ACGC Championship winners Dexter Prack and Jack Miltos.
ACGC Championship winners Dexter Prack and Jack Miltos.

The 2014-2015 Auto Club Golf Championship series came to an exciting conclusion in May, with players and guests all feeling like winners courtesy of favourable Gold Coast weather, expert event management via tournament organisers and the world-class facilities and hospitality of RACV Royal Pines Resort.

The event started out strong with a Welcome Function where participants mixed, mingled, and toasted the competition ahead. The next morning, finalists descended upon the course (in the latest Crestlink golf shirts personalised with their Auto Club state logo) and were greeted with perfect weather conditions. The recently redeveloped holes at Royal Pines proved to be challenging but playable, with the field overwhelmingly positive about the course.

Round two held a sense of competitive anticipation as the finalists navigated the now familiar course. Inside Golf was there, chatting with players throughout the course, and we can attest that the field were having a blast. For many of them, just being at this high-quality event made them feel like winners, regardless of who would eventually hoist the trophy.

Final scores were compiled with care while preparations for the Gala Presentation Dinner began, transforming the spacious RACV Royal Pines ballroom into an elegant, gold-lit space inspired by the rat-pack “Golden Age of Golf” theme. The Gala Dinner kicked off with the Vegas Boys, a two man variety show featuring songs from the rat pack era, and continued with Australia’s own golf magician Henry Epstein. Finalists were able to relax and enjoy a refreshing Canadian Club and Dry at the stylish CC & Dry Bar.

As guests finished off their mains and accompanying Jip Jip Rocks wine, the two Masters of Ceremonies—Bruce Young and Wayne Phillips—took to the stage to announce the winners.

Congratulations to the ACGC 2014-2015 winners:

The winning pair, representing RACV Torquay Golf Club, Dexter Prack and Jack Miltos. Runners-up, from Blackwood Golf Club representing the RAA, Paul Hughes and Kenneth Ponting.Rounding out the field in third place, from Kingston Links Golf Club representing the RACV, were Alan Quek and Ricky Aow.

For the sponsor prizes: Simply Energy Powerdrive: Ladies: Suzanne Roberts-Noble, Men: Shane McPhee.  Jip Jip Rocks NTP Day One: Joanne McPhee and Noel Nicholas, Day Two: Joanne McPhee and Krishnan Anandeswaran. RACV Resorts NTP Day One: Krishnan Anandeswaran, Day Two: Nigel Cutts. Suzuki NTP Day One: Steve Wyndham, Day Two: Malcolm Brown. Thrifty Longest Drive Day One: Suzanne Roberts-Noble and Andrew Rebeiro, Day Two: Joanne McPhee & Scott Milnes.

Suzuki Hole-in-One Lucky Key Draw finalists
Suzuki Hole-in-One Lucky Key Draw finalists

A highlight of the ACGC Final Presentation Dinner came with the Suzuki Hole-in-One Lucky Key Draw. Three golfers had earned a trip to the Championship Final after hitting a hole-in-one at their regional event. RAA’s Tom Hicks from Thaxted Park Golf Club selected his key first and was thrilled and emotional when his key unlocked his brand-new Suzuki S-Cross. His emotion was understandable as only 18 months prior to hitting his hole-in-one, Tom was recovering from a double-lung-transplant that saved his life. His win was met with applause and tears. A Suzuki Celerio was also raffled off in support of a Junior ACGC event to be held next year, which went to Michael Doherty from RACV’s Queens Park.

Finally it would be remiss not to pay tribute to a truly outstanding performance by Kevin White (Doc) from RACV and Long Island Golf Club who played two amazing rounds of golf during the Championship Final off of a 10 handicap. Doc scored 37pts and 42pts (the latter a gross 76) at the age of 79. An achievement deserving celebration and special acknowledgment was paid to Doc during the presentations.

Overall, the field of talented golfers all felt the “sense of being a winner”, with many commenting “it was a privilege to participate.” In the end the best part of the event was an overwhelming sense of camaraderie in meeting other golfers and making new friends.

Look out for ACGC regional events coming to your local club and you could get the chance to attend next year’s Championship Final at the beautiful RACV Royal Pines Resort. Keep in mind that for the first time ever, participants are not required to be Auto Club members (but membership will earn you a discounted entry.)

Check out our website www.acgc.com.au for a list of upcoming regional events, beginning in August 2015!

 

About Richard Fellner

Winner of multiple Australian Golf Media Awards, including Best Photojournalism and Best Column, Inside Golf Group Editor Richard Fellner is the quintessential Golf Tragic, having played the game for over 50 years (but has never gotten any better!) He has played and reviewed courses all over the world, and has interviewed many of the great players of the game (including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Greg Norman). Richard is a member of both the Australian Golf Writers Association and the Golf Society of Australia, and he is a regular guest on many Australian "sports talk" radio shows and networks, including ABC Grandstand, SEN 1116, Melbourne Talk Radio 1377, 2GB and others. Follow Richard Fellner on Quora

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