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Golf Australia restructures national amateur championships  

Golf Australia restructures national amateur championships  
July 29, 2020
Events / Golf /

Golf Australia has advised that Australian amateur golf’s elite events have been overhauled for the first time in a generation.

Golf Australia Operations Manager, Simon Brookhouse said the “exciting restructure” would modernise the entire suite of national championships and ensure they’re played at the best possible venues.

Brookhouse explains “Golf Australia has been reviewing its key events since One Golf began with a view to making them align better and played in a way that’s more logical for host clubs, athletes and us as organisers.

“The immediate focus has been on our national championships to ensure their relevance and that they have a professional and consistent delivery across the country, wherever they are hosted.”

Brookhouse, who regrettably confirmed the cancellation of the 2020 national Order of Merit because of the Covid-19 crisis, said a rare upside of the pandemic was that it had inadvertently presented the perfect time to implement the changes, which were fully endorsed by the Golf Australia board.

Brookhouse acknowledged the tradition of these championships, but said change was required to modernise and align all events and added “they’ll ensure the best possible host venues are engaged, that the events are played with the greatest off-course efficiency to remain financially viable and that the level of competition remains at a high standard.

“They’ll maintain appropriate performance pathway for all levels of competition and, importantly with regards to our Vision 2025 platform, ensure that men’s and women’s championships are concurrent whenever possible to showcase golf’s inclusive nature.”

Brookhouse said that while the fields’ current gender composition was unequal, it is Golf Australia’s strong medium-term intention to ensure such equality.

“Golf Australia will actively work towards achieving this goal in line with its vision and strategic pillars. However, symptomatic of the current percentage of female club membership nationally, the current male-female ratios within each tournament reflect another objective – to maintain the high level of competition associated with national championships.

“As female membership grows, so too, will the percentage of women and girls in the championship fields.”

Brookhouse said the decision to cancel the 2020 national Order of Merit seasons had been tough and added “but with the season set to end on 31st October, the ongoing uncertainty of border closures has made it difficult for players to travel interstate to compete.

“Events on the national Order of Merit calendar can still proceed where permitted, but points will not be allocated to players.”

At this stage, it is Golf Australia’s intention to complete the final national events of 2020 (Australian Men’s Senior, Australian Women’s Senior and Australian Mid-Amateur championships) as initially planned.

However, Golf Australia is constantly reviewing the situation based on government guidelines, with player health and safety as top priority. With that in mind, changes to these events (eg. venue, dates) might be required to ensure they are still completed in 2020.

Please refer to www.golf.org.au/orderofmerit for information relating to state-based Order of Merit competitions for Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.  

Image: 2020 Australian Amateur champions Jed Morgan and Charlotte Heath for editorial use. Credit: Golf Australia/Kirsty Wrice                                                     

The following changes will be effective from January 2021:

Australian Amateur Championship

•             Format: 72-hole stroke play with a cut after 36 holes

•             Field size: 105 men and 51 women (156 players total)

•             Venue: one host club

•             Note: Reduction in field size to accommodate all players at one venue, along with the change from multiple rounds of match play to 72-hole stroke play. One host club also reduces the number of practice rounds required.

 

Australian Junior Championship

•             Format: 72-hole stroke play with a cut after 54 holes

•             Field size: 105 boys and 51 girls (156 players total)

•             Venue: one host club

•             Note: Alignment of previously separate boys’ and girls’ championships and reduction in field size to accommodate all players at one venue, along with the introduction of a 54-hole cut to afford juniors a greater playing opportunity.

 

Australian Mid-Amateur Championship

•             Format: 54-hole stroke play

•             Field size: 105 men and 51 women

•             Venue: one host club

•             Note: Field size has been adjusted for consistency with other national championships.

 

Australian Senior Amateur Championship

•             Format: 54-hole stroke play

•             Field size: 105 men and 51 women

•             Venue: one host club

•             Note: Alignment of previously separate men’s and women’s championships and reduction in field size to accommodate all players at one venue, along with the change from multiple rounds of match play to 54-hole stroke play for the women.

 

Australian Interstate Teams Matches

•             Format: round-robin team match play and final

•             Team size: 4 men and 4 women

•             Venue: one host club

•             Note: Alignment of previously separate men’s & women’s teams matches at one venue and restructuring of one team encompassing both genders. 

 

Australian Junior Interstate Teams’ Matches

•             Format: round-robin team match play

•             Team size: 4 boys and 4 girls (3 boys and 3 girls to play each round)

•             Venue: one host club

•             Note: Alignment of previously separate boys’ and girls’ teams matches at one venue and restructuring of one team encompassing both genders. 

Related Articles

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22nd July 2020 - Australian Golf Industry Council releases report highlighting golf courses’ role in environmental sustainability

21st July 2020 - Reclink welcomed to City of South Perth’s 27-hole Collier Park Golf

14th July 2020 - X-Golf facilities create inaugural virtual golf tournament

8th July 2020 - Golf can play on through new Melbourne lockdown

1st July 2020 - PGA of NZ to relocate headquarters to North Shore Golf Club 

12th June 2020 - New Australian Golf Centre to unite golf’s peak bodies

25th May 2020 - Golf Business Australia and PGA of Australia renew partnership

6th May 2020 - Frankton Golf Centre partially reopens in Queenstown

22nd April 2020 - Golf Australia ‘encouraged’ to see golf being played with minimal risk

16th April 2020 - Golf Australia cancels events until 30th June

3rd April 2020 - Confusion as courses ignore Golf Australia advice and remain open

3rd April 2020 - Organisers advise of cancellation of Golf Business Forum 2020

31st March 2020 - Golf Australia advises that clubs, courses and facilities should close


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