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2021

Richard Fellner wins the 2021 Presidents Trophy

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On a fine day at Royal Melbourne, our popular Presidents Trophy returned to its regular venue with players enjoying the course in great winter dormant conditions.
Secretary Kim Hastie welcomed the field, acknowledging regular players, the several past winners and the new members attending.
With a condition of 7 clubs only, nine holes of stroke was played in the morning with the top 4 nett scores progressing to the matchplay in the afternoon.
With the help of the Pro Shop, the top four scores were determined and announced at lunch.
For the sudden death matchplay, play was on the East Course and results came quickly.
Top qualifier with a score of Nett 37 was Guenter Oechsle, playing fourth qualifier Geoff Knight (38 c/b) with Geoff winning on their first hole.
In the other match, second qualifier John Trevorrow (38 c/b) played third qualifier and 2017 Runner up Richard Fellner (38 c/b) and despite playing from two bunkers Richard prevailed on their first hole.
So, finalists Geoff and Richard progress to their first hole the 3rd East (due to the 2nd being out of play) Richard set himself up with a great drive while Geoff found himself short right.
Richard followed up with great iron into the green and a favourable bounce saw him sit comfortably for two and a certain Par, and Geoff could not match the shots and Richard wins his first Presidents Trophy.
After golf drinks were enjoyed as President Graeme Ryan presented the trophy to Richard
We expect to see Richard participating in many more events as he informed us after 15 years as Editor of the Inside Golf Magazine he has retired from the role.
Our congratulations to Richard for the many years heading up and producing the widely circulated publication.
The Society thanks all staff involved for a successful and enjoyable day at Royal Melbourne.

Kim Hastie Hon Secretary – July 2021

March dinner report – Metropolitan Golf Club 23 March

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A well-attended first dinner for the year, saw members and guests enjoy some Metropolitan Golf Club hospitality.

The committee was incredibly pleased when James Sutherland CEO of Golf Australia accepted the invitation to speak at the dinner.

James quickly had his audience engaged, sharing some facts and figures about female participation numbers and the recent general playing increases that clubs have seen since golf came back after covid lockdowns.

His insight into where Australian golf sits compared to other large sports and the ongoing challenges the game faces gave us all something to think about.

After his talk James took questions from the floor.

President Graeme Ryan and committee thank James for generously giving us his time.

Read more as Committee member John Trevorrow recaps James Sutherlands talk.

Speaker – James Sutherland CEO Golf Australia

A sport for all

“Where have all the female golfers gone?” That was one of the challenging questions posed recently by James Sutherland, the new CEO of Golf Australia.

Mr Sutherland, in a speech to a Golf Society of Australia dinner at The Metropolitan GC, identified two crucial challenges facing all golfers and clubs: how to inspire more women and the next generation of young people, to discover and enjoy the game.

He said 20% of all golf club members across Australia today are female. In 1970, this figure was 34% and the zenith for women club membership was 1993 when 114,000 women across Australia were paid-up members. By 2019, this figure had fallen to 77,000 – a drop of more than 33%

“It is part of our ‘social licence’ as custodians of this great game to do better,” he said.

Mr Sutherland, who spent 17 successful years as CEO of Cricket Australia, was reflecting in late March on his five key observations after six months in charge of Golf Australia. As well as the challenge of falling female participation, he identified:

Golf is thriving. But is this real and sustained, or a fool’s paradise?
Club competition rounds played are up 20% and membership is up by 42,000 golfers after the Covid-affected year just past.
“We have to wait and see if these newcomers are here to stay beyond Covid,” he said.

Golf is a fragmented sport, but what is its potential?
Mr Sutherland believes exciting times are ahead with a national alignment and strategy. Golf Australia plans to run a survey of key people involved in the game. And the imminent move into the new Australian Golf Centre under construction at Sandringham, which will house Golf Australia, the PGA of Australia, and Golf Victoria, offers better collaborations.
The centre, funded by a $15.3million investment from the Victorian Government, includes a revamped Sandringham course plus practice and tuition facilities, and is due to open by late July.

We golfers are getting older
The average age of female club members in Australia is 63.9 years. The average male is 54.7 years old.
“Our number one KPI should be to attract new kids to play golf. All Golf Australia and PGA people, and all members of clubs, need to be doing more to attract and inspire the next generation of golfers.”

Tournaments are important, but are they good or bad for business?
He said that having to cancel important tournaments, including the 2020 Australian Open and 2021 Women’s Australian Open, were among the major decisions forced on Golf Australia because of the global Covid pandemic.
Mr Sutherland said such calls were met with a range of reactions.
“When you’re faced with the obvious health concerns, but also the commercial realities of putting on a tournament that might not meet some of our stakeholders’ expectations, it becomes a very delicate balancing act.
“Tournaments have traditionally been the shop window of golf to many, so it becomes imperative to think outside the box to keep golf front of mind.”
He left the audience pondering the challenges by asking: what was the biggest single television audience for golf in Australia? The answer was the first episode of “Holey Moley” – the reality TV show which features sudden-death matches on a super-sized mini-golf set whose resident pro is Greg Norman. Its first Australian episode attracted one million viewers.

“Many of these people were new eyeballs for golf. We have to ask ourselves what we all can do to make golf more appealing to younger players and to a wider participation,” he said.

Now THAT is food for thought.

John Trevorrow

Historians report Commonwealth Golf Monday 3 May

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The first Forum for the year was held at The Commonwealth Golf Club which, unfortunately for them, celebrated their Centenary in 2020. In recognition of this achievement the Club released a history titled ‘The First 100 Years’. The author, Charles Happell, was our guest speaker and provided thirty members and guests with an engrossing presentation of what he describes as the ‘colourful and vibrant’ history of the Club.
Aided by an unpublished document, written by noted historian Joseph Johnson, Happell delved into the characters and circumstances that make Commonwealth a unique Club. This uniqueness is perhaps best illustrated by the rejection of the overtures of one of the great ‘Golden Age’ architects Dr. Alister MacKenzie. The succinct note from the Club to MacKenzie declining his services is one for the ages.
That Commonwealth could reject such overtures and yet still boast a golf course of undoubted quality is without question due to the efforts of one man, Charles Lane. Lane was the dominant force in the Club and in 1926 he went on a self -funded six-month study tour where he spent time in the US with Walter Travis and in the UK with Harry Colt. No doubt he returned brimming with ideas and thus it is no surprise that the Club rejected the services of MacKenzie.
This was but one of the engrossing stories in the book that Charles spoke about. Further chapters that were touched upon dealt with other important figures such as Bill Edgar, Harry Williams, Eric Routley, Sloan Morpeth, Louise Briers, Rick Wines, Jarrod Lyle, Marc Leishman and others too many to mention.
Charles’ book is a worthy addition to the annals of Australian golfing histories and Commonwealth should be justifiably proud of it. Thank you to both Charles and the Heritage Committee of The Commonwealth Golf Club, led by its Chair Ian Pearce, for making their contribution to the first forum of the year such an interesting and insightful event.
Charles gave some insight into how such a book is produced, particularly in researching and verifying a club’s history, collating the photos, member stories and the importance of proof reading. He complimented his talk with a power point slide show.
Charles willingly took questions from the floor and his responses were assisted by members Virginia Gorrell, Ian Pearce, and Stephen Spargo.
The second speaker on the program was Paul Burgess, Woodlands GC member, long time GSA member and a regular contributor to forums. Paul gave an interesting talk about a misplaced trophy and how it found its way back to Woodlands Golf Club.
The following extracts are from Paul’s talk …
A couple of years ago a stranger arrived at the club to donate a baseless trophy in the form of an elegant silver cup inscribed Woodlands Golf Club City of Mordialloc
Coronation Cup Won by S.L-Anderson 12-5-1937
Presented by Cr Edwards Mayor
Exactly how he acquired it is unknown and regrettably his name and details were not recorded at the time.
It was decided to have a new base fitted and a local trophy maker was given the order to fit a new one so it could be displayed at the club.
Somehow the order was overlooked and forgotten about until recently when the cup was again returned to the club, but still without a base or stand.
The trophy has now been remounted courtesy of Mike Smith, a member with wood making skills who crafted a new base.
The earliest mention of the Coronation found to date in Victorian golfing circles was when Royal Melbourne Golf Club applied on the 8th of October 1936, to the Victorian Golf Association for two Coronation Medals.
Then in February 1937 the VGA asked its affiliated clubs to celebrate the coronation of King George VI suggesting they conduct special events on 8th May which was the Saturday preceding the Coronation scheduled for Wednesday, 12th May in London, England
It is worth noting no mention of medals has been found in newspaper golfing results reports.
Apparently not all clubs agreed to go along with the V.G.A. suggestion, though from the results in a Melbourne newspaper “The Herald” many metropolitan and country clubs did hold special Coronation Day competitions.
Commonwealth Golf Club responded positively to the V.G.A. declaring Coronation Day would be there opening day for the season and hosted a mid-week Open Scratch Event on Wednesday 12 May 1937.
Woodlands Golf Club responded even more patriotically by conducting a bogey handicap event for members with the prize being the “Coronation Cup”. It was the only trophy so named like that and records show Mr S. L. Anderson, off a handicap of 2, won it with a score of 3 up.
Mr Anderson joined the club as a junior two years previously and was obviously a handy golfer as in the same year was club champion.
Paul brought the trophy along for us to see and in a nice gesture , to acknowledge the reference made to Commonwealth GC and their Coronation event, he presented Ian Pearce with a framed account of the early beginnings of the Coronation Cup.

Historians Convenor – Tony Rule
Honorary Secretary – Kim Hastie

Don Lawrence Trophy 2021

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DON LAWRENCE TROPHY

Woodlands Golf Club Tuesday 11 May 2021

First played in 1996, the Don Lawrence Trophy commemorates and celebrates the
outstanding contribution to sports journalism by one of the Society’s earliest members.
Entries are now open for this annual 4BBB Stableford 18-hole event for individuals,
mixed pairs, women’s and men’s teams. The Secretary will make up teams if necessary.

A mixed pair take out the Don Lawrence Trophy

The Don Lawrence Trophy, our popular 4BBB event was played at its regular venue
Woodlands Golf Club.
The disrupted 2020 year, due the COVID- 19 pandemic, saw some postponed events eventually played for later in the year but unfortunately the Don Lawrence Trophy was unable to be rescheduled.
So, it was no surprise to see a full and enthusiastic field participating this year.
The 39 players made up of regulars and guests, mixed pairings, new members, and past
winning combinations, notably the 2019 winners Justin Ryan and Simon Sheedy took to the
fairways in cool but relatively dry conditions.
Many good scores were returned, and it was on a countback that saw the last-minute pairing of committee member Morag North and new member Bruce Sutherland win the day with 42 points from Ben Jarvis and Sam Forsyth.
In the member /guest category, the husband and wife grouping saw Tony and Di Mclean
playing with Geoff and Elizabeth Knight have a friendly match both returning 36 points with Tony and Di winning on a countback.
Secretary Kim for the benefit of new members and guests, gave some insight into the trophy which was started in 1996 and named in honour of Don Lawrence, recogonising the significant contribution he made to golf journalism.
After golf refreshments were enjoyed as President Graeme Ryan and Kim read the results,
made the presentations, and thanked Woodlands for another very enjoyable day.

Results
Winners – Morag North and Bruce Sutherland 42 pts c/b
Runners up – Ben Jarvis and Sam Forsyth 42 pts
Best score by member/and non-member guest -Tony and Di McLean 36 pts c/b
Best nine out – Charles Wilkins and Paul Burgess 23 points
Best nine in – Kim Hastie and Robert Sarafov 24 points
NTP Men – 11th Dean Mottram – 17th Guenter Oechsle
NTP Women – 11th Kim Hastie

Dinner at Metropolitan Golf Club – Tuesday 23 March 2021

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Dinner at Metropolitan Golf Club
Golf Road Oakleigh South

Tuesday 23 March 2021
6.30 pm for 7.00 pm

The Committee takes pleasure in inviting you to our first dinner for the year.

Joining us for the night will be James Sutherland who was appointed CEO of Golf Australia in October 2020. He was a former first-class cricketer and has an accounting, coaching and management background.

His contribution to Cricket Australia, of which he was CEO for 17 years, included an increase in revenue, corporate sponsorship and a boost to participation and development of the female game.

James is a keen golfer and is looking forward to the challenge of advancing and growing golf to achieve its enormous potential for all Australians.

We look forward to hearing about his first 6 months in the role and his future plans.

Please join us for what promises to be an enjoyable evening.

—————————————————————————————–

Acceptance: Post or email details to moragnorth1@gmail.com

by Thursday 18 March 2021

To assist with catering and seating, early acceptance and payment will be appreciated.

Member’s name(s) _________________________________________________

Guest’s name(s) ____________________________________________________

$75 per person includes wines at the table. Pre-dinner drinks at member’s expense.

Total amount due: $75 per person x ___________$____________

For payment details please contact the Honorary Secretary.

If paying direct, please quote name and email your attendance to:

moragnorth1@gmail.com

Or post acceptance & cheque to Morag North

31/11-12 Marne Street South Yarra Vic 3141