Maffra Golf Club tees up Pro-Am

Neville Gutteridge, Fay Moulton, Julie Vardy and Col Merlo have all worked to organise the Maffra Golf Club Pro-Am, which will be held in January.

IN an impressive coup for the region, Maffra Golf Club will host its first ever Pro-Am on Tuesday, January 25.

The event will be an opportunity for the region’s avid golf fans to rub shoulders with some of the best golfers in the country.

The tournament is a culmination of work for the club’s sub-committee, which was approached by PGA Australia in November with the idea for the event.

The Maffra Golf Club Pro-Am will join a suite of events across Gippsland, including in Warragul, Yarram and Traralgon.

The four events ensure some of the country’s best golfers will venture to Gippsland, bringing their loyal legion of golf fans to Wellington Shire.

The tournament will consist of 50 professional golfers competing for an $11,000 purse.

There will be a morning session, where amateur golfers can enter for the opportunity to team up with a professional — only if they have a current golf link number.

Golfers will be encouraged to arrive at 6.30am, where breakfast will be provided by the club, with coffee from Duart Homestead.

Then in groups of three, golfers will join a professional on the course and have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the country’s best golfers.

In the afternoon, the top 25 golfers entered will play accompanied by sponsors, all of varying levels.

There are six levels of sponsorship golf fans can pay to be a part of — naming rights, executive, platinum, gold, silver and bronze, ranging from $295 all the way through to $5,500.

While these groups will have the opportunity to participate, they will also receive sponsorship benefits such as signs around the course or logos on the PGA website.

For club president Neville Gutteridge, it will be an opportunity to showcase the town and wider region.

“This would be a great way to advertise the Maffra community and what we have to offer,” he said.

“It’ll certainly be one of the biggest events in Maffra.”

For the club, it is vindication that Maffra is one of the premiere golf courses in the region.

“The rain has been really helpful, and the mowers are going full hammer,” Gutteridge said.

The sub-committee has only had a brief two months to plan the event, but Gutteridge said local pro Matt Portelli was instrumental in guiding the group.

“Matt has competed in these before, so he is aware of all the things required for the event,” he said.

The club has received ample support from PGA Australia to help ensure the event — which would ordinarily need 12 months’ planning — can get off the ground.

“Heath McLeod contacted us and has been extremely helpful,” he said.

“I have contacted him several times with questions, and he will always find me an answer.”

Gutteridge said the help of volunteers would be imperative to the success of the tournament, and many volunteers had already begun helping.

“The sub-committee would meet and plan, but the volunteers would take it and run with it,” he said.

The event will feature some high quality golfers, including Perth-based Daniel Fox, who has been a professional since 2003 and has had recent success.

Fox has been a late developer — he has won his two PGA tour of Australasia titles in his 30s and 40s — and will certainly be one to watch.

The event currently has 18 professional entries, and organisers hope to have the full list of 50 in the coming weeks.

For more information and to enter you can go to the Maffra Golf Club website