Nelson Bay
Nelson Bay

New clubhouse, events for Nelson Bay

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Nelson Bay Golf Club has come back with a bang, enjoying a brand-new clubhouse and influx of members and guests.  Since opening the doors to its new clubhouse in August (the club had previously lost their clubhouse due to a disastrous fire in 2015), some 8,699 visitors have now passed through its doors and over 1,400 new members.  Weddings, conferences and countless functions have been booked. Weddings are utilising the ceremony site behind the 20th tee and accommodation next door, making Nelson Bay Golf Club an all-inclusive solution to a wedding, conference or corporate golf event.

September 7 saw the club host its first Pro-Am in 30 years, with Peter Lonard, Nathan Green and James Nitties in attendance with 46 other professionals enjoying the sunshine and the new facilities. The Social Clubs Challenge on 27th – 29th October 2017 is the next Club event they’re hosting. Amongst other charity days such as Rotary, Port Stephens Womens Cancer Support Group, Angel Billy as well as Melbourne Cup Day and Club Championships, the club is set to soar well into the future.


Remembering Nudgee’s super Russel

IT’S been more than three years since Nudgee Golf Club 2IC superintendent Russell Cook passed away from a sudden heart attack, but his memory lives on thanks to the generosity of many.

Russell was just 47 when he passed away at work leaving behind his wife Leesa and son Mathew, then 11 years old.

“The Nudgee Golf Club family was hit hard by his sudden passing in January 2014,” said Nudgee Golf Club general manager Aaron Muirhead.

“The club decided to run a golf day on May 9 that year with proceeds from the day going directly to Russell’s family, in particular, schooling for Mathew.”

“Three years on, the golf day is still running to assist the family and Mathew’s education.”

The golf day has been well supported by the golf industry, in particular the Golf Course Superintendents’ Association of Queensland and the Eatons Hill Tavern.


President Tony hot and cold

IS Yamba Golf and Country Club president Tony Moran working too hard?

If his golf score in the Golf Administrator versus President’s golf day is any indication then the answer is definitely “yes”.

It turned out to be a tough day on the fairways and greens for Tony and it didn’t take his marker long to add up his single stableford score – 13 points.

Mind you, he did have a good excuse.

“I’m coming off a very crook back so I’m not too disappointed,” said Tony, who has been the club’s hard-working president for five years.

“Everyone knows I have been struggling with that (bad back) and take the Mickey out of me because I’m the president.

“It’s the second time I’ve had 13 points.”

The club’s golf operations manager Chris Durrington confirmed that.

“Tony had 13 points a few months ago then the very next game he had 51 points to win the Genesis Cup,” Durrington said.

“It’s ironic that from his 51 points he won a new driver and with the same club returned 13 points.”

For the record, Chris Durrington and his playing partner defeated the president and his playing partner, former president Terry Betts, 6/5.

“Just when they started to make a comeback, Terry hit a ball into a tree then into his cart for a two-shot penalty.

More than 140 players took part in the event with the Golf Administrator’s team winning on player average 31 points to 30 points.

Our money’s on the president to bounce back with another big win sooner rather than later.

As you can tell, Yamba Golf and Country Club in northern NSW is a fun, friendly club that welcomes visitors.

“It’s a predominantly flat course and it’s in as good a nick as it’s ever been and are continuing to improve,” Moran said.

“We won Queensland PGA Regional Tournament of the Year last year for our pro-am and it’s something we are proud of that one.”


Chinese golf set to boom: coach

JUNIOR golf in China is booming and it won’t be long before more Chinese golfers’ names are seen on leaderboards around the world.

That’s the word from Hills Golf Academy director of golf Tom Berndt, who recently returned from China and was impressed with what he witnessed.

“I was in China working with my staff at our academy at Lion Lake and noticed China is starting to forge ahead with lots of juniors taking up the game,” Berndt said.

“It’s going to be exciting times over the coming years for that country.”

Berndt is working his magic at Hills Golf Academy and attended a tournament in Taiwan where one of his students, Jung Soo Yang, won the Category B Boys (15 years and under) with a 54-hole total of 211 – five-under par.

“This was a World Amateur Golf Ranking event with players from 12 countries competing in the Asia Pacific Junior Golf Association’s “Elite Tour”.

“Hills Golf Academy sponsors these events and provides a 12-month scholarship to the overall winner with 4×1-month scholarships for the minor placegetters.”

The “Elite Tour” runs events in eight Asia Pacific countries.

Two other Hills Golf Academy students – Ashley Lau (No.1 ranked female player in Malaysia) and Thiha Myo Set (No.1 ranked male in Myanmar) – represented their respective countries in the SEA Golf Championships played in Vietnam last month.

Meanwhile, Hills is sending a team of eight female players to contest a junior teams’ championship against four other clubs from the South East Queensland District Golf Association.

“The SEQDGA is promoting junior golf in the region and this event brings together teams from each club to find which club is the champion team for 2017,” Berndt concluded.

To find out more about what the Jimboomba-based (near Brisbane) Hills Golf Academy has to offer, contact Tom Berndt on (07) 5546-0667 or email him at


Two big events for border club

OCTOBER is an important month for Coolangatta and Tweed Heads Golf Club with two important events – a pro-am on Friday, October 13 and the high-rated Junior Classic on Sunday, October 15.

Some 50 professionals will play in the shotgun start pro-am.

“We have 100 players including 25 professionals teeing off at 7am and another 100 including 25 professionals teeing off at 12.30pm,” the club’s golf manager Neil Russell said.

“The event is on the River Course, which is in awesome condition. It’s a pearl.”

Golf fans will be pleased to know the course set-up will give players plenty of opportunities for birdies and eagles.

“We are not going to beat the players up because it’s a pro-am,” Russell said.

“The worst thing you can do is hide the pins and make it tough for the players. We are going to have an enjoyable day out.

“It’s a good event and the up-and-coming pros use it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

“The club does have a history of putting on pro-ams and top junior events and they come from far-and-wide to be a part of the events.”

MEANWHILE, the Junior Classic is shaping up as another blockbuster.

It has a fine history with players of the calibre of Adam Scott and Jason Day contesting the tournament.

Scott won it in 1996 and Day in 2004.

Russell said entries for the October 15 event were flooding in.

“The great thing about the Junior Classic is the winners receive an invitation to the Greg Norman Junior Masters,” he said.

“We have three games on the one day,” Russell explained.

“We will have about 100 playing in the 18-hole Junior Classic on the River Course and 30-40 sub-juniors playing nine holes on the West Course.

“We also have up to 20 juniors playing a five-hole event.

“It shows there is a pathway for them – an introduction to competition golf.

“Their game improves and next year some of them will qualify for the 18-hole Junior Classic.”

For more information, call the club on (07) 5424-4544 or visit the website



About David Newbery

Chief writer David Newbery has been living, breathing and writing and editing golf for more than 30 years. His extensive knowledge of the game comes from covering golf around the world. Hired by Inside Golf in 2009, David previously worked as the editor of The Golfer for 25 years and before that worked for numerous daily newspapers in Australia and overseas. The Brisbane-based journalist describes his golf game as “a work in progress”, but has had the privilege of playing golf with some of the game’s best players including nine-time major winner Gary Player. David enjoys travelling, reading, music, photography and spending time with family and friends – on and off the golf course.


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