The Outback Queensland Masters has hit a hole-in-one at the 2020 Australian Event Awards, receiving the award for Australia’s Best New Event.
The judges described the Outback Queensland Masters as “innovative, ground-breaking, inclusive, fun and creative”.
“This is an incredibly unique new event. The effort, creativity and resourcefulness of the event organisers is truly impressive,” said co-chair of the judging panel Peter Rix AM.
“Congratulations to all the finalists and winners. The quality of the entries has meant a very high-scoring year, significantly higher than previous years and the judges have definitely had their work cut out.”
The Outback QLD Masters, Australia’s most remote golf series, spans thousands of kilometres through Outback Queensland.
Richest amateur golf tournament
The richest amateur golf tournament in the world, the idea for the event was born of a need to drive longer overnight visitation for Outback Queensland, enabling visitors to genuinely connect with locals through golf.
“Over the course of two months in 2019, the inaugural OQM participants began their journey with us. There was a little trepidation, a big dose of curiosity and there was absolute awe from the locals as we transformed their golf clubs,” said event producer Theresa Famularo, of Cre8ion.
“By the end, the Outback Queensland Masters team had created an opportunity that was beyond tourism and visitation or playing a round of golf. With world-class entertainment under the stars, we had a new community of visitors who had built new and lasting friendships.”
Luke Bates, Golf Australia’s state senior manager – Queensland, was delighted with the interest the event had generated and that the team effort to bring it to life had been rewarded.
“We would especially like to thank our strategic partners Tourism and Events Queensland, the Queensland Government, who supported the event through the Year of Outback Tourism Events Program and the PGA of Australia,” Bates said.
“We are also grateful for the support from each and every local golf club and their members who so eagerly embraced the event and the contribution from Maranoa Regional Council, Murweh Shire Council, Longreach Regional Council, Winton and Boulia Shire Councils and Mount Isa City Council.
“Special thanks must also be given to the team from Cre8ion and Weatherall Golf who played a crucial role in developing and staging the event.”
To give back and provide opportunities for young people in Outback Queensland, free junior golf clinics for local children were also staged in the six locations on the Outback Queensland Masters with PGA professional Darren Weatherall front and centre.
Great interest in return
“It was a great way for young people to get first-hand knowledge and skills in the game,” said Weatherall, the director of Double You Golf.
Bates said that despite the cancellation of the 2020 OQM because of Covid-19, many golfing enthusiasts and travelling visitors had already shown great interest in its return in 2021.
“Based on sales to date, we believe next year’s event will sell-out,” Bates said.
“By far the most popular ticket being purchased to date is the `All-inclusive Player Pass and “All-inclusive Spectator Pass’, which provides the player with entry into all six locations for June and July 2021.”
So, who will win the million-dollar hole-in-one in 2021? Only time will tell. But with five warm up opportunities with $10,000 hole-in-challenges in Biloela, Charleville, Quilpie, Blackall, and Hughenden, it’s well worth a try. Not to mention the extraordinary journey through the landscapes, legends, and hospitality of Outback Queensland.
Event industry leaders from across the country gathered via a syndicated video link for the awards ceremony in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
The Outback Queensland Masters was against other national finalists in the new event category, including, SAP e’ffect, INVNT, New South Wales, Greater Springfield Festival of Learning 2019, LOUD events, Queensland, ICC T20 Women’s World Cup Opening Celebration 2020, Michael Cassel Group, New South Wales and North Australian Festival of Arts 2019, Townsville City Council, Queensland.
2021 EVENT SCHEDULE
Event 1: Biloela – June 19 & 20
Event 2: Charleville – June 26 & 27
Event 3: Quilpie – July 3& 4
Event 4: Blackall – July 10 & 11
Event 5: Hughenden – July 17 & 18
Event 6: Longreach – July 23, 24 & 25
For more information, visit the Outback Queensland Masters website.