(Left to Right) Karen Lunn, Damien Jordan, Donna Gates, Robbie Bennetts, Amy Walsh & Broc Greenhalgh.
The 2018 Qantas Golf Club Gold Coast Challenge presents an exceptional opportunity to capture the imagination of Gold Coast golfers with a unique format staged for the first time in Queensland.
A dual event between the PGA Pro-Am Series and the ALPG Tour, teams will comprise of one male and one female professional who will be joined by two amateur golfers to complete the group of four.
This particular group format has not been seen in Australia and promises to be a memorable experience and spectacle for any avid golfer.
“We are delighted to be working with the ALPG on this joint initiative,” said Gavin Kirkman, CEO of the PGA of Australia which owns the PGA Pro-Am Series.
“Golf is a wonderfully unique and inclusive sport. Golfers of all skill, age, gender or ability are able to compete alongside each other and derive equal enjoyment from the game. The Qantas Golf Club Gold Coast Challenge will be a great demonstration of this.
“Australia has so many talented male and female professionals; the Qantas Golf Club Gold Coast Challenge is a rare opportunity for them to come together, in a team environment, so I am sure they will all have a lot of fun.”
Karen Lunn, CEO of the ALPG echoed Kirkman’s sentiments adding, “This event is the result of the collaboration between ALPG and the PGA of Australia over the past few months, and we are delighted to be announcing this unique pro-am format.
“For amateur golfers to have the opportunity to compete alongside both male and female professional golfers who are themselves competing for considerable prizemoney in official ranking events is something very special.”
A strong supporter of Australian golf, this becomes the sixth pro-am tournament supported by the Qantas Golf Club but the first showcasing this inclusive format.
“We are really excited to be partnering with the PGA and ALPG in what will be an exciting concept for the game of golf,” said Robbie Bennetts, one of the Principals, Qantas Golf Club.
“We see a lot of couples playing Qantas Golf Club events and this creates an entirely new opportunity where they can play with both a male and female professionals in the same group”
The Gold Coast is synonymous with Australian golf as the proud host of the Australian PGA Championship, an ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour tournament.
But the Qantas Golf Club Gold Coast Challenge will allow avid golfers the chance to play alongside the professionals rather than watching from outside the ropes.
“The Gold Coast continues to forge its name as a vibrant events city, not just for locals but for interstate and overseas visitors,” said Gold Coast City Acting Mayor Donna Gates.
“This tournament broadens our appeal with golfing enthusiasts and adds to our events program in the north of the city. I can’t wait.’’
The Qantas Golf Club Gold Coast Challenge two day event will be played at Links Hope Island Golf Club from 12-13 March, providing amateur golfers the opportunity to play alongside the professionals on one of the Gold Coast’s finest resort courses.
“Links Hope Island is delighted to partner with Qantas Golf Club, the PGA of Australia and the ALPG to produce this exciting new pro-am format and look forward to establishing Links as the home of the Qantas Golf Club Gold Coast Challenge,” said Tracey-Lea Tiley, Links Hope Island General Manager.
On behalf of the PGA of Australia and ALPG, Lunn extended her thanks to the tournament’s supporters.
“I would like to sincerely thank the Gold Coast City Council for their continued support, Qantas Golf Club for their vision in taking on-board the title sponsorship of the event, and also to the team at Hope Island Links for their unwavering support, we could not wish for a finer venue on the Gold Coast to play.”
The field will consist of 60 PGA Pro-Am Series Professionals and 60 ALPG Professionals. Although playing alongside each other they will each be competing for separate prize purses of equal amounts with AUD$30,000 on offer for each.
Michael Sim, 2017 Queensland Open champion on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, Damien Jordan the 2017 Sunshine Swing PGA Pro-Am Series Order of Merit winner, Whitney Hillier who finished 17th on the 2017 Ladies European Tour Order of Merit, and Kiwi powerhouse Phillis Meti who was the 2016 World Women’s Long Drive Champion have all committed to play the event.
With the Qantas Golf Club offering the Gold Coast local community an up close and personal experience with the Professional golfers, the tournament is seen as a great promotion of the game of golf.