On the 28th of January 2018 the inaugural ALPG Ballarat Icons Pro Am was held at the Ballarat Golf Club. The event was a huge success with 75 Professionals representing 17 different countries competing for the $25,000 prize pool with amateurs both male and female playing alongside the star studded field of Pros.
Among the Professionals were former world number one Dame Laura Davies, Rio Olympians Marianne Skarpnord of Norway, Xiyu Lin of China, Christine Wolf of Austria and Chloe Leurquin of Belgium and two Vic Open Winners - Stacey Peters and Marianne Skarpnord, Also in the field were a world longest drive champion Phillis Meti and Semi Finalist Alexis Belton, Australia’s leading player on the Ladies European Tour in 2017 Whitney Hillier, and 10 players who have won tournaments on the major women’s tours plus two of Golf Australia’s leading women amateurs Victoria’s Stephanie Bunque and Kono Matsumoto
Many spectators came out to watch the event, Ballarat Golf Club Coaching professional Ange Tatt had a great support crew follow her all day in the heat.
Leading up to the Pro Am there was the first of what will become an annual Rookie Camp in the form of a two-day workshop run by the ALPG. The focus of the camp was on mentoring the younger members of the ALPG by providing them with support through the vast knowledge that ex-tour players and other members involved in the industry can offer.
Industry experts were in attendance including representatives from the PGA of Australia, while Australia’s most successful professional players and one of the greats of history Karrie Webb was involved in the sessions via video conferencing from the USA.
A “Meet and Greet” function was held on the Saturday before the Pro Am with the Professionals in attendance joined by members of the club and visitors with some youngsters taking the opportunity to get photos and autographs.
Lorie Kane and Stacey Peters - former Vic Open Winner and local to Cressy – both addressed the crowd and the large audience then watched a nearest the pin shoot out with a player from each country in attendance competing for a $500 prize.
Players were very impressed with many commenting on the condition and design of the course. Some comments of note included Stacey Peters remarking that the course was ‘world class’ during her speech at the Meet and Greet and in Karen Lunn’s closing remarks she mentioned an international player had commented that it was ‘like a sand belt course had been relocated to Ballarat’. A huge thanks to Course superintendent Jeff Powell and his team for their tireless work in presenting the course in superb condition for the event.
The local media provided fantastic support of the event with nine news on site every day during the lead up and covering the playoff. The courier also covered the playoff streaming live to Facebook.
The club wishes to extend a huge thank you to its front of house and back of house staff who make the experience one to remember with friendly service and hospitality.
To all of the volunteers who worked tirelessly from watching snakes to working the drink cart, spotting, taking photographs, setting up, packing down, making announcements, MC’ing and being a great support to the club. And a special thanks to all those who opened their homes and provided billets for close to 40 of the entrants – many of these from overseas. Events like this can not be a success without the amazing support we receive.
Without the very generous support of our sponsors this event would simply not be possible. A huge thankyou to our major sponsors who came together as a group to support the event - all local family owned businesses iconic to Ballarat - Haymes Paint, Gull & Co Estate Agents, Country Club Villages, Eureka Concrete, JG King Homes, Integra Group and Selkirk Bricks were joined by our other sponsors Davidsons Blinds and Shutters, Red Circle Real Estate, Sovereign Hill, Ballarat Mazda, and 9 News. Through their support of this event we have hopefully been able to establish an event that will return for years to come and become stronger and more successful into the future. We encourage our members and guests where they can to support these businesses who have supported us.
The clubs position on increasing gender equality was a key driver in wanting to hold this event. And it was the passion and support from our coaching professional Ange Tatt who played a key role in bringing the event to the Ballarat Golf Club and we thank her most sincerely for all she has done.
Finally we wish to thank the ALPG for their amazing support for the event. In particular Karen Lunn - Chief Executive Office - and Jen Johnson – Operations Manager - who were a brilliant team to work with. We wish you and the ALPG the very best for the rest of the series and hope to welcome you both back to the Club soon.
The ALPG Tour now heads down to 13th Beach for the Oates Vic Open which will be played from 1-4 February. Further information can be found at http://www.vicopengolf.com
Meet & Greet Gallery
Saturday Night Shoot Out Gallery
Players & Teams Gallery
On Course Gallery
In the email please note which gallery followed by the line number and photos number from the left.