Inside Golf : Inside Golf, May 2016
senior amateurs www.insidegolf.com.au | May 2016 53 June Tickell and Wayne Aigner – champions at the 2016 Mornington Peninsula Seniors. Helen Somogyi, Michael Ransom, Bryce Birtwistle & Helen Pascoe – winners at the 2016 Box Hill Seniors. A love of golf for Denis Brian O’Hare email@example.com Brian O’Hare is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer, a website and online magazine providing news, information and entertainment for golfers aged 45 plus. Australianseniorgolfer. com.au ON a sunny Sydney afternoon, Denis Dale looked out over the 18th hole at the Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club with obvious affection. It was an affection felt not just for this particular hole on this particular course, though both are admirable, but probably for most holes on most golf courses everywhere. We were sitting on the Stonecutters clubhouse back balcony and Dale, a two-time Australian Senior Amateur Champion, was reflecting on a relationship with golf that goes back more than half a century. Inside, organisers of the 2016 NSW Veteran Golfers Association (NSWVGA) Strokeplay Championship were preparing to present Dale with his latest trophy before a packed celebration luncheon. Once again Dale would be in the limelight; be handed a winning trophy, asked to make a speech and have his photo taken. It has happened quite a bit to the now 68 year-old, ever since he began his love affair with golf as a youngster caddying for his father. “I started as a cadet member when I was 10 years old at Cabramatta Golf Club, so that’s 58 years I have been playing golf,” he said. “I used to go and caddy for my dad when I was seven or eight and then I was allowed to play9holeswhenIwas10andthenIwasa junior member when I was 14.” He was soon off a two handicap which he maintained for most of his golfing career until the new system sees him close to scratch. With a family and a teaching then education administration career he says he didn’t play in many open events or state titles originally. “I played Saturdays. So I wasn’t a representative golfer, I was a club golfer,” he said. All that changed when he turned 55 and discovered senior golf. He had his own computer and technology business by that time and had more time “to practice and play in multiple events.” “I was living in Queensland and in my first event I played the Queensland Seniors. I remember I broke par. I was 2 or 3 under the first round and I was leading with one to go but I didn’t win. I forget what I had but I didn’t win. That got me interested and since then I have played golf all over Australia, and actually internationally as well, in senior golf, soIhavehadalotoffun.” The fun has included the two national senior amateur titles, a national matchplay championship, topping the Australian Order of Merit a couple of times and winning the NSW Order of Merit nine times. Back on the Stonecutters balcony, Dale had just competed in and won his first ever “veteran golf ” event, the three-day 54 hole state strokeplay championship, conducted this year at Stonecutters, as well as Richmond and Penrith golf clubs. The difference between “veteran golf ” and “senior golf ” can be a little confusing to the uninitiated, but basically whilst “veteran” events, particularly at a state or national level, have a very competitive low marker scratch component, they also cater for higher handicappers usually in three handicapped divisions. “Senior golf ” is all about scratch scores and there are usually strict handicap entry requirements. The NSWVGA strokeplay event blurs the lines further now after Golf NSW recently awarded it State Senior Order of Merit status. That new status helped attract Dale and a number of other very low handicappers, generating its biggest field in its 24 event history since inception in 1993. Dale, from Twin Creeks Golf Club, had played three rounds of almost flawless golf to beat Penrith Golf Club member David Limbach with defending champion and four time winner Col Kenning, from Kiama Golf Club, third. But for Dale golf is obviously not all about winning tournaments and giving victory speeches. “I actually play golf now occasionally on my own, and I love it,” he reflected. “I physically like being on the golf course. And I like being on the golf course on my own, in a bunker, mucking around, and if people come around and say I will join you for a few holes I just say no, keep going. I just like the atmosphere of being on the golf course. [Pointing over the Stonecutters finishing hole] Imagine being out there on your own, and you are playing two or three balls down the 18th. Could there be anything better .... that’s better than watching TV or going to a movie or anything isn’t it?” VICTORIA Alpine Senior Masters John Kelly (Metropolitan) and Barry Webb (Yarrawonga) claimed the 2016 Alpine Senior Masters played at Bright Golf Club titles after the second and final round was abandoned because of the weather. The round one leader and therefore the tournament winner was Metropolitan member John Kelly who fired the best round with an even par 72. The 1979 Australian Amateur Champion, and former professional golfer mentioned that his short game was key to his win. “I holed a lot of 4-5 foot putts. I had a good stroke going” Kelly mentioned. Leading Victorian senior golfers Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) and Ian Frost (Bendigo) finished in second and third places with rounds of 73 and 74. In the handicap section, it was Yarrawonga’s Barry Webb taking the honours after carding a fine net 67 in round one. Mornington Peninsula Seniors Round one of the 36-hole Mornington Peninsula Senior Amateur was contested in perfect conditions at the picturesque coastal Flinders Golf Club. Leading after the first round was Ian Frost with a strong score of one over par 70. The Bendigo member had a two-stroke lead over Sandhurst senior Wayne Aigner on 72. Round two was played at Portsea Golf Club and again the field was presented with perfect weather and a beautiful course. Wayne Aigner played a solid second round to record a score of 77 and finish level with overnight leader Ian Frost who had a round of 79. Aigner has been a strong supporter of senior golf for many years and after winning on a countback commented, “It’s been a long time between drinks”. Aigner’s last win came back in 2008. Taking out the men’s nett trophy was Tim Kirtley of Thirteenth Beach with a two-round nett score of 143, to win on a count-back from Chris Keeshan of Centenary Park. The women’s scratch Stableford section was tightly contested and won by June Tickell of Trafalgar. In her maiden senior event of the year, Tickell recorded 25 and 27 points for a total of 52 scratch points. She defeated Buninyong’s Helen Pascoe by one stroke. Box Hill Senior Amateur On a fresh morning, 55 men and 16 women competed in the Box Hill Senior Amateur played over eighteen holes with the men competing in stroke and women playing Stableford. Bryce Birtwistle from Sandhurst shot a brilliant score of two under the card 69 to win the gross section by a convincing 3 shots. Birtwistle’s highlight of the round came in the form of a perfectly struck iron on the par 3 17th hole, landing past the pin and spinning back for an ace. Runner up John Kelly and third place Ken O’Brien shot 72 and 73 respectively. Home ground advantage came into play in the nett competition, with both the winner and runner up coming from Box Hill. Club captain Michael Ransom with a handicap of 19, scored a nett 67 to narrowly beat fellow club member John Ford on nett 68. Kerry Boehm off a handicap of 7 came in third place with a nett 69. Helen Pascoe has wrapped up another win on the women’s seniors circuit scoring 34 scratch points and winning by 10 points. Back to back birdies on the 13th and 14th for the Buninyong golfer were highlights on Pascoe’s card. Louise Dawson was the runner up. In the Stableford competition, Helen Somogyi from Box Hill won the event with a score of 36 points followed closely by Jenny Chandler on 33 points. Golf Victoria vs ADFGA Perfect autumn conditions greeted the Golf Victoria Senior team and the Australian Defence Force team (ADFGA) on the final day of the sixteenth match played between the two teams at Sorrento Golf Club. The ADFGA team is made up of players who are current members of the Australian Services, whilst the Golf Victoria Senior team incorporates the current top ten players of the Doug Bachli Senior Order of Merit with an additional two captains picks. The Golf Victoria Senior Team was captained this year by senior advisory group chair Tony Hyde. Following a Ryder Cup format the first day saw fourball and foursome matches between the teams. At the end of these matches the contest was delicately poised at 6.5 points to 5.5 in favour of the Golf Victoria Seniors. The ADFGA team were quick out of the blocks on the second day winning the first two singles matches. Then the Golf Victoria Seniors hit back with wins to Barry Tippett and John Wheeler. Soon after Rod Smylie, Sam Harkis and Kurt Lampe completed a flurry of comfortable wins to the ADF team and they again had a two-match lead with five matches remaining. Guy Krall and Tony Greenwood could not be split halving their encounter before ADFGA player Bronwyn Mullins returned a tight 1up win over Ken O’Brien. The ADFGA team needed half a point from the remaining three matches. Golf Victoria’s Gordon Claney and Alan Bullas recorded fine wins meaning the overall result would come down to the last singles match. Fittingly, two of the country’s top ranked seniors in Ian Frost and Daryl Whitehead were left to fight it out. After eighteen holes the match could not be split and the halved result gave the ADFGA team the narrowest of overall win’s 12.5 points to 11.5 points. Undefeated players for the Golf Victoria Seniors included both Alan Bullas & Barry Tippett with Tippett in particular producing some outstanding golf to take home the Paul Lulofs Medal as the most outstanding player over the two days. Kurt Lampe produced some fine golf for the ADFGA team finishing as the only undefeated player.
Inside Golf, April 2016
Inside Golf June 2016