2019 Australian Senior Amateur Golf: How, When and Where to Play


By Darryl Hearsch

2018 was a fantastic golfing year with many new champions crowned and many new players that experienced senior golf. 2018 saw Greg Rhodes take out his fourth consecutive GA SOOM title to prove once and again his status as Australia’s leading senior golfer. Again in 2019 there is a jam-packed calendar of events and courses available for Australia’s senior amateur golfers. Many of Australia’s top courses are included providing Australian senior golfers with the enviable task of choosing just which great course and event they will play.

The Australian Senior Order of Merit Competition

Now entering its fourteenth year, the Australian Senior Ranking competition has been renamed to the Golf Australia Senior Order of Merit (GA SOOM).

The Golf Australia SOOM is primarily aimed at Australian based golfers who contest Australian events. It encourages participation among low-handicapped golfers and allows them to monitor their own development and form.

It is a competition that provides top-level golf for seniors who are ready to travel across the country to compete at the highest level. The 2019 calendar will include 17 events across every state and territory. As well as catering for the low handicapped golfers, Nett events are also run in conjunction with all events. The National Ranking year runs from November to the end of October meaning the first event for the 2019 year have already been played.

Who can play in Senior Order of Merit Events?

You need to be 55 years or older on the first day of the event being played. While some of the events have handicap restrictions most events are open to all senior golfers and with a generous handicap limit. All entry forms contain this information.

The Australian Senior Amateur, The National Masters and the NSW Senior Classic are popular events and a handicap ballot may be required. The best policy for these events is to enter and wait to see if a ballot is needed.

The Maroochy River Golf Club on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland will be the venue for the 2019 Australian Men’s Senior Amateur Championship

How does the Senior Order of Merit work?

The Golf Australia web site has full details on the Senior Order of Merit. While each SOOM event stands alone with prizes awarded in scratch, age and handicap divisions, SOOM points are also awarded to all players after the tournament.  

The number of competitors from inside the Top 20 on the SOOM is used to calculate a tournament rating. A higher rating event means a higher number of points. The highest rated event is the Australian Senior Amateur with an automatic Level 6 rating with other events achieving a level 2, 3, 4 or 5.

A table of SOOM positions and current points is available on the AUSOOM website (www.ausoom.com).

When are the Senior Order of Merit ranking points used?

At the end of each SOOM year Golf Australia medals are awarded to those seniors in the top three positions in the overall scratch and the over 65 sections.

At different times during the year various national senior teams are selected using the Golf Australia Rolling 12 Months points table as a basis for this selection.

Using a rolling 12-month table ensures selection is based on performance over a full twelve-month period. As events are played the old event drops off e.g. points gained in the 2018 Australian Senior Amateur Championship will remain current until replaced when the 2019 Australian Senior Amateur Championship is played.

  • The Sanctuary Cove Trophy

A 12-man Australian Senior team is selected every second year to play New Zealand for the Sanctuary Cove Trophy. This trophy will next be contested in 2020.

Golf Australia covers the cost of a return economy airfare, twin-share accommodation, official functions, and other costs determined by Golf Australia. Minor costs are at the expense of the players (i.e. local transport, breakfasts and lunches.) 

  • The Asia Pacific Seniors Championship

A six-man team to represent Australia in the 2019 Asia Pacific Championships in India will be selected after the 2019 Queensland Senior Amateur in August.

Golf Australia covers the following costs: return economy airfare, official accommodation, entry fee, and official functions. Other small costs are at the expense of the player (i.e. breakfasts, lunches, etc) 

  • Golf Australia vs the Australian Defence Force

A 12-person Golf Australia Senior team will be selected for a match against the Australian Defence Forces Golf Association at The National Golf Club in March, 2019. Selection in the team is based on the current SOOM at the end of January.

Any senior who has represented in the previous Sanctuary Cove or Asia Pacific teams is ineligible. This policy ensures a wider range of senior golfers are rewarded with major team selection each year.

The selection criteria for 2019 are explained on the Golf Australia web site. In summary, the team will now include two mid amateurs (male and female) and the leading senior female.

Golf Australia covers the cost of a return economy airfare for interstate players (TBC for 2019), two nights’ accommodation, official functions, and carts. Other minor costs are at the expense of the players (i.e. local transport, breakfasts and lunches.) Local players may choose to stay with the team.

How do I enter a National Ranking event?

Entry forms are always available on the AUSOOM website (www.ausoom.com) and can also be found on Golf Australia and various state golf organisation’s web sites. 

Although many of Australia’s best senior golfers will be competing you do not have to be a low marker to play and enjoy the competition and the friendships that will soon be made.

If you have thought about playing in one or more of these senior events, then why not make 2019 the year to put the plan into action.

What events are on in 2019?

The Golf Australia Senior 2019 calendar can be found at: https://www.golf.org.au/event#/customer/1090/schedule/2019/8613


Golf NSW – Men’s Senior Order of Merit

The NSW Men’s Senior Order of Merit (SOOM) is open to male amateur golfers, aged 55 years and over, who hold a current Australian or overseas equivalent handicap. A selected number of nominated events make up the Men’s Senior Order of Merit. Each Men’s Senior Order of Merit event will have points allocated to participants, depending on their scratch score and place in the event. The winner of the annual Men’s Senior Order of Merit will be the player who has accumulated the highest number of points from their best 14 results (points awarded) from the Men’s Senior Order of Merit listed events.

The events are run by the individual host Clubs. The NSW Senior Order of Merit 2019 calendar can be found at: http://www.golfnsw.org/golf-box#/customer/1012/schedule/2019/5703

Karren wins at Monash

Sixty-six senior golfers tested their skills around a tough Monash Golf Club. This event was rescheduled from earlier in the year due to heavy rains and most players found the course difficult but in pristine condition, as usually is the case for the picturesque Monash course. Only three players could better 80 with a comfortable win going to John Karren (Mona Vale) with a fine score of 74. Keith Robertson (Monash) was runner-up with 77 from Doug Cullam (Monash) on 78. The nett winner went to Keith Robertson (Monash) with a solid 69. In Division two, Rod Rodwell (Monash) took out the scratch with 83 on a c/b with Graham Shulman taking home the nett with 73.


 Golf VICTORIA – Men’s Senior Order of Merit

Doug Bachli Trophy (Gross)

The player that accrues the highest total of points for stroke performances in designated Senior events throughout the course of the year will win the Doug Bachli Trophy.

Paul Lulofs Trophy (Nett)

The player that accrues the highest total of points for nett performances in designated Senior events throughout the course of the year will win the Paul Lulofs Trophy.
The Victoria 2019 Men’s Senior Amateur calendar can be found at: https://www.golfbox.dk/livescoring/tour/?language=2057#/customer/1042/schedule/2019/8909

 Robb wins the 2018 Sorrento Seniors

David Robb (Corowa) winner of the 2018 Sorrento Seniors

David Robb (Corowa) concluded his 2018 seniors’ campaign with a one-shot victory over current Australian Seniors Champion, Gordon Claney (73-73, Kingston Heath). David Robb (75-70) has had many strong performances in 2018 and his closing even par round sealed his thirty-six hole victory. Third place went to Stephen Valentine (Kew) with a score of 149. (74-75).  Greg Welsh (Colac) took out the nett event with a fine score of 140 (70-70) from Timothy Kirtley (Thirteenth Beach) on 142 (72-70).


Golf SOUTH AUSTRALIA  – Men’s Senior Order of Merit

The South Australian SOOM events are open to all male golfers who are aged 55 years or above as at 4th February 2019 and who hold an official Golf Australia handicap (some handicap limits may apply). The SA SOOM events are stroke rounds divided into (over 55 years) and super seniors (over 65 years). The winner of both the over 55 years and over 65 years will be determined by aggregate points awarded over thirteen events. A players best eight events count towards the SASOOM trophies. 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 to be eligible to win either SA SOOM. All events have gross and nett winners and other prizes (depending on event) with a strong emphasis on the enjoyment of golf with fellow senior players. A nett stroke SASOOM trophy will also be awarded. This to be awarded to the player accumulating the most points over the seasons thirteen events. The nett event will have a handicap limit of GA 24.4.

The SA 2019 calendar can be found at: https://www.golf.org.au/seniors-oom


Golf QUEENSLAND – Men’s Senior Order of Merit

The PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit will recognise performances for both scratch and nett (handicap reduced) scoring. A player’s final PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit points total for both scratch and nett will comprise all points accrued from his best eight performances in designated events during that calendar year. Once a player plays more than eight designated events, his worst performance (e.g. lowest points total from a designated event) drops off for each additional event he plays. The player that accrues the highest total of points for scratch performances in the designated events over the calendar year will win the PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit Trophy and shall also receive an individual trophy. The player that accrues the highest total of points for nett performances in designated events over the calendar year will win the PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit Handicap Trophy and shall also receive an individual trophy.

The 65 and over player that accrues the highest total of points for scratch performances in designated events over the calendar year will win the PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit 65 and over Trophy and shall also receive an individual trophy.

The QLD 2019 calendar can be found at: https://www.golf.org.au/prescare-qld-senior-order-of-merit-events

Terry Small (Kogarah) winner of the McLeod seniors

Jackson and Small win at McLeod

Sixty-one senior golfers played around a nicely presented McLeod course with twelve players playing to or better than their handicap.

In the Men’s scratch event, NSW golfer, Terry Small (Kogarah) had a comfortable win with a great score of 72 from Ian Frost (Indooroopilly) on 75. In the men’s nett, Keith Dobie won easily with a great stableford score of 43 points from Stephen Woodgate on another good score of 40 points.

In the Women’s scratch event, Claire Jackson won, returning a fine score of 78 with Cheryl Sternberg taking out the nett event, with a good score of 40 points.

– Men’s Senior Order of Merit

Thirteen events are included in the Senior Men’s Ranking System and players will receive ranking points for gross finishing positions in these events. Points allocated for each event will vary according to the category of the event. Most events are category three. The Western Australia Seniors and Royal Perth Seniors both are classified as category one events, which attract higher ranking points. Ranking points will only be allocated to the section of the event that is played as a stroke play competition.

The WA 2019 calendar can be found at: http://www.golfwa.org.au/cms/events/fixtures/

How good is golf, age is no barrier!

Ron Pflugrath (Ipswich), Gertie Daniel (Lowood) and Allan Alloway (Sandy Gallop)

This great story was passed onto me from Ossie Baker, who is the President of the Ipswich District Veteran Golfers Association.

“For the first time in our 30-year history, our membership includes three nonagenarians, pictured here preparing for a recent game at Lowood Golf Club.  Ron Pflugrath (Ipswich City), Gertie Daniel (Lowood) and Allan Alloway (Sandy Gallop) all turned 90 during 2018. Our only other members to achieve this some years ago were Gertie’s husband Bill and former local swimming identity ‘Digger’ Murphy.

Both Ron (a Foundation and Life Member of the Association), and Allan, have won the Over 80’s Championship trophy in recent years, and Gertie still represents her Club in Ladies District Pennants. The day after his birthday Ron shot a score of 91 to miss his age by only one following a bogey on the last hole

All three will be back playing with us again this year.”

If anyone has any other interesting golf stories, please pass onto me and I will try to publish them pending on available space.



February 04                          Wynnum Seniors (QLD)

February 04                          Wollongong Seniors (NSW)

February 04                          South Lakes Seniors (SA)

February 6-8                         Men’s Tasmanian Seniors – Mowbray GC (TAS)

February 8-10                       New Zealand Seniors – Hastings GC (NZ)

February 11                          Stonecutters Ridge Seniors (NSW)

February 15                          Bribie Island Seniors (QLD)

February 18                          Blackwood Seniors (SA)

February 19-20                     Kooringal Seniors (VIC)

February 25                          Concord Seniors (NSW)

February 25-26                     Cranbourne Seniors (VIC)

February 26                          Arundel Hills Seniors (QLD)

February 28                          Gardiner’s Run Seniors (VIC)

February 28-2                       Tasmanian Senior Masters – Ulverstone GC (TAS)

March 04                               Mt Osmond Seniors (SA)

March 04                               Pennant Hills Seniors (NSW)

March 05                               Castle Hill Seniors (NSW)

March 08                               Mt. Lawley Seniors (WA)

March 11                               Redcliffe Seniors (QLD)

March 11                               NSW Senior Foursomes Championship – Murray Downs GC (NSW)

March 11                               State Seniors 4BBB Championship (WA)

March 12-14                          * NSW Senior Amateur Championship – Murray Downs
                                                       GC (NSW)

March 14-15                          Alpine Senior Masters (VIC)

March 18                               Royal Sydney Invitational (NSW)

March 18                               Thaxted Seniors (SA)

March 18                               WAGC Seniors (WA)

March 25                               Sun City Seniors (WA)  

March 25                               Royal Queensland Seniors (QLD)

March 24-26                          * Golf Australia vs ADFGA – The National GC

March 25-27                          NSW Veterans Strokeplay Championship – Richmond, Dunheved, Stonecutter’s Ridge (NSW)




  1. I am currently living in Cannons Creek (Vic) and remain a current member at Cerberus GC. I will be moving to Wangaratta in 1-2 months and am trying to locate a contact or web site for that area to play at the seniors events within the area (area/s unknown). Please advise the web site and/or a contact so that I can make contact with the appropriate person.

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