By Dave Tees, Golf NSW
The greens look great, and the fairways are striped to perfection as Coffs Harbour Golf Club readies itself for the Women’s NSW Open which begins on Thursday.
All hands have been on deck for over two months as the club gets its chance to show its best to the stars Australian and European women’s golf.
Coffs Golf Club General Manager Paul McAra is thrilled with the way the staff and members have embraced the event and how much effort has gone into the course preparation and organisation around the tournament.
“Since we found out we were hosting the event it’s been pretty well full-on.
“Its’ been about getting out and doing all those finer touches, the gardens are up to spec, the fairways are cut in properly.
“We have got a small greens team that has really put in since Christmas, we’ve been so lucky with their expertise.
“We are delighted with how it’s come up in such a short time. It’s been a hectic process,” Mr McAra said.
Around 97 visiting players have been billeted by Coffs Harbour members, both for this week and during last week’s Australian Ladies Classic at Bonville. It’s a figure Mr McAra says displays how committed the membership is in ensuring the Women’s NSW Open is a truly memorable event.
“For a member club, it just shows you how much they want to put in for the tournament,
“We’ve got 140 members volunteering on Sunday.
“It’s been a resounding vote from the members. They’ve been right behind it.
Mr McAra added that the region had embraced the championship and the feedback around town has been positive.
“When we had Gary Player and Billy Dunk and those like playing the North Coast (Open), we had thousands of spectators out there, so it’s great to have a major tournament back.
“Everyone is talking golf, two events in two weeks of such high stature.
“There will be lots of people out there out there on the course. It’s been such a strong response; we hope it equates to spectators out there from Thursday through to Sunday.
“We’re all excited,” Mr McAra grinned.
Round 1 Tee Times
Round one and two tee times have already been released and fans can expect some wonderful golf from the marquee groupings.
Gun amateur Doey Choi of Concord Golf Club will get to test her game alongside the biggest names in the sport when she begins her NSW Open quest with Hall-of-Famer Dame Laura Davies and ALPG & LPGA member Sarah Kemp. The trio will start from the 10th hole at 7.38am.
Coonabarabran’s Rebecca Artis will be looking to add an NSW Open title to her name before she embarks on her rookie year on the LPGA tour. She will hit off at 7.27am from the tenth tee alongside the impressive Thai Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras and Amy Boulden of Wales.
Other groups to watch include last week’s third place getter Valdis Jonsdottir, Sheridan Gorton and England’s Inci Mehmet who will get their round underway at 1.00pm from the 10th tee.
FAST FACTS: Women’s NSW Open Golf Championship
Tournament website: www.womensnswopen.com.au
Host Venue: Coffs Harbour Golf Club
Date: 1-4 March, 2018
Format: 72-hole Stroke Play Championship
Field Size: 144 Players
Total Prize Pool: AUD $150,000
2006: Joanne Mills
2008: Dame Laura Davies (ENG)
2009-2010: Sarah Oh (NSW)
2011: Caroline Hedwall (SWE)
2012: Lydia Ko (am) (NZL)
2013: Caroline Hedwall (SWE)
2014: Joanna Klatten (FRA)
2015: Holly Clyburn (ENG)