Re­turn of pro-am to re­flect re­bound

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Hor­sham Golf Club will reach a pro­found mile­stone next year when it presents its first proam tour­na­ment since its dev­as­ta­tion from 2009 Black Satur­day bush­fires.

The club, which has been in a long­time re­build­ing phase since the disas­ter stripped its 18-hole na­tion­ally rated sand-belt course of its club­house and veg­e­ta­tion, has pen­cilled in a golf spec­tac­u­lar for the first week­end of Oc­to­ber.

Pres­i­dent Leo De­lahunty con­firmed last night the club was in the process of pre­par­ing to in­form mem­bers of plans for a huge week­end of golf that might com­bine a pro-am with other golf­ing at­trac­tions.

He added a ma­jor warm-up for the event might well oc­cur from March 16 to 18, with the club also pre­par­ing for a new Hor­sham Internatio­nal Clas­sic, a pro-am am­brose event that would pro­vide vis­it­ing pro­fes­sion­als a sneak pre­view of the course.

“We’re very much in the early stages and need to lock many things down to make it all a re­al­ity, but at this stage 2018 ap­pears to be a big year for golf in Hor­sham,” he said.

“If it evolves the way we hope, it will go a long way in the reaf­firma- tion of the high re­gard that Hor­sham Golf Club is held by peo­ple across the coun­try. The plan is to at­tract some big names and ris­ing tal­ent in the sport to mix with Wimmera golfers.”

Mr De­lahunty agreed the Hor­sham course had de­vel­oped a dif­fer­ent ‘per­son­al­ity’ from the past, when gi­ant pine trees lined the fair­ways.

“Yes it is dif­fer­ent but it is just as out­stand­ing,” he said.

“Dur­ing the time of the fire it was clearly dev­as­tat­ing to lose all those trees and the club­house, but now we have some­thing that is again ex­cel­lent.

“There is no ques­tion about the qual­ity of the track and the re­al­ity is again that this re­gion has some­thing fan­tas­tic that many other re­gions can only wish for.”

Mr De­lahunty said the club’s new board, which had its first meet­ing last week, was ‘a good mix with plenty of younger faces’.

“We’re hav­ing a strate­gic plan­ning ses­sion in three weeks where we will meet with peo­ple with ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­tise in golf man­age­ment,” he said.

“We’re quite look­ing for­ward to that and are com­mit­ted to keep­ing our mem­bers in­formed of ev­ery­thing we do.”

Dur­ing Black Satur­day al­most nine years ago, a 1242-hectare fire that started at Vec­tis tracked south-west of Hor­sham and swept through Haven.

The blaze en­gulfed the Hor­sham course as well as 13 houses.

It left the course, which had been renowned as much for its park-like en­vi­ron­ment and wildlife as its test­ing fair­ways, into a bar­ren and black­ened land­scape.

It also pre­sented a huge re­build­ing chal­lenge and left many won­der­ing whether the course could ever re­cover to a stage where the club could again com­fort­ably in­vite high-pro­file play­ers and pro­fes­sion­als for tour­na­ments and com­pe­ti­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.