Peter O’Keefe from Iron Pot Golf Club in Tasmania is the new Australian Veteran Golfers Union (AVGU) National Champion after a highly successful 2019 edition of the long-running event in Launceston.
Peter carded rounds of 82, 79, 76 (237) to win by 7 shots from three-time champion John Ciezki from Buninyong in Victoria.
A jubilant victor, Peter celebrated the win with his close mates from Iron Pot. “I want to thank my mates from Iron Pot Golf Club, they encouraged and supported me the whole way. The courses played very tough and it’s just awesome to get the win.” Peter also thanked the tournament committee, event organisers Go Golfing and the hundred plus volunteers who made the event such a great experience.
The nett champion was Dean Hart from Ulverstone Golf Club in Tasmania with a 54 hole total of 217. The stableford champion was Peter Clarke from Atherton in Queensland with 105 stableford points.
The ladies champion was Kath Bellemore from Nedlands in WA with rounds of 83, 84, 85, just 2 shots ahead of Jenny Frost from Nelson Bay, NSW. Nett champion was Di Wolfe from Wodonga in Victoria and Margaret Bond won the stableford with 101 points.
More than 550 visitors representing every state and territory converged on Launceston for the week long celebration of competition and camaraderie among the veteran golf community.
The Australian Veteran Golfers Union (AVGU) National Championship is an annual event that rotates around the states and territories and was first staged in 1990.
States vets showdown
In the 2019 edition New South Wales had the biggest representation With 101 players followed by Western Australia with 99.
Interstate rivalry and bragging rights are also on the line with players scores also determining the State Champions. After finishing last in Port Stephens in 2018, local knowledge propelled Tasmania to top spot this year, narrowly defeating Queensland and Western Australia in third place.
Golfers attended from 114 Australian golf clubs. Clubs with five or more participants vied to be the Veteran Club Champions for 2019. Home ground advantage again proved compelling with Launceston Golf Club reigning supreme ahead of Riverside (TAS) and Nedlands (WA).
While recent rain produced lush green fairways, a cold front and strong winds made scoring conditions tough. No player scored better than their handicap for the three rounds and just 17 players scored better than their handicap on any day.
Golfers and their partners were treated to a Taste of Tasmania wine and food experience with the wines, cheeses and local chocolates a big hit. A Caledonian bagpipe band greeted guests on arrival for the gala presentation dinner which many rate as the best on record. There was a dance band, gourmet three course meal and for the first time at the Veteran Championships there was unlimited beer, wine and spirits.
Regis Aged Care, the Tasmanian Government, Launceston City Council and a band of local sponsors allowed event organisers to splash out. There were generous prizes for daily and overall winners.
Major sponsor Regis Aged Care have signalled their ongoing investment and support of veteran golfers by coming on board to host two championship events for veteran golfers in 2020.
More than 600 golfers contested the AVGU Golf National Championships when they were hosted in Port Stephens in 2018 and the popularity of this event will see Go Golfing host a (non AVGU) veterans event in the area from 21 to 25 April 2020.
A grade golfers will contest stroke and stableford, while B and C grade will be a stableford competition. Pacific Dunes, Horizons and Nelson Bay will again combine to provide a premium playing experience while the attractions of Nelson Bay will ensure there is plenty to enjoy when not on the course. The lure of the Hunter Valley’s premium wines and the opportunity to play at top ranking Cypress Lakes and The Vintage resort courses will make this a popular holiday extension.
Veteran golfers will be able to team up with their partner or favourite golfing buddy for the Regis Veteran Golf 4 Ball Championship at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast from 13-18 July. In a coup for the tournament, golfers will get not one, but two rounds on the private ‘members-only’ The Pines course at Sanctuary Cove – arguably the best course on the Gold Coast. There are also 2 rounds at The Palms course.
There will be men, ladies and mixed divisions based on team handicaps and the competition includes best ball, ambrose and aggregate events. The variety this competition format provides has proven very enjoyable at past events.
To find out more about the two Regis sponsored Go Golfing veteran events to be staged in 2020 visit www.VeteranGolfTravel.com.au
2020 Australian Veteran Golfers Union (AVGU) National Championships in Victoria
Black Bull Golf Club in partnership with Yarrawonga-Mulwala Golf Club Resort will host the 2020 Australian Veteran Golfers Union National Championship from the 29th of November to the 4th of December 2020.
The three courses that will be played over the tournament are the Black Bull course, Yarrawonga Murray Course and Yarrawonga Lakes course.