The Victorian Golf Industry came together on Saturday 21st June to recognise the outstanding achievements and contributions of individuals and clubs to the sport in 2013.
Representatives from the PGA of Australia, Golf Victoria and Golf Management Victoria gathered at the Southern Golf Club to witness Kel Llewellyn being inducted into the Victorian Golf Industry Hall of Fame.
Brian Thorburn, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA of Australia opened the evening highlighting outstanding performance of the golf industry in 2013 and that the industry continues to work together in order to harness all opportunities.
“2013 was a significant year in Australian golf and tonight we take the opportunity to celebrate the highest achievers in Victoria and recognise those that influenced the game to where we have it today,” Thorburn.
“Over the last 12 months the industry has continued to work collaboratively sharing ideas and successes and look forward to continuing this in the years to come.”
The Minister for Sport and Recreation, The Hon. Damian Drum MCL addressed the audience communicating his passion for the game and recognising the importance of golf in Australia.
The evening celebrated the collaboration of the Victorian Golf Industry highlighted by PGA Professional Alan Patterson who was honoured to be awarded the Bruce Green Victorian Club Professional of the Year title for his work at the Patterson River Golf Club.
Patterson has worked together with the club to grow membership and increase junior and female participation.
The Victorian Teaching Professional of the Year was awarded to PGA Professional Tony Collier for his dedication to junior development in the western region of Victoria.
Throughout 2013 it was estimated Collier coached over 9,000 juniors, conducted over 500 junior clinics and coordinated over 20 school tournaments totalling 1500 participants.
Also recognising the playing prowess of those in the Victorian golf community, Tour Professional Euan Walters was presented with the 2012/2013 Victorian Order of Merit trophy.
Highlighting the bright future of the game in Victoria was Su-Hyun Oh who won the Leading Female Amateur for the second consecutive year which included a runner-up finish in the 2013 Volvik RACV Ladies Masters Open.
Todd Sinnot was announced as the Leading Male Amateur of the Year which included a second place in the 2013 Victorian Amateur Championship.
The evening also saw the induction of 15 Trainee graduates as Full Members of the PGA of Australia; however it was Jack Wilson who took the top honours as the Victorian and National Trainee of the Year.
Wilson, who completed his Traineeship at Kingswood Golf Club, performed outstandingly across all areas of the program which included winning the Southern PGA Trainee Championship.
However Wilson’s 2013 was highlighted by becoming the first PGA Trainee to win a PGA Tour of Australasia tournament with his victory at the WA Goldfields PGA Championship.
He went on to capture the attention of the golf industry with a third place finish at the Australian PGA Championship behind Masters Champion Adam Scott and American young gun Rickie Fowler.
Guests were also treated on the night with special guest interviews from Australian Cricket great Ricky Ponting and the 2013 OneAsia Order of Merit winner Matt Griffin.
Ponting shared with the audience that he was introduced to golf at an early age by his father, who spent time as a PGA Trainee.
Whilst he didn’t actually play the game until later in life he was often a caddy for his dad which planted the seed for the future
Ponting discussed the important of golf as pastime and how much he enjoys the game, particularly when he was playing competitive cricket as it provided him the opportunity to relax and enjoy time with friends.
He also addressed the endless rumours about him pursuing a career as a Tour Professional revealing that he’s thoroughly enjoying spending time with his family and not having to be in a strong competitive environment.
A night that celebrated the success of the Victorian Golf Industry also highlighted a number of hard working individuals.
“The Victorian golf industry is diverse and complex and relies on many individuals working together to ensure golf thrives in our great sporting state,” said David Tapping, Executive Officer of the Southern Division of the PGA of Australia.
“Through these awards we recognise the achievements of many individuals and I would like to congratulate and thank them for their efforts. It is because of these individuals and many others across the state that we continue to achieve success and I look forward to another outstanding year in 2014.”
The full list of Victorian Golf Industry Award winners on the night included:
• Hall of Fame – Kel Llewellyn
• Victorian Teaching Professional of the Year – Tony Collier
• Bruce Green Victorian Club Professional – Alan Patterson
• PGA Trainee Pro-Am of the Year – Portarlington Golf Club
• 2013/2014 PGA Pro-Am of the Year: Open prize purse – Penfold Motors Box Hill Pro-Am
• 2013/2014 PGA Pro-Am of the Year: prize purse of $10,000 – $20,000 – getwinesdirect Heidelberg Pro-Am