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Moonah Links all set for back-to-back events

Monday 08, Feb 2021

Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula continues to be the focus for tournament golf, with Moonah Links (pictured) jumping back into the spotlight this week and next hosting back-to-back PGA Tour of Australasia events.

After nearby Rosebud Country Club successfully hosted the inaugural event of the new format Players Series, Moonah Links hosted the Victorian PGA Championships before holding the Moonah Classic from Tuesday to Friday.  It has been a particularly busy time for superintendent and ASTMA member Kyle Wilson, with he and the team preparing both Moonah Links courses – the Legends and Open – for competition play.

“It has been all go this week,” says Wilson.  “Two events running back-to-back using both courses is certainly challenging, but the feedback has been very positive so far and the crew have done a great job.”

On Monday, the Legends course held pre-qualifying for the Victorian PGA Championships as well as pre-qualifying on the Open course on Tuesday for next week’s Moonah Classic.  A break on Wednesday enabled Wilson and his team to perform final preparations ahead of the Vic PGA which for the first two rounds has been played on the Legends course.  Following the cut after today’s second round, the final two rounds will be contested across the Open course.  Once the Vic PGA has concluded, Wilson and his team will have just a day’s respite before the Open course hosts all four rounds of the Moonah Classic from Tuesday.  

“Both courses are in fine condition,” says Wilson.  “You know they are looking good when your staff keep talking about it, as they are usually the first to pick out any deficiencies.  It has certainly been challenging having to prepare both courses, with members still playing their mid-week and Saturday comps on the alternate course, with the Legends course next week open to members and public every day while we are still hosting the Moonah Classic. Car parking has been a challenge, as the main car park is at capacity for the event fields, so we have had to utilise other areas of the property to accommodate volunteer parking and also an area for our members to park.”

To perform all the work, Moonah Links only has 10 full-time staff including Wilson, assistant Rick Lee, foremen Craig Christie (Legends) and Nathon Brown (Open), full-time mechanic Stephan Schmitter (who has the task of keeping on top of all machinery) and two casual employees assigned to golf course maintenance.  To assist with the two weeks’ of events Wilson is also utilising two casual clubhouse gardening staff and two full-time estate maintenance staff.  Rosebud Country Club is also sending an employee over each morning of the events to assist as Moonah provided two staff to help out with the Players Series tournament last week.

While Wilson and his team are in the thick of it this week, the crew at Rosebud Country Club, headed by course superintendent and ASTMA member Ian Todd, have been earning a well-deserved break after last week’s inaugural Players Series event hosted by Geoff Ogilvy.  The North Course and its conditioning drew rave reviews from players and tournament officials alike, with the PGA of Australia taking to social media to pay tribute to Todd and his team.

The PGA of Australia posted the photo below of the crew (Todd is far left), with winners Brad Kennedy and Jack Holland (junior) and Geoff Ogilvy, on its social media pages, with the comment “What an amazing week @rosebudccgolf for the inaugural #ThePlayersSeries. A huge thank you to course super Ian Todd and the incredible grounds staff at @rosebudccgolf for giving our players an incredible course to play on..."  The WPGA Tour also heaped on the accolades:  “What a golf course @rosebudccgolf is! Thank you Ian and all your amazing team for presenting the course in immaculate condition!”

The ASTMA congratulates Ian and his team for their efforts and wishes Kyle and his crew all the best for the Vic PGA and Moonah Classic.

(Photos supplied by PGA of Australia)