"Be there when the (new) tradition continues!" Borrowing from his successful tagline that helped drive success at the original Australian Masters, Frank Williams hopes that the new Rush Challenge will develop into a traditional event that attracts amateurs and professionals from across Australia.

Frank Williams needs little introduction in Australian golfing circles. As co-founder of the Australian Masters golf tournament, business manager to Greg Norman/Great White Shark Enterprises, Director at the ALPG and a raft of entrepreneurial endeavours, it can certainly be said that this man knows his golf.

So when Williams announced that he was coming out of retirement to launch an exciting, brand-new event in Australian golf, the industry stood up and took notice.

The Rush Golf Challenge is touted as the most unique “Inside the Ropes” golf experience ever offered in the country. In the same vein as events like the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, it will involve the whole community of golf—amateurs, professionals and celebrities—and will benefit the Australian Communities Foundation and broader charity community.

To be played at The Dunes and Moonah Links Golf Courses from February 26 – March 2 2014, the event will see 200 amateurs and 200 professionals team up in a 2BBB Nett Stroke, 72-hole pro tournament format with cuts for final two rounds.

The massive overall prize purse of $1.3 Million makes it one of Australia’s most exciting (and lucrative) golf events in years. First prize is a whopping $1million for the two-person team, with $500,000 going to the winning professional, and the other $500,000 going to a charity nominated by the winning Amateur.

While players will be battling on course, charities will certainly be the big off-course winners, as there is also an additional fundraising challenge, where amateurs can help raise funds for the charity in a similar manner to Oxfam Trailwalk, Movember, Dry July, etc.

“We wanted to create a tournament that encompasses the whole of golf, all the amateur bodies, all the professional bodies,” Williams explains. “Whether you’re playing on the Senior Tour, or in Europe, or anywhere else, male or female, old or young, it doesn’t matter, and you play with an amateur friend or partner in a tournament atmosphere. Everyone feels good, and at the same time, make a lot of money for charity.

“We hope it will become an annual gathering of golf…same time, same place, same venue,” he adds.

For amateurs, the event could be the closest they ever get to an actual professional playing experience, and will bring with it the type of pressure only found on tour.

“72 holes is a massive physical and mental challenge, especially for amateurs. And then, sweating over an eight-foot putt on the 18th for a million dollars for the team– that’s the kind of pressure that I’d love to do, and I’m sure others would as well,” Williams says.

The event, which is conducted under the backing of the ALPG, is open to all professionals—Female, Male, Regular and Senior Tours plus Club Pros—as well as amateurs of all levels.  Amateurs will play under their lowest GolfLink Handicap over the past two years.

Entry to the event is $10,000 + GST per team. Entrants can organise their own teams (e.g. a club pro and amateur from a single club) or individual amateurs can enter to be matched in a “Pro Draft”.

Further Information: www.therushgolf.com.au


About Richard Fellner

A four-time winner of the Australian Golf Media Awards, including Best Photojournalism, Best Opinion, Best Column and Best Photographic Presentation, 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 Media Association and the Golf Society of Australia, and has been a featured 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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