Four golfing buddies on “once in a lifetime” golf holiday killed in Melbourne plane crash

Texan tourists Greg De Haven and Russell Munsch were playing top Australian golf courses

A group of American golf tourists on their way to the renowned new King Island golf courses were tragically killed this week when a light plane crashed into a Melbourne suburban shopping centre.

The four golfing buddies and the Australian pilot died in what has been described as the worst aviation accident in Victoria in 30 years.

The four Americans have been named as Texan tourists Greg De Haven and Russell Munsch, businessman Glenn Garland and John Washburn.

Garland had posted updates and photographs from rounds of golf at various courses in Victoria and New Zealand in recent days.

“Played Kingston Heath today and Royal Melbourne yesterday. Really tough and windy conditions and yesterday at Royal Melbourne we had rain squalls, and wind that was almost biblical in the fierceness. The only thing we missed was a plague of locusts. My hat is off to the Aussies that play in this everyday. Melbourne is one magnificent and amazing city,” Garland wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

Two new golf courses on King Island in Bass Strait, Cape Wickham and Ocean Dunes, have received rave reviews and top rankings of late and are becoming a mecca for golf tourists from around the world (Cape Wickham recently ranked 3rd in Australia and 24th in the world).

De Haven’s sister Denelle Wicht posted on Facebook that “my handsome athletic big brother was killed today in a plane accident while on his ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to Australia.”

Munsch’s cousin Carol Holst posted a photo of him online, saying: “Russ was killed in a plane crash in Australia today.  Hug your loved ones. You never know.”

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Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. A former Sydney journalist, he launched ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples and Karrie Webb. He has also reported on numerous amateur tournaments, particularly national senior and veteran events. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best Golf News Report 2016 - 2017.

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