“I think I can safely say the three courses here stack up against any of the sandbelt courses that we’ve played on in Melbourne,” PGA Legends Co-ordinator Andy Rogers said at the Sportsman’s Night last Thursday.
“We’re looking forward to the next three years. We love coming here. We love the hospitality and the facilities are second to none.”
Mr Rogers was referring to the three-round 2018 Shepparton BMW Senior Victorian Open Championship played at Black Bull Golf Club Silverwoods last Wednesday and the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort’s Murray Course Thursday and Lake Course Friday.
He was also referring to the two golf clubs hosting the big event, which started in 2016, through to 2021 - an achievement unequalled by a Victorian country club.
Credit for the event’s success was conveyed by Mr Rogers to main organisers, Black Bull’s professional James McCully, and to Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort’s professional Evan Droop and Chief Executive Officer Richard Hogg.
Both course superintendents - Chris Burgess at YMGCR and Cameron Buckingham at Black Bull - were praised, along with their groundstaff, for producing courses in superb conditions.
World renowned Peter Senior paid tribute to everyone involved in the championship. “The courses are fantastic. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to putt on greens as good as these,” he said.
“It’s a very special area to play golf. As long as you have tournaments, people will come here to play.”
About 220 people attended the big sportsman’s night in the golf club resort’s Willow Room, enjoying a delicious three-course meal while hearing plenty of great talk on the stage.
Local tournament organisers sincerely thanked sponsors for enabling the event to continue. Main sponsor is Shepparton BMW whose Principal Dealer Aaron Brain said how much he and fellow staff enjoyed their involvement.
“We’re having a thoroughly great time,” Aaron, just one of many talented amateur golfers from BMW, said. “Congratulations to all the organisers.”
He later told the Yarrawonga Chronicle that BMW’s part in sponsoring the event has proved beneficial all round.
“We’ve had positive responses regarding sales and have established a strong footing in Yarrawonga like we have in Shepparton and throughout the Goulburn Valley,” he said.
Celebrity golfer, champion Hawthorn footballer Michael Tuck, was introduced by PGA stalwart and local professional Glenn McCully.
Tuck, 65, praised the courses and the excellent variety of the high quality courses. A seven-time premiership, four-time captain of the Hawks Tuck is no slouch with the golf stick - he plays off 11 at Long Island, National Golf Club.
For footy fans, he predicted to the Yarrawonga Chronicle the Hawks and the Western Bulldogs will re-enter the finals this year, at the expense of the two Sydney teams. Best player he’s played with is Leigh Matthews; best opponents were Laurie Fowler and Craig Bradley, and best players in his time were Gary Ablett sen. and Wayne Carey.
While still playing great football at age 38 with a record at the time of 426 games, he was not happy about being forced by the club to retire.
The main part of the Sportsman’s Night was the trio of great senior professionals, Peter Senior, Mike Harwood and Terry Price on stage being interviewed by fellow professional Ossie Moore.
The four were magnificent, with many lighter moments both on and off golf courses throughout the world being recalled.
As Andy Rogers said: “There are a lot of very good golfers with illustrious careers.” Those on the stage in the spotlight have proud, wonderful careers and love returning to Yarrawonga/Mulwala.
As Terry Price told the Yarrawonga Chronicle: “The three courses are just superb. The hospitality and facilities are simply amazing. The whole community of Yarrawonga/Mulwala gets behind this event.”