IT’S regarded as one of Sydney’s truest championship courses.
And Concord Golf Club has vowed to be at its best when some of the best golfers in the country venture there next month for the $400,000 Golf Challenge NSW Open Championship.
Tournament dates have been set for March 17 to 20 for an event with an honour role that reads like a who’s who of the game.
Among the winners are World Golf Hall of Fame inductees Kel Nagle, Greg Norman, and Peter Thomson as well as former legends like Norman Von Nida, Eric Cremin and Frank Phillips.
Even our best amateurs have figured in this event with the likes of five-time champion Jim Ferrier, Owen Beldham, Tony Gresham, Rick Kulacz and Ben Eccles on the list of champions.
Other names to lift the Kel Nagle Cup include Ian Baker-Finch, Ted Ball, Billy Dunk, Peter Lonard, Jack Newton, Peter O’Malley, Craig Parry, Ian Stanley, Jason Scrivener and the man we lost in recent weeks, the great Bob Shearer.
According to NSW Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres, the return of the 91-year-old championship to the renowned Concord layout was a major coup for Sydney.
“The NSW Open is a significant event on the state’s sporting calendar, and the Government is proud to be a supporter again in 2022,” said Ayres.
“The last championship at Concord in March last year was a great success with overwhelming support from fans and the community, and I’m sure they can’t wait to see some of Australia’s best golfers back on the course vying for the Kel Nagle Cup this year.
“The championship will also deliver a welcome boost to the visitor economy, which is emerging from a particularly challenging year.
“The heads on beds, patrons in cafes, bar and restaurants, retail shoppers and visitors to Sydney’s attractions that result from the tournament will make a major contribution to the city’s social and economic recovery.”
The March dateline is perfect, according to CEO of Golf NSW, Stuart Fraser.
“Although the event is a couple of weeks earlier than last year, it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to ensure the tournament remains one of the most important fixtures on the Australian golf calendar,” said Fraser.
“Concord proved to be a fabulous venue for last year’s championship, and the crowds we saw on the final day showed how thirsty the public are for elite tournament golf.”
Concord Golf Club is no stranger to professional golf or indeed as a venue for the NSW Open, having already hosted the tournament an impressive 11 times in its 90-year history.
“The greater community have been incredibly resilient during this challenging period, and we are pleased we can stage the NSW Open on this date,” said Fraser.
PGA of Australia’s tournaments director Nick Dastey said the confirmation of the tournament on the 2021/22 Tour Schedule was significant and would fall at a crucial period as players battled for order-of-merit spoils.
“To be able to return to Concord for this great championship is a real coup for the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and our players,” he said.
“The players loved the venue and the presentation of the course and in particular how the Sydney public embraced the event.”
Redesigned in recent years by world-renowned course architect Tom Doak, Concord tests the game’s best but is still manageable for the average player.
This course places a premium on position off the tee as much as length. For further information on the NSW Open, log onto their website www.nswopen.com.