Australian golf icon Alex Mercer has been honoured for his service to the sport after receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Australia Day 2023 Honours List.
Former Australian Open Champion, the Late Bob Shearer was also awarded an OAM, while long-time golf administrator Annette Court was also recognised for her significant service to golf administration and the community by being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
One of the most revered figures within Australian golf for his work with tour players such as Steve Elkington, Jan Stephenson, Peter O’Malley and Michael Campbell, few have influenced the game more than Mercer.
Mercer, a life member of Golf NSW, was the PGA Professional at Royal Sydney Golf Club for 35 years and is one of just three PGA Members recognised as ‘Immortals’ alongside Peter Thomson and Charlie Earp.
An accomplished player, Mercer made a lasting impact through his teaching, gentle nature and innate understanding of the golf swing, providing an entry point for thousands of Aussie golfers.
A PGA of Australia Life Member, the late Robert (Bob) Shearer sadly passed away at age 73 in January 2022, with the golfing community mourning and remembering him as one of Australia’s most decorated professionals.
In a playing career that stretched across four decades, Shearer amassed 27 professional wins including the 1983 Australian PGA Championship at Royal Melbourne Golf Club and the 1982 Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney.
PGA of Australia Chair, Rodger Davis, said it was special to have two golfing greats acknowledged for their outstanding contributions to the game
“Alex and Bob are both legends of golf in Australia, and we’re incredibly proud to see them recognised and awarded the Medal of Order of Australia,” Davis said.
“It’s just over a year since we lost Bob, and while we would love to be celebrating this moment with him, I know Kathie and their two sons Brett and Bobby will be as grateful and proud as Bob would be.
“Alex is one of the best coaches and teachers having guided players such as Steve Elkington and Peter O’Malley to the very top of the game, while always maintaining a passion for helping young amateur players.
“He was made an Immortal of the PGA back in 2017 and it is wonderful to see his contribution to the game honoured in such a way.”
PGA of Australia CEO, Gavin Kirkman, said that Mercer and Shearer’s recognition was indicative of the role that PGA Professionals play in the promotion and success of golf.
“The late Bob Shearer and Alex Mercer are icons of golf in Australia and have played a major role in influencing and inspiring thousands of Australians to play the game,” Kirkman said.
“Alex is without question one of the most accomplished and respected figures in the history of the PGA of Australia, and the tributes paid to Bob when he passed show what a monumental figure he was. We could not be prouder to see two of our members awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM),” he said.
Golf NSW Chairman Michael Medway said Mercer was an institution in New South Wales Golf for more than half a century, and the recognition was befitting for such an inspirational figure.
“Alex Mercer’s OAM is a fitting recognition of his significant investment into golf, and developing elite amateur & professional players of this state for generations.
“Golf NSW offers its warmest congratulations on what is an exceptionally well-deserved honour, one that will doubtless have many people fondly recalling their own experiences either with Alex, or enjoying his influence on the golfing careers of so many of our state’s best players.”