2020 Australian Senior Amateur Golf: How, When and Where to Play: COVID UPDATE

Greg Rhodes … winner of four consecutive Australian Senior Order of Merit titles


We will have info on the 2021 schedule available shortly



By Darryl Hearsch

2019 was a fantastic golfing year with many new champions crowned and many new players who experienced senior golf.

2019 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 2020 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 fifteenth 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 2020 calendar will include 18 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 2020 year has already been played. This was the ACT championships won by Ken Brewer (Lynwood, NSW). The 2020 GA SOOM ranking table after the ACT championships is https://www.golf.org.au/orderofmerit/#/orderofmerit/109819

The Australian Men’s Senior Amateur Championship will be held at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Western Australia from 13/10/2020 – 15/10/2020

Changes to the 2020 Australian Senior Order of Merit Competition

In 2019, Golf Australia adopted an order of merit ranking table based on cumulative points. Put simply, the more events you played, the more points you would accumulate. Also, each event was given a weighting based on historical data.

In 2020, a ranking table based on averages will be calculated. Extract from GA Playing conditions:

“3.1 A player’s ranking will be determined by totalling all points gained from GA OOM events and dividing them by the total number of events played (points average per event).“

“3.2 The player with the highest points average; who has played in a minimum of 5 events, between 1 November 2019 and 31 October 2020 will be the winner of the 2020 GA OOM.”

For each event, it will be weighted according to the quality of the field entering the event. The Australian Senior Amateur Championship attracts a minimum weighting of Level 6 while all state events are a minimum of Level 3. Again, this level may be higher depending on the quality of the field entering the event.

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 at Lake Karrinyup, The National Masters, The Victorian Seniors 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. As many state associations have joined up with Golf Australia (TAS, VIC, QLD, NT, SA) the 2020 calendar of all events is: https://www.golf.org.au/golfbox/national-events.html#/customer/1090/schedule/2020/10643,10656,10669,10682,10695,10708,10721

NSW and WA senior events are located at the state association sites.
For NSW:  https://www.golfnsw.org.au/2020-senior-order-of-merit/ and
WA :http://www.golfwa.org.au/cms/draft-2020-fixtures/

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 and top 100 on the GA 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) and Golf Australia website (https://www.golf.org.au/orderofmerit/#/orderofmerit/109819)

A list of documents explaining Golf Australia’s OOM conditions and selection criteria are located at https://www.golf.org.au/orderofmeritinfo/

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 current and past rankings from the 2019 GA SOOM and 2020 GA SOOM as a basis for this selection. Selection criteria for all senior teams is located at:

https://assets.ctfassets.net/3urhge2ecl20/5oueXeE49zJ3D0YW5xvblI/0e5ae2b394abff8dabd6d56f3c45506c/Senior_Selection_Events___Funding_Policy_.pdf  and


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 July 2020 in Australia. Dates and venue are yet to be confirmed. The top 8 players from the current GA OOM are automatic while the next 4 players of the 12-man team will be selected by the GA Senior Selection committee.

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 2020 Asia Pacific Championships in Singapore or New Zealand will be selected 8 weeks before the 2020 Asia Pacific Championships. The date and venue is to be confirmed. Based on previous championships it should be in October or November 2020.

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 new Peninsula-Kingswood Golf Club in March, 2020. Selection in the team is based on the 2019 GA SOOM and should occur 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 2020 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 2020), 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. The date of the event is 15-17th March 2020.


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 2020 the year to put the plan into action.

What events are on in 2020?

The Golf Australia Senior 2020 calendar can be found at: https://www.golf.org.au/eventscalendar/#/customer/1090/schedule/2020/10643,10656,10669,10682,10695,10708,10721


GOLF NEW SOUTH WALES – Men’s Senior Order of Merit

Currently there is over 50 senior men’s events in the 2020 Golf NSW calendar. The 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 2020 calendar can be found at: https://www.golfnsw.org.au/2020-senior-order-of-merit/



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 their best 12 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 their best 12 senior events throughout the course of the year will win the Paul Lulofs Trophy.

The Victoria 2020 calendar can be found at: https://www.golf.org.au/golfbox/national-events.html#/customer/1090/schedule/2020/10669


GOLF VICTORIA – Men’s Senior Order of Merit Final Results 2019

Kingston Heath’s Gordon Claney

Gordon Claney (Kinsgton Heath) has taken out the Victorian “Doug Bachli Order of Merit” title for 2019. What makes his victory even better is that a players best 12 performances over the year are taken into account. Gordon only played 9 events in gaining his victory. His impressive year included four first places, two seconds, two third places and one fourth place.

Stephen Valentine (Kew) had a great year in both Victorian and Australian ranking events. Stephen finished second in the VIC SOOM with five first places, one second and two third places. He finished in the top 5 ten times.

Third place was Ian Mc Cleary (Kooringal) with another strong year’s performance. Ian had two first places, one second and four third places. He finished in the top 5 on ten occasions.

In the nett event final standings, in which players compete for the Paul Lulofs trophy, it was another win to Ignatius Duivenvoorden (Yarram). Ignatius competed in 32 events with three wins and four seconds. Second place went to John Hoare (Pakenham) who played in 22 events. Guy Krall (The National) finished in third and also played in 22 events.

Davis and Day win the Mornington Senior Amateur

L to R Andrew Davis, Lee-Anne Day, Dale Thompson and Adrian Barr

Andrew Davis (The National) and Lee-Anne Day (Midlands) battled through horrendous conditions at the Mornington peninsula senior amateur to take home the titles.

When players moved from Flinders GC to Portsea GC for the final round, the rain and strong winds followed. Andrew Davis (The National) continued his steady form over the testing two days to win by two strokes from NSW visitor, Douglas Cullam (Monash) who finished the last day with a great score of five over par,76.

In the nett event, Adrian Barr (The National) held onto his overnight lead in the nett to claim victory, with a score of 146.Tony Gunn (Peninsula – Kingswood) finished second with 149.

In the women’s scratch stableford event, Lee-Anne Day blitzed the field with 26 points for the two days from Kay Barcelon (Patterson River) who finished runner-up.

In the stableford event, Dale Thompson (Southern) and Suzanne Ferguson (Rossdale) finished first and second respectfully.


Charnley takes the win at the Sorrento Senior Amateur

Sorrento winners Kerry Boehm and Geoff Charnley

Geoff Charnley (Rossdale) won the first event of the 2020 Victorian Seniors OOM with a three shot win over 36 holes at the beautiful Sorrento golf club. Geoff finished with rounds of 74-73. Runner-up was Mark Brasher (The National) with scores of 77-73. Equal third went to Kevin Naismith (Southern) and Mark Abeyaratne (Penisula-Kingswood) who both finished on 151. Rounding out the top five was Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) on 152.

In the nett event, Kerry Boehm (Patterson River) won a five-way countback from Chris Keeshan (Centenary Park), David Syme (Royal Melbourne), Adam Charleston (Barwon Heads) and Andy Buxton (Royal Melbourne) after all finished on 143.


Naismith and Pascoe claim the win in the Keysborough Senior Amateur

L to R Helen Pascoe and Tina Cowie

Kevin Naismith and Helen Pascoe have started the 2020 year off in style, taking out the first senior event of 2020 at Keysborough Golf Club.

Naismith (Southern) produced a superb six-under-par 67 to take out the Men’s section by three shots. His round included six birdies and an eagle on the par-5 17th on his way to victory.

Simon Bracegirdle (The National) was runner-up to Naismith with a three under par round of 70. Bracegirdle matched Naismith with six birdies for his round.

In the nett event, John Owen (Barwon Heads) won with a neat round of nett 69. Ian Donaldson (Yering Meadows) was the next best, one shot behind on 70.

In the women’s section, Helen Pascoe (Buninyong) has continued her outstanding form from 2019, taking out the first event for the year with 27 scratch stableford points. Lyn Horswood (The National) was only one shot back on 26 points.

Tina Cowie (Deep Creek) had a superb score of 42 points to take out the overall stableford event. Runner-up on 37 points was Judith Bull (Commonwealth).



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 2020 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 SA SOOM trophies. A points loading applies depending on if the event is a one, two or three round event. A minimum of eight 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 2020 calendar can be found at: https://www.golf.org.au/golfbox/national-events.html#/customer/1090/schedule/2020/10695


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 2020 calendar can be found at: https://www.golf.org.au/golfbox/national-events.html#/customer/1090/schedule/2020/10643


Frost and Jackson win at McLeod

Ian Frost

A large field of 82 players which included 23 ladies and 59 men teed up in the McLeod QSOOM event. The field included two international visitors, Anne Wallace from Royal Port Rush in Northern Ireland and Andrew Atkinson from Wales.

A total of 11 men and 4 ladies played to their handicap or better. The best nett scores came from Grant Colbran (McLeod) who had an amazing 43 points, closely followed by Warren Penrose (Brisbane) and Susan Weldon (Nudgee) who had 42 points. Next was Jim Stone (Southport) on 40 points and then David Hoger (Royal Quensland) on 39 points and Rod McNeven (Pacific) on 37 points.  

The best men’s scratch scores came from Ian Frost (Arundel Hills) and Jim Stone who both had an even par 71, followed by David Hoger with a 73 and Stephen Toyne (Indooroopilly) on 74.

The best ladies’ scratch scores came from Claire Jackson (Redcliffe) with a 5 over par 79, followed by Alex Belonogoff (Pacific) on 80.

Report by John Jayo


GOLF WESTERN AUSTRALIA – 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 The Hartfield 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 2020 calendar can be found at: http://www.golfwa.org.au/cms/events/fixtures/


Harrington Waters to host Australian Over 80 Men’s and Women’s Golf Championship

Harrington Waters is nestled in the stunning Manning Valley and offers a quality 18 hole, 9 greens course in Northern NSW. The course is very flat and suits the over 80’s group. The event is a 27-hole tournament played over 3 days of nine holes. Both scratch and stableford events will be run over the three days. This is the 6th year that Harrington Waters has run this event.

The dates for this years event is 24th -26th March 2020. Entries are available via the link https://www.harringtonwatersgolfclub.com.au/cms/play-golf/

2019 WINNERS L to R Frank Musgrave, Pam Sadler and Beth Andrews

Last year’s men’s winner, Frank Musgrave who shot 40,35,40 for his 27 holes has confirmed he will be back to defend his title as will Betty Andrews who has won every women’s scratch events since its inception.

Harrington Waters was impacted by the fires in late 2019 and this would also be a great way to put some money back into the local economy and enjoy the superb local hospitality. If any person/groups are interested in providing sponsorship for the event, contact Peter Budden via Harrington Waters Golf Club.



February 03                          Wynnum Seniors (QLD)

February 03                          Wollongong Seniors (NSW)

February 04                          South Australian SOOM South Lakes (SA)

February 5-7                         Men’s Tasmanian Seniors – Mowbray GC (TAS)*

February 6-8                         New Zealand Seniors – Hamilton GC (NZ)

February 10                          Stonecutters Ridge Seniors (NSW)

February 10                          Links Hope Island PresCare QSOOM (QLD)

February 15                          Bribie Island PresCare QSOOM (QLD)

February 17                          South Australian SOOM Blackwood (SA)

February 17                          St. Michael’s Seniors (NSW)

February 18                          The Coast Seniors (NSW)

February 18-19                     Kooringal Senior Amateur (VIC)

February 24                          Concord Seniors (NSW)

February 24                          Arundel Hills PresCare QSOOM (QLD)

February 24-25                     Cranbourne Senior Amateur (VIC)

February 27-29                     Tasmanian Senior Masters – Ulverstone GC (TAS)*

February 29- March 1            Albany Senior Classic (WA)

March 02                              South Australian SOOM Mt Osmond (SA)

March 02                              Castle Hill Seniors (NSW)

March 03-04                          Eureka Senior Amateur (VIC)

March 05-06                          Nudgee Masters PresCare QSOOM (QLD)

March 09                              Royal Sydney Invitational (NSW)

March 11                              State Seniors 4BBB Championship (WA)

March 12-13                          Alpine Senior Masters (VIC)

March 15-17                          * Golf Australia vs ADFGA – Penisula-Kingswood GC

March 16                              Redcliffe Seniors (QLD)

March 16                              South Australian SOOM Thaxted (SA)

March 23                              Royal Queensland Seniors (QLD)

March 23-25                          NSW Veterans Strokeplay Championship – Richmond,                                                        Dunheved, Stonecutter’s Ridge (NSW)

March 24                              Sun City Seniors (WA)   

March 30                              South Australian SOOM Tea Tree Gully (SA)

March 31 – April 2                 The National Senior Masters – National GC (VIC)*

* events in the Australian Senior Men’s Order of Merit 2020

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