Inside Golf : Inside Golf February 2015
from the ceo www.insidegolf.com.au | February 2015 19 PGA in full swing in February Stephen Pitt CEO – Golf Australia Brian Thorbur n CEO – PGA of Australia With 2015 now well underway, the PGA of Australia and the PGA tour of Australasia is in full swing for the year ahead. the final stage of Qualifying School presented by Cobra Puma Golf was recently held at Victoria Golf Club, with 50 players gaining full status to compete on the PGA tour of Australasia this season. A total of 170 players competed across three states in the first stage, with 75 teeing it up in final stage with the top-50 players securing their cards. Congratulations to Ed Stedman who finished birdie, birdie, to win Q-School and cementing his place in the tour’s biggest tournaments. i wish Ed and all the qualifiers the best of luck in the 2015 season and i look forward to watching the next generation of Aussie stars. the 2015 PGA tour of Australasia season is set to commence in February, with the Oates Victorian Open Championship at 13th Beach Golf Links from 5 – 8 February opening the season. the tour remains in Victoria the following week which sees the new pro- am format Mercedes-Benz Truck & Bus Victorian PGA Championship taking to the fairways at huntingdale Golf Club from 10 – 13 February, before heading north for the Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship at City Golf Club, toowoomba. the tour then travels across the tasman for the Holden NZ PGA Championship and BMW NZ Open held at the breathtaking Millbrook Resort and the hills. the PGA of Australia’s education and training division is also up and running for 2015, with the new elite development program, the PGA Golf Performance Program commencing on the 27th January. the program is based out of the PGA Centre for Learning and Performance at Sandhurst, and will see around 15 golfers complete the highly structured one year training program aimed at improving the technical, physical, mental and tactical areas of the game. For more information on the program and PGA Centre for Learning and Performance, visit www.pga.org.au/education/ pga-clp Also aimed at providing education and training within the golf industry, the PGA International Golf Institute (PGA iGi) is set to commence the 2015 program with two courses on offer. the Diploma of Golf Management, which offers face-to-face learning at either the Gold Coast or Sydney campus, combines academic learning with golf training and tuition. Students have the opportunity to study for one year (Diploma) or three year (Diploma & Bachelor Degree) with the PGA iGi and its education partners. it is an ideal pathway to a PGA traineeship or a career in golf management. Alternatively, the Advanced Diploma of Management focuses on the skill sets required for Golf Club Management, this course is delivered via online distance learning and is suitable as a skill development course for golf club managers. For more information on either course, visit www.pgaigi. com. in addition to our tournaments and education, the PGA’s program of events from pro-ams, holden Scramble, MyGolf and more are all looking towards a successful 2015, and we look forward to seeing you on the fairways soon. With many of the main men’s events this summer in the books, we now turn our focus to the upcoming women’s calendar. And, naturally, the chief focus in Australia will be the flagship ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open from February 19-22. it’s a tremendous honour for Golf Australia to return to Royal Melbourne – and indeed on to the club’s famous Composite Course that has rarely been played in women’s competition. We are only now getting our breath back from the last time we ventured to Royal, when Jessica Korda won that remarkable six-way playoff in 2012 that helped break crowd and viewership records and give women’s golf the profile it so richly deserves. it’s easy to forget that the Women’s Australian Open wasn’t even played in 2005 or 2006 for various reasons. But with the support of the Victorian Government, our venture to the Sandbelt began in 2008, we haven’t looked back. Bar a visit to Royal Canberra for Women’s events set to impress the club’s centenary in 2013, we have moved around the famous Melbourne courses and watched the tournament expand to its current thriving state. With the LPGA an active partner since 2012, we have grown this tournament to annually attract the best-ranked fields in the country. in fact, in many ways, it’s this tournament that has become the shining light annually on the Australian tournament calendar, whether it be men’s or women’s events. in iSPS handa, we have a proud and supportive naming rights sponsor and with the continued investments of the Victorian government and faith from the LPGA, there is no reason the Women’s Australian Open can’t become a permanent feature on the global golf calendar. We are ideally placed – both timing wise and geographically – to become part of the LPGA’s Asian swing and we think that with the exposure around the world that great courses such as Royal Melbourne give us the added bonus of being able to generate world-class fields every year. 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Inside Golf January 2015
Inside Golf March 2015