Golf tournament attracts 1088 entries

It was huge applause for Margaret and Graham Grant of Trafalgar Golf Club who were given a special mention and gifts by YMGCR President Gil Cunningham for playing their 70th overall tournament of May and September tournaments.

Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort’s five-day May Tournament last week attracted a total of 1088 entries, with players from some 55 clubs mainly throughout Victoria and NSW.

After missing last September’s tournament due to Covid-19, golfers were welcomed back to Australia’s largest public access golf complex by Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort President Gil Cunningham at the traditional mid-week dinner following last Wednesday’s Mixed Pinehurst event.

Forty years on! From 1982 to 2022, YMGCR Life Members Philip and Karen Droop had a good chat about old times with Margaret and Graham Grant last Wednesday night.

“It’s fantastic to see 156 people here tonight. Thank you,” he said. “Evan Droop (head professional) and his Pro Shop team have worked tirelessly to give you the right service.

Mixed Pinehurst trophy winners last Wednesday included Gil Cunningham (B Grade Murray runner-up 75.875 with Kathy Overington), Joanne Davis and Owen Walsh (B Grade Lake runners-up with 70.75), Carol Szekfy and Art Giuliani (Lake Course A Grade runners-up, 72.875), Louise Cross (Lake Course A Grade winner, with Jay Ar Martin, 66.375) and Chris Burgess (A Grade Murray runner-up, with 73.875 partnering Judy Langford, finishing second to Noelle Stone and John Dawes 68.5).

“Our course superintendent Chris Burgess and his team have provided a magnificent course. And to our starters (who included the club president at times), we did a fantastic job!”

The long arm of the law David Ryan was in a jovial mood last Wednesday, turning a milestone 60th year. The Inspector from Benalla, who incidentally umpired his 340th football game – mostly in the Ovens and Murray League and which has included two grand-finals – last weekend was thankful to his YMGCR board director wife Joanne for their round of Mixed Pinehurst golf event. “I would have gone around in a thousand if not for her!” he said.

A special welcome was given to Margaret and Graham Grant from Trafalgar Golf Club who competed in their 70th overall event of May and September tournaments.

Music for the big night was provided by Barooga musician Jade Camden who performed to a packed dance floor.

“They are just wonderful people and supporters of our club and tournaments,” Mr Cunningham said.

“That in itself has meant 35 years but it has been longer than that.”

Having a warm-up swing before driving off on the Murray Course’s first hole in the Tuesday Stableford event was 67-year-old VFL field umpire of 251 games and 16 finals including three grand-finals, in 1990, 1992 and 1994 Dennis Rich, watched by Peter Phair, John Carlson and David Fraser. Photo by Les_Garbutt

“It is very special to us,” Margaret commented to the Yarrawonga Chronicle about the milestone competition.

“We’re just lucky to be able to do it. We’re just so fortunate to play at this wonderful club.”

Explaining their introduction to Yarrawonga Border Golf Club, Graham said it was 1982 when he and Margaret arrived at the club following their non-welcome at a neighbouring golf club.

“Philip Droop (sole professional) was in a little tin shed with a sliding glass window and said ‘can I help you?’,” Graham said. “He said ‘head straight down to the first – it was the blue and red (two nines) at the time and hit off; you can fix me up when you get back.

“Philip Droop made it so easy for us to come here. We had a good chat about events and so we’ve been playing in the May and September tournaments ever since only missing one year (health issue and Covid).

“We are very indebted to (club life member) Alex MacKenzie who welcomed us and has been a wonderful friend. We’ve made a lot of other friends.”

Those friends include big groups, for example, 35 or 36 Rosebud players and Eildon players.

“Sadly some of our friends from these tournaments have passed away,” Graham, 53-year Trafalgar Golf Club member who now plays off a 20 handicap after getting to 11, said.

Club Life Members Karen and Philip Droop always love seeing the Grants each year. “They’re good people and good for the club,” Philip said. Karen added: “I remember that day (back in 1982).”

Eighty-one-year-old ‘Granty’, as he is popularly known to so many at the tournaments, has aways praised the two 18-hole tournament courses but is continually pleasantly surprised every tournament. “The courses are always improving!” the retired cheesemaker said.

Before presenting trophies, men’s captain Peter Warner described the Pro Shop and course superintendent bosses as; “two of the very best in the business”, a comment agreed to by lady president Mary Hopley.

Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort produced an absolutely delicious three-course meal and excellent entertainment was provided by Barooga’s Jade Camden which ensured a wonderful atmosphere.