Some of the brightest up-and-coming stars in Australian Golf are ready to shine on the south coast next week as the Australasian Summer of Golf hits the Shoalhaven and Illawarra.
First up for fans is the $50,000 South Coast Open at Mollymook Golf Club on Tuesday and Wednesday, while those around the Wollongong area will get their share of the action later in the week, with the fast and furious Blitz Golf format dropping into the city-based club on Friday afternoon.
The competition for the coveted South Coast Open will be fierce, with several local stars and a couple of celebrated Tour winners participating in both events.
The top three finishers – Professional or amateur – at the South Coast Open who are not already exempt will be assured of a start in the 2023 PLAY TODAY NSW Open next March.
Former Australasian PGA Tour Player of the Year, Matt Millar is making an appearance at Mollymook. So too, will be the 2021 WA PGA champion, Jay Mackenzie of Ballina.
Local interest will lie in the performance of gun amateur and Mollymook resident, Jye Halls. The 18-year-old, already a confirmed starter in next year’s PLAY TODAY NSW Open at the Rich River Golf Resort on the Murray River, will be out to prove his victory in last month’s NSW Country Championship at Shoalhaven Heads was no fluke.
Graeme Phillipson, Chief Operating Office at Golf NSW, said the interest from competitors, not just in the South Coast Open but the Regional Open series overall, had been particularly pleasing.
“Fans of the sport in the area are in for some superb golf,” Mr Phillipson said. “The entries for this week in particular and across the series is a real stamp of approval from all of the players involved.”
Friday afternoon will see the Dynamic BLITZ Golf Formula hit Wollongong Golf Club for the first time, with the city club the fourth of six events on the national schedule, culminating in the national final in Adelaide in January.
Billed as Golf but Faster, Louder and Bolder, the event has a real party atmosphere surrounding it. The novel ten hole – three-cut format combined with tie-breaker style sudden death shoot-outs adds to the drama for the fans on site.
Wollongong Golf Club CEO Leigh Hingston said the City course is in fantastic condition for the event, thanks in no small part to the committed green staff and the handy band of volunteers.
“Everyone has been working hard behind the scenes. We have had about ten volunteers out helping the green staff.
“We held our Amateur Open in late November, and all of the players praised the condition of the course.”
Friday’s Blitz event is the first event of the city club’s four-day festival of Golf, including the men’s club championship final rounds and end-of-year presentations, with the NSW Cancer Council’s Longest Day fundraiser teeing off on the following Monday.
“This is the club’s first major pro event in over ten years, and the members are incredibly excited,” Mr Hingston said.
South Coast Open- Mollymook
Format: 36 Hole Strokeplay Championship
Monday, 12 December: Pro-Am 18 Holes
Tues 13 December: Rd 1 Championship
Wed 14 December: Rd2 Championship ( Seeded draw)
Blitz Golf – Wollongong:
Format: 10 Hole Stroke, followed by three cuts of head-to-head play.
Date: Friday, 16 December
Start Time: 2.00 pm tee-off with play to continue until around 7.00 pm