DENIS DALE last month highlighted the national level senior amateur golf events at play in 2017 and now rounds up some of the fantastic opportunities available at a state level.
STATE SENIOR GOLFERS GET READY FOR A GREAT 2017
By Denis Dale
IN January I highlighted the 2017 calendar of events that make up the Australian Senior Ranking system. This year there are 17 national level events that will include all the states and territories of Australia.
While the national calendar is definitely a busy one there is also a lot happening in senior golf at the state level. Most states now have a year-long Senior Order of Merit competition and a review of the courses listed below reveals that senior golfers will enjoy competition on many of the best courses in Australia.
VICTORIAN SENIOR ORDER OF MERIT
In 2006 Golf Victoria introduced a Senior Order of Merit competition for the Doug Bachli Trophy. This competition has been very successful and now also includes a year-long handicap competition named in honour of Paul Lulofs who did so much for senior golf in Victoria.
The defending champion for the 2016 Doug Bachli Trophy is Rich River senior Ian Frost while the year-long handicap trophy went to Ken O’Brien from the Rossdale Golf Club. The winner of the Over 65s trophy was Ross Percy from the Cobram-Barooga Club.
The 2017 Victorian calendar includes thirteen 18-hole events, fifteen 36-hole events and five 54-hole events played on many of Victoria’s best regional and metropolitan courses. The competition allows golfers to use ranking points gained from their best twelve events during the year.
The courses for 2017 include Keysborough, Royal Melbourne, Heidelberg, The Sands, Kooringal, Gardiner’s Run. Cranbourne, Bright, Flinders, Sorrento, Box Hill, The National, Ballarat, Cobram-Barooga, Hepburn Springs, Heathcote, Shepparton, Tocumwal, Coomealla, Yarra Yarra, Kingston Heath, Victoria, Metropolitan, Commonwealth, Bairnsdale, Lang Lang, Melton Valley, Northern, Bendigo, Spring Valley, Melton Valley, Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Sorrento. Many of the events will also include a section for senior women.
The opening event of the 2017 calendar year was the Keysborough Seniors and a good field of 77 golfers teed off in hot and windy conditions. John Owen (Barwon Heads) won the event defeating Robert Harvie, Kym Olsen and Ken O’Brien by a single stroke.
Next event was the much-anticipated 54-hole Royal Melbourne Senior Classic where the winner was one again Australia’s top ranked senior golfer Greg Rhodes from Coomealla. This event is also part of the Australian Senior Amateur Ranking competition.
Rhodes was the defending champion and did not have it all his own way this year with a talented field chasing him all the way. Eventually Rhodes won the title by a single stroke from South Australia’s John Davey. Rich River’s Ian Frost was not far away in third place.
Once again Royal Melbourne’s greens were a real test and senior golfers were left puzzled and frustrated. It’s on again next year when the field will again take up the challenge that is Royal Melbourne (pictured above).
The third event for 2017 was the Yarra Courses Senior Amateur this year played at Heidelberg Golf Club. Local golfer Gavin Duncan carded a round of 71 to share the best round of the day with Kym Olsen. Duncan was awarded the first prize on a countback.
The 2017 Surfcoast Senior Amateur was the next event and this time Kym Olsen gave no one else a chance winning the title by five strokes after rounds of 73 and 69 at the Sands and Lonsdale courses. Olsen is the current Australian senior champion and has started the new season in great form.
Defending champion Robert Wallace (Midlands) put up a brave defence of his title finishing in second place ahead of Ross Macfarlane (Barwon Valley) and Greg Welsh (Colac).
In the woman’s section Wodonga’s Judy Langford survived a countback to defeat round one leader Kerrin Biddle (Thirteenth Beach). This was the first senior event for Langford.
The men’s nett championship saw local Sands member William Burnett take home the trophy after his total of 139 gave him a two-stroke win from Glen Waverly’s Ken Bruton.
For further information including all the dates and venues for the 2017 Victorian calendar interested golfers should visit the Golf Victoria web site (www.golfvic.org.au) .
NSW SENIOR ORDER OF MERIT
The NSW Senior Order of Merit competition continues to grow with the 2017 competition including 45 events across the state. The competition uses each golfer’s best 14 events.
The 2017 calendar has events on many of NSW’s best metropolitan courses including St Michael’s, The Coast, Concord, Castle Hill, Pennant Hills, Royal Sydney, Bonnie Doon, The Lakes, The Australian, Avondale, Penrith, Stonecutter’s Ridge, Glenmore Heritage Valley. Mona Vale, Eastlakes. Manly, Oatlands, Pymble, Monash, Cabramatta, Carnarvon, Liverpool, Twin Creeks, Bankstown, Long Reef and Cromer.
The number of regional and country courses once again has grown and in 2017 will include Belmont, Forster-Tuncurry, Wollongong, Gungahlin Lakes, Bowral, Pambula Merimbula, Tura Beach, Duntryleague, Coffs Harbour, Bonville, Port Macquarie, Kooindah Waters, Wyong, Newcastle, Shelly Beach, Magenta Shores, Port Kembla, Camden, Windsor, Mollymook, Gold Creek and Federal.
The NSW state amateur will be played at Bathurst Gold Club for the first time. At end of October a new event will be held at Moruya – the NSW Senior Open,
The Senior Order of Merit Champion in 2016 was Ken Brewer from the Concord Golf Club. Brewer played some great golf to defeat Long Reef’s Geoff Cranfield. Denis Dale (Twin Creeks) won the Over 65s and Bob Zelesco (Camden) was a popular winner of the handicap section.
The 2017 year began with the 2017 Forster-Tuncurry Seniors and visiting Port Macquarie golfer Brian Sams showed a glimpse of the top level golfing ability that had made him a regular inclusion in Australian senior teams some years ago with a round of 74. Sams defeated local senior Paul Connell by a stroke. Wyong legend Jack Parker was the winner of Over 65s with a fine round of 77.
The second event was the 2017 Lake Macquarie Seniors held at the Belmont Golf Course. Bayview golfer Dale Tapper once again showed his liking for the beautiful seaside course and was the winner with a good round of 75. Tied for second place were Lester Peterson (Bardwell Valley) and John Bowron (Everglades).
The Coast Seniors event was next and a good field of more than 60 golfers took up the challenge of this coastal course. Situated alongside its more famous big brothers St Michaels and New South Wales, The Coast is nevertheless a great test of golf.
The clear winner with a very good round of 72 was Mona Vale’s Mark Pearson. In second place was Dunheved golfer Geoffrey Shute with a round of 76. In third place was a group of golfers om 77 that included Gary Wood, Ken Brewer, Neale Blizard and Gary Batman.
The following day saw the St Michael’s Seniors and in fine conditions it was Port Kembla golfer Neil Bartley shoot the best score of the day with a round of 73. He was a one stroke winner over Bob Hill (Hurstville) and Darryl Hearsch (Manly).
St Michael’s and The Coast are neighbouring clubs and they combined to conduct a 36-hole event that included scores from each day. The combined winner was Ken Brewer from Concord who narrowly defeated Gary Batman from the Liverpool club.
The 2017 Wollongong Seniors saw Camden Lakeside senior Rick Allison return to senior golf after a long break and the talented senior was the winner after his round of 71 which saw him take the major prize from Noel Wood (Antill Park), Sam Quagliata (Liverpool) and Chris Gordon (NSWGC) all on 74.
Allison’s score of one over par was a marvellous round on the day and was three better than any other in the field. In the Over 65’s Greg Stanford (Mona Vale) took the prize with his round of 77.
Alan Wood was the handicap winner with a nett 67 and Quagliata won the 55-64 years scratch prize. Host Alan Fensom presented another great day at Wollongong and was rewarded with an eagle 2 on the sixth hole.
All NSW Senior Order of Merit events include age categories and handicap prizes. A full calendar listing all dates and venues is available on the Golf NSW website (www.golfnsw.org)
QUEENSLAND SENIOR ORDER OF MERIT
Golf Queensland successfully introduced the Queensland Senior Order of Merit (QSOOM) to the calendar in 2013. Since then, the event has provided senior golfers with a cost effective and regular competition golf game.
Predominantly based in south east Queensland, the QSOOM has around 24 events on the calendar played from Brisbane to Toowoomba and north to the Sunshine Coast. The event caters for both men and women over the age of 55 years old.
The competition finishes in July to correspond with the playing of the two major events – the Gold Coast Senior Classic and the Queensland Senior Amateur Championship.
This year there will be 36 events across the south-east corner of the state with the list of hosting golf clubs including many of the state’s best golf courses.
Palmer Colonial, Wynnum, Bribie Island, Arundel, Redcliffe, Royal Queensland, Carbrook, Nudgee, Laidley, Hills International, Indooroopilly, Pelican Waters, Pacific Harbour, Coolangatta Tweed Heads, Royal Pines, Sanctuary Cove, Gailes, Palmer Gold Coast, Redcliffe, Keperra, Maroochy River, Surfer’s Paradise, Brookwater, Bargara, Toowoomba, Toowoomba City, Bargara, Virginia, McLeod and Warwick.
The prize winners for the 2015-6 PresCare QSOOM series were as follows:
Winner Men’s Scratch: Mario La Chiusa
Runner Men’s Scratch: Peter Hannah
Winner Women’s Scratch: Josie Ryan
Runner Up Women’s Scratch: Cheryl Sternberg
Winner Men’s Nett: Joe McDermid
Runner Men’s Nett: Tim Deakin
Winner Women’s Nett: Wendy O’Connell
Runner Up Women’s Nett: Gwen Clutterbuck
Winner Men’s Super Senior: Philip Towle
Runner Men’s Super Senior: Trevor Box
Winner Women’s Super Senior: Adrienne Naismith
Runner Up Women’s Super Senior: Margaret Emerson
All the information you need to play in any or all of the Queensland Senior Order of Merit events is available on the Golf Queensland web site (www.golfqueensland.org.au).
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN SENIOR ORDER OF MERIT
The South Australian Senior Order of Merit competition began in 2012 with a six-tournament competition and continues to grow each year. The SASOOM events are stroke rounds with events for the Over 55s and also the Super Seniors (over 65 years).
The winner of both the year-long Order of Merit in both sections is determined by aggregate points awarded over seven events. A points loading applies depending on if the event is a one, two or three round event. A minimum of four events must be contested.
2017 Senior Order of Merit
Event 1 – 6th February @ South Lakes
Event 2 – 27th February @ Blackwood
Event 3 – 20th March @ Mt Osmond
Event 4 – 3rd April @ Tea Tree Gully
Event 5 – 8th May @ Flagstaff Hill
Event 6 – 29th May @ West Lakes
Event 7 – 21st August @ Glenelg
Event 8 – 28th August @ Royal Adelaide
The 2016 South Australian Senior Order of Merit champion was Norm Cordina from Tea Tree Gully Golf Club defeating Nigel Turner (Links lady Bay) and Trevor Smith (Naracoorte).
More information on the South Australian Senior Order of Merit can be found on the Golf SA website (www.golfsa.com.au/)
COMING SENIOR AMATEUR EVENTS
March 6 Castle Hill Seniors (NSW)
March 6 Redcliffe Seniors (QLD)
March 7 Pennant Hills Seniors (NSW)
March 13 Royal Sydney Invitational (NSW)
March 16-17 Alpine Seniors at Bright GC (VIC)
March 16 Monash Senior Masters (NSW)
March 20 Gungahlin Lakes Seniors (ACT)
March 20 Mt Osmond Seniors (SA)
March 19-21 Golf Australia Seniors vs ADFGA at The National GC
March 27-28 Mornington Peninsula Seniors at Flinders and Portsea GCs (VIC)
March 27 Royal Queensland Seniors (QLD)
March 27 NSW Senior Foursomes (Bathurst)
March 28-30 * NSW Senior Amateur Championship (Bathurst)
April 2-3 * Royal Perth Seniors (WA)
April 3 Indooroopilly Seniors (QLD)
April 3 Tea Tree Gully Seniors (SA)
April 4-6 * The National Senior Masters (VIC)
April 5-7 * West Australian Seniors at Wanneroo (WA)
April 8 Jubilee Seniors at Bowral GC (NSW)
April 10-12 NSW Veteran Strokeplay Championship – Richmond, Glenmore, Stonecutter’s Ridge
April 11-12 Eureka Seniors (Ballarat)
April17 Bonnie Doon Seniors (NSW)
April 22 Laidley Ladies Classic (QLD)
* Part of the Australian Senior Ranking System