A skilled team of women golfers from 13th Beach Golf Links on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula created club history last month when it won the Division 1 pennant for the first time in the club’s short history.

The club celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

For the past 19 years, the 13th Beach Golf Links women have played in the SWGA (South Western Golf Association) district pennant with great success.

“We have previously won every division starting from Division 7,” Helen Larkin, the club’s women’s pennant coordinator, said.

“We have had a team in Division One for the last 10 years only to come up short so many times, but this year we finally won the division 1 flag.”

Division One team from left to right: Sue Horne, Shelley Clark, Kathy Bell, Allyson Bradnam and Sue Leitl.

Eight players represented the club in Division 1 pennant. They were: Sue Horne, Shelley Clark, Kathy Bell, Allyson Bradnam, Sue Leitl, Emily Doyle, Faye Wheately and Helen Larkin.

The club has five women’s pennant teams.

“Four years ago, a new women’s pennant committee was formed and our aim was to provide an inclusive space for women to be able to come together in the interest of playing or aspiring to play pennant and to represent our club and, most importantly, have fun along the way,” Ms Larkin said.

In January, the teams (division 1, 2, two teams in div 3 and a Sunday pennant team) were put through a range of different skills sessions to learn more about matchplay. 

“We had 36 players over the five teams, some of whom also caddied and supported by an additional 16 caddies,” Ms Larkin added. 

“We use caddies extensively as a way of mentoring and supporting our newer players as well as supporting the more experienced players.

“Coming into the last week of the season, 13th Beach had already won a Division 3 flag and were on top of the ladder in division 1 but needing a win to secure the flag. 

“It was a closely-fought game against Torquay.

“All games went to the 18th hole with captain Sue Horne and Allyson Bradnam each winning their matches and Shelley Clark, Kathy Bell and Sue Leitl each halving their matches. 

“The team was undefeated throughout the season and it was a great win for the club and capped off a terrific season.” 

The victory comes on the back of the club’s Julie Pavletich and Helen Larkin winning the prestigious SWGA Betty Kernot Scratch Foursomes knockout over five rounds. 

The club’s general manager Craig Skimming said it had been a great year for the women players.

“It’s been a tremendous amount of work over a number of years by Helen (Larkin) and other coordinators, which contributed to the successes,” he said. 

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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