Veteran golfers massing on the Mornington Peninsula

Tournament director Ken McNamara says vets could be in for a battle if the winds blow on what can be some pretty tough courses

SOME 455 older golfers have gathered on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula for the 2012 Regis Australian Veteran Golfers Union National Championships.

Sunday November 11 was registration day at the Rosebud County Club and for hard-working tournament organisers their labour of love in putting together what is veteran golf’s biggest annual event was finally beginning to pay dividends.

Tournament director Ken McNamara has been working on the project part time for several years and full time for the past 12 months.

“I’m looking forward to the week very much,” McNamara said. “I’m glad after all the preparations the day has finally arrived.”

The week-long event kicks  off on Monday with a stableford fourball event as a primer and then gets into the serious phase with the men playing a 54 hole stroke championship on the three of Australia’s top 50 ranked golf courses. The men’s championship is conducted in three handicapped grades.

Ladies play a single stableford event in two divisions at each of the three clubs.

The three championship courses are the National Golf Club (Ocean Course), The Dunes Golf Links and Moonah Links.

Including just over 80 non-playing lady partners, 533 people from across Australia will take part in the event.

“You always get a few hiccups but given the number of people we have handled today it has actually gone very well,” McNamara said.

“They’re definitely looking forward to it. I’ve spoken to a lot of people and they’ve said they’ve come purely because of the courses we have put up for the week.

“I think it will test them out a bit. This will be a bit of a soft opener at Rosebud [Monday] but the other courses will find them out a fair bit. For their sakes I hope the wind doesn’t blow because if it does on those courses they are going to have a real battle on their hands.

“They’re very challenging. I know the courses very well, one of them I play as my home club and it is seriously challenging and that’s the Ocean Course at the National. If it blows out there they are going to have a hell of a day. They’ll never forget it.

Australian Senior Golfer is at the championship this week and will report on all the action as it unfolds.

The AVGU National Championship is open to men and lady golfers aged over 55 with official handicaps.