full credit to all our staff that had the interests of the club and survival of the club at heart.”

Furze is not sure things will ever completely return to normal.

“What’s normal?” he said. “We will not be the same for some time. 

“Yes, Covid restrictions have eased; we have now had to deal with excessive course closures due to ongoing rain and flooding over the last two months. 

“Makes you wonder what else we have to endure.”

The post GM Matthew Furze finds happy home first appeared on Inside Golf. Australia's Most-Read Golf Magazine as named by Australian Golfers - FREE.



https://www.insidegolf.com.au/golf_industry/gm-matthew-furze-finds-happy-home/
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