IN my previous column I highlighted the 2018 calendar of events that make up the Australian Senior Ranking system. The calendar lists 18 national level events that includes all the states and territories of Australia plus several other senior golf representative fixtures.
While the national calendar is 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 Doug Bachli Trophy is Kingston Heath senior Gordon Claney who had a great tussle in 2017 with Kym Olsen (The National) and Ian Frost Rich River).
The 2017 Paul Lulofs handicap trophy went to John Kelly (Metropolitan) who defeated Ignatius Duivenvoorden (Yarram) and Keith Finkelde (Latrobe).
The winner of the Over 65s trophy was Malcolm Barnes (Neangar Park) with David Robb (Corowa) and Greg Welsh (Colac) filling the places.
The 2018 Victorian calendar includes thirteen 18-hole events, sixteen 36-hole events and four 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 2018 include Keysborough, Royal Melbourne, The Heritage, Lonsdale, The Sands, Kooringal, Gardiner’s Run, Cranbourne, Bright, Flinders, Portsea, The National, Ballarat, Box Hill, Cobram-Barooga, Hepburn Springs, Heathcote, Shepparton, Tocumwal, Coomealla, Yarrawonga, Yarra Yarra, Kingston Heath, Victoria, Metropolitan, Commonwealth, Royal Melbourne, Bendigo, Lang Lang, Melton Valley, Woodburn, Spring Valley, Warrnambool, Moyne and Sorrento. Many of the events will also include a section for senior women.
Simon Bracegirdle and Kym Olsen, members at The National Golf Club, have tied for first place in the 2018 Keysborough Seniors the first event for 2018. They returned scores of 72. one under par to win by two shots from David McDonald (Sandhurst) and Stephen Day (Ballarat).
Warm conditions greeted 100 players at the picturesque Heritage Golf and Country Club for the second event on the Seniors calendar, the 2018 Yarra Courses Senior Amateur.
In the Men’s section, Ian McCleary (Kooringal) produced a super score of 70 to win by 4 over local product Tim Dixon. Two behind them was Guy Krall (The National) who fired a 76.
The nett champion was Andrew Hansen (Eastern) who finished with a 69 closely followed by two members of the Latrobe Golf Club, Frank Pinataro (70) and Keith Finkelde (71).
For further information including all the dates and venues for the 2018 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 2018 competition including 50 events across the state. The competition uses each golfer’s best 14 events.
The 2018 calendar has events on many of NSW’s best metropolitan courses including St Michael’s, The Coast, Mona Vale, Castle Hill, Pennant Hills, Royal Sydney, Monash, Bonnie Doon, The Lakes, The Australian, Avondale, Cabramatta, Penrith, Stonecutter’s Ridge, Glenmore Heritage Valley, Concord, Eastlakes. Manly, Oatlands, Pymble, Carnarvon, Liverpool, Twin Creeks, Bankstown, Long Reef and Cromer.
The number of regional and country courses once again has grown and in 2018 will include Belmont, Forster-Tuncurry, Wollongong, Nambucca Heads, Gungahlin Lakes, Bowral, Catalina, Pambula Merimbula, Tura Beach, Duntryleague, Coffs Harbour, Bonville, Port Macquarie, Kooindah Waters, Horizons, Wyong, Newcastle, Shelly Beach, Magenta Shores, Port Kembla, Camden, Windsor, Moruya, Mollymook, Queanbeyan, Gold Creek and Federal.
The NSW state senior amateur will be played at The Island Course, Nambucca Heads, for the first time.
The Senior Order of Merit Champion in 2018 was Ken Brewer from the Concord Golf Club. Brewer played some great golf to defeat Long Reef’s Geoff Cranfield. Greg Stanford (Mona Vale) won the Over 65s and Graham Leake (Links Shell Cove) was the winner of the Handicap section.
The 2018 year began with the 2018 Forster-Tuncurry Seniors and the defending champion Brian Sams showed his liking for the course with another victory. Sams, now making Pacific Dunes his home, fired a one over par 73 to win by three shots from Warren Gorton (Hawks Nest). Local member Greg Ellis was third a further shot away.
Another local member, Martin Painter, won the handicap section with a very good score of 69.
The second event was the 2018 Lake Macquarie Seniors held at the Belmont Golf Course. A good field of almost 100 seniors teed it up and the winner was local member Ian Barton with a fine score of 74.
Barton finished two strokes clear of Bardwell Valley senior Lester Peterson and another Belmont member Brian Garland.
The 2018 Coast Seniors event was the next event and Robert Farrugia from Eastlakes Golf Club won with a score of 71. Farrugia won by 2 shots from Rick Allison (Lakeside) and Greg Stanford Mona Vale) who finished together on 73.
Local member Ken Hindle won the handicap prize with a round of 78 and his 13 handicap gave him 41 points.
The following day saw the 2018 St Michael’s Seniors and John McFarlane ( Brighton Lakes) and Geoff Cranfield (Long Reef) shared the best round of the day. They finished on 74 which saw them defeat Ken Ewington from Cronulla by a single stroke.
McFarlane was again a winner in the handicap section sharing first place with Robert Farrugia (Eastlakes). They finished together on 37 Stableford points.
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 Robert Farrugia with two excellent rounds of 71 and 76 for a 36-hole total of 147.
The 2018 Wollongong Seniors saw Links Shell Cove senior Graham Leake return to the winners list and the south coast senior was the winner after his round of 73. He took home the major prize from runners-up Steve Musgrave and Keith Thornley who were tied on 74.
In the Over 65’s Cameron Fraser marked a return to senior golf with a nice round of 75 and victory over Jack Parker (Wyong) on 79. Host Alan Fensom presented another great day at Wollongong and the good-sized field will look forward to returning in 2019.
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 34 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. 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 2018 Gold Coast Senior Classic and the 2018 Queensland Senior Amateur Championship.
Courses for 2018 include Palmer Colonial, Wynnum, Bribie Island, Arundel Hills, Redcliffe, Royal Queensland, Laidley, Hills International, Indooroopilly, Pelican Waters, Pacific Harbour, Carbrook, Nudgee, Coolangatta Tweed Heads, Royal Pines, Sanctuary Cove, Lakelands, The Glades, Gailes, Palmer Gold Coast, North Lakes, Redcliffe, Beerwah, Keperra, Maroochy River, Brookwater, Toowoomba, Toowoomba City, Virginia, McLeod and Warwick.
The prize winners for the 2016-17 PresCare QSOOM series were as follows:
Winner Men’s Scratch: Mario La Chiusa 1315 points
Runner Up Men’s Scratch: Stephen Toyne 1255 points
Winner Men’s Nett: Ray Harvey 1300 points
Runner Up Men’s Nett: Paranjit Singh 1190 points
Winner Men’s Super Senior: Trevor Box 1070 points
Runner Up Men’s Super Senior: Phillip Towle 1010 points
Winner Women’s Scratch: Wendy O’Connell 1800 points
Runner Up Women’s Scratch: Cheryl Sternberg 1440 points
Winner Women’s Nett: Adrienne Naismith 1145 points
Runner Up Women’s Nett: Judy Logan 1110 points
Winner Women’s Super Senior: Helen Gray 1140 points
Runner Up Women’s Super Senior: Margaret Emerson 1085 points
Special mention to Wendy O’Connell who amassed an incredible 1800 points. This is by far the largest total ever seen in the history of the QSOOM.
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 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 eight 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.
2018 Senior Order of Merit
Event 1 – 5th February @ South Lakes
Event 2 – 26th February @ Blackwood
Event 3 – 19th March @ Mt Osmond
Event 4 – 16th April @ Tea Tree Gully
Event 5 – 23rd April @ The Vines
Event 6 – 7th May @ Flagstaff Hill
Event 7 – 4th June @ West Lakes
Event 8 – 20th August @ Glenelg
Event 9 – 27th August @ Royal Adelaide
The 2017 South Australian Senior Order of Merit champion and winner of the John Beaumont Trophy was John Davey (Tea Tree Gully). The winner of the Tony Mazzone Trophy for the Super Seniors was Eric Lane (The Grange) with Bruce Lindner (Kooyonga) winning the handicap trophy.
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 1 Gardiner’s Run (SA)
March 5 Castle Hill Seniors (NSW)
March 5 Redcliffe Seniors (QLD)
March 6 Pennant Hills Seniors (NSW)
March 12 Royal Sydney Invitational (NSW)
March 15-16 Alpine Seniors at Bright GC (VIC)
March 15 Monash Senior Masters (NSW)
March 19 Mt Osmond Seniors (SA)
March 19 NSW Senior Foursomes (Nambucca Heads)
March 20-22 * NSW Senior Amateur Championship (Nambucca Heads)
March 25-27 Golf Australia Seniors vs ADFGA at The National GC
March 26-28 NSW Veterans Championship – Richmond, Dunheved, Stonecutter’s Ridge
March 26-28 Mornington Peninsula Seniors at Flinders and Portsea GCs (VIC)
March 28 Royal Queensland Seniors (QLD)
March 28 Sun City Seniors (WA)
April 1-2 * Royal Perth Seniors (WA)
April 2 Bonnie Doon Seniors (NSW)
April 4-6 * West Australian Seniors at Mandurah GC (WA)
April 8 Jubilee Seniors at Bowral GC (NSW)
April 9 Indooroopilly Seniors (QLD)
April 10-12 * The National Senior Masters (VIC)
April 15-19 * The Sapphire Coast Senior Amateur (Tura Beach & Pambula-Merimbula)
April 16 Tea Tree Gully Seniors (SA)
April 17-19 Eureka Seniors (Ballarat)
April 21 Laidley Ladies Classic (QLD)
April 23 The Vines Seniors (SA)
* Part of the Australian Senior Ranking System