The Cut - 9 December 2016

The Cut - 9 December 2016 Intro

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Welcome to this edition of The Cut, the AGCSA’s enewsletter. This week we look at the resignations of PGA of Australia chief executive Brian Thorburn and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. Why the latter you ask? Read on and find out… We also have five copies of The 2017 Golf Course Guide to give away. Enjoy the read...

**The AGCSA wishes to apologise to subscribers of The Cut if they received multiple copies of the 6 December 2016 edition sent earlier this week. This was due to a coding error with our mail server which our website provider has since rectified. The AGCSA apologises for any inconvenience caused.**

The Cut - 9 December 2016 Barber

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Did Barber play a Key role in PM’s resignation?
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And while we are on the topic of resignations, did a humble golf course superintendent have a hand in the shock departure this week of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key? For those not aware of the big news from across in the Shaky Isles this week, Key announced on Monday that he was stepping down after eight years in the role. As the media digested the bombshell, it came to light that on the day before he made the announcement Key played a round of golf at Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club (PBGC) just north of Wellington.

PBGC is home to Leo Barber who performs the dual role of course superintendent and general manager. Barber is a former board member of the NZGCSA and in 2007 won the NZGCSA Excellence Award for his work at the course. PBGC ranks as one of New Zealand’s great courses and last Sunday Barber entertained the then New Zealand Prime Minister for 18 holes along with club president Paul de Bernardo and Key’s chief of staff Wayne Eagleson. Barber’s 12-year-old son Joseph also tagged along for the once in a lifetime opportunity, while PBGC groundstaff member Brett Smith acted as caddy for the PM. Barber teamed up with Key, a keen golfer who plays off a 10 handicap, to take on Eagleson and De Bernardo and despite going down 3 and 1 enjoyed a relaxing round on the famed links.

Enjoying a round of golf at Paraparaumu Beach GC last Sunday were (from left) Brett Smith (PBGC groundstaff), Leo Barber (PBGC superintendent/GM), then New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, Paul De Bernardo (PBGC president) and Wayne Eagleson (Key's chief of staff)

Suffice to say the New Zealand media latched on to Key’s round of golf and an article appeared on www.stuff.co.nz quoting both Barber and Smith who were quizzed as to whether Key gave any indication of the announcement he was to make the following day. Understandably Barber’s phone and social media accounts ran hot with calls and comments from family, friends, turf and golf industry colleagues about the round and on Monday he posted this note on his Facebook page:

“So the phone lit up today as I was into my “7th hole of work” with many wanting answers to just exactly what went on at Paraparaumu Beach yesterday with the Prime Minister that may have prompted his resignation today. While I have spent the last five or so hours trying to digest it all myself, I’ve walked in the door from “work” and I think my son has summed it up beautifully – “Dad, I do think it was all about yesterday – he enjoyed his day so much that he just wants more. More downtime, more golf and more just being like a normal human being that doesn't have to survive on those 5.5 hrs sleep a night that he spoke about” – from the mouths of babes.”

The Cut - 9 December 2016 Good Luck

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Good luck, and congratulations, to...
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It has been a few weeks since we’ve listed those AGCSA and state association member superintendents hosting major events, so here’s a bit of a catch-up.

Congratulations to...

  • RACV Royal Pines Resort, Qld (superintendent Lincoln Coombes, pictured top): Australian 4 Ball Teams Championship, 23-25 Nov and 2016 Australian PGA Championship, 1-4 Dec.
  • Kingston Heath Golf Club, Vic (superintendent Hayden Mead, pictured second from top): 2016 ISPS Handa World Cup, 24-27 Nov
  • Headland Golf Club, Qld (superintendent Ben Tilley, pictured second from bottom): Vantage Homes QLD / Alex Surf Club Headland Pro-Am, 27 Nov.
  • Eastwood Golf Club, Vic (superintendent Peter Cawsey): 2016 Eastwood Golf Club Pro-Am, 30 Nov.
  • Mooroopna Golf Club, Vic (superintendent Andrew Ryan): Numurkah-Mooroopna Pro-Am, 1-2 Dec.
  • Elanora Country Club, NSW (superintendent Dan Cook, pictured bottom): I.K Harrison Invitational Pro-Am, 2 Dec.
  • Wynnum Golf Club, Qld (superintendent Jason Adams): Bartons/BMD Wynnum Pro-Am, 5 Dec.

And good luck to...

  • Pakenham & District Golf Club, Vic (superintendent Rick McHugh): Burdens Pakenham Invitational, 9 Dec.
  • Byron Bay Golf Club, NSW (superintendent Shaun Cross, pictured top):  Australian Legends Tour Championship, 9-11 Dec.
  • Commonwealth Golf Club, Vic (superintendent Mark Prosser, pictured second from top) & Kingston Heath Golf Club, Vic (superintendent Hayden Mead): Men's & Women's Vic Amateur Championships, 9-14 Dec.     
  • Tasmania Golf Club, Tas (superintendent Danny Gilligan, pictured third from top): 2016 Tasmanian PGA Championship, 11-12 Dec.
  • Palmer Gold Coast, Qld & Palmer Colonial Golf Course, Qld (superintendent Mark Hauff, pictured middle): Greg Norman Junior Masters, 11-16 Dec.
  • Commercial Golf Resort, NSW (superintendent Anthony Toogood, pictured third from bottom): Commercial Club Albury Pro-Am, 13-14 Dec.
  • Noosa Golf Club (superintendent Daniel Breen), Pelican Waters (superintendent Troy Muir, pictured second from bottom) & Twin Waters Golf Club (superintendent Gary Topp, pictured bottom): Sunshine Coast Masters, 13-15 Dec.
  • Sandhurst Club, Vic (superintendent Cory Budden): PGA Qualifying School Stage 1, 14-16 Dec.
  • Ryde-Parramatta Golf Club, NSW (superintendent Shaun Probert): WRI Charity Pro-Am, 15 Dec.

If you have a major event coming up at your club and would like it mentioned in The Cut, or have recently held a major tournament, then please email details and photos to AGCSA editor Brett Robinson.

The Cut - 9 December 2016 Guide

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2017 Golf Course Guide – five copies up for grabs
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The 2017 Golf Course Guide, produced by Golf Publishing, has been released and The Cut has five copies to give away to readers. The first five subscribers to The Cut to email AGCSA editor Brett Robinson will get themselves a free copy of the guide valued at $40 – right in time for Christmas!  

This is the 23rd edition of The Golf Course Guide and at 416 pages is the biggest in its history. As with previous editions, the 2017 guide presents a comprehensive directory of public access golf courses in Australia including course descriptions, full contact details, as well as a wealth of information pertaining to green fees, practice facilities, cart hire costs etc… It includes nearly 100 new listings and a plethora of golf-related discount offers.

Each year the guide also publishes its top 100 public access courses rankings and for the first time in a decade there is a new No.1. Not surprisingly the highly rated Cape Wickham (superintendent John Geary) on King Island takes over the top spot from its Tasmanian counterpart Barnbougle Dunes (superintendent Phil Hill), with Barnbougle Lost Farm coming in third. In addition to the Top 100 list, The Golf Course Guide also publishes separate rankings lists for Design, Conditions and Course Aesthetics, the top 10 of which are presented below:

RankTop 100 PublicDesignConditionsAesthetics
1Cape WickhamCape WickhamBarnbougle DunesCape Wickham
2Barnbougle DunesBarnbougle DunesB'bougle Lost FarmBarnbougle Dunes
3B'bougle Lost FarmB'bougle Lost FarmJoondalup (Q/D)B'bougle Lost Farm
4The DunesThe DunesMoonah Links LegendsBonville
5St Andrews BeachSt Andrews BeachMoonah Links OpenHamilton Island
6Kennedy BayKennedy BaySt Andrews BeachThe Dunes
7Joondalup (Q/D)Joondalup (Q/D)Kennedy BayBarwon Heads
8Barwon HeadsBarwon HeadsThe DunesKennedy Bay
913th Beach (Beach)13th Beach (Beach)Magenta ShoresSt Andrews Beach
10BonvilleNewcastle13th Beach (Beach)13th Beach (Beach)

For more information about the 2017 edition of The Golf Course Guide or to order a copy online, visit www.ausgolf.com.au.

The Cut - 9 December 2016 Thorburn

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Thorburn to step down as PGA of Australia CEO
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The PGA of Australia announced earlier this week that chief executive Brian Thorburn (pictured) would be stepping down having successfully completed his second three-year contract with the association when it comes to the end of its natural term in February 2017.
 
Peter O’Malley, chairman of the PGA Board, thanked and praised Thorburn for leading the association during this time and congratulated him on the significant contributions he has made. “Brian was appointed in 2011 by a new Board and together we immediately implemented a comprehensive restructure and change agenda which has seen the PGA deliver a financial surplus each year for the last four years, extend the services provided to members and grow tournaments on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia by over 50 per cent to 17 tournaments offering $8.9 million in prize money,” O’Malley says.
 
“Australia’s golfing fortunes have thrived over this period with several players in the top-50 in the world including two world No 1’s in Jason Day and Adam Scott. Brian oversaw the PGA Centenary in 2011, the relocation of the Australian PGA Championship to the Gold Coast in 2013, an expanded relationship with the European Tour and the establishment of new international tournaments in Fiji, Darwin, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and Perth.
 
“Two other very significant events were held during his tenure being The Presidents Cup in Australia in 2011 and the World Cup of Golf also in Melbourne this year and 2013. With the PGA enjoying high brand recognition and respect, Brian leaves at a time when we are in a powerful financial position well placed to continue to expand and grow.
 
“The PGA looks to build greater alignment with all the other golfing bodies in Australia maximising the value and importance of its brand, celebrating its history and strengthening the position and circumstances of both its vocational and tour professionals.

“Last week’s successful staging of the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort and the standing of that tournament is a credit to Brian who has driven not only the transition from Coolum to the Gold Coast but a number of other initiatives such as the Greg Norman Medal, the inaugural PGA Immortal Award which was presented to Peter Thomson, and the SONIQ Million Dollar Hole as a few examples,” concluded Chairman O’Malley.
 
Thorburn added that he was very proud of his achievements as CEO of the PGA: “It’s been a privilege to run the PGA and I’m very pleased to have left the legacy of making a worthwhile contribution to the PGA and to the future of the great game of golf in this country. Living in Sydney, travelling each week to the PGA’s national office at Sandhurst in Melbourne and being on the road for over 180 days each year has been a big commitment and I am looking forward to returning to my consulting firm based in Sydney and spending more time with my young family.”

An immediate restructure sees Gavin Kirkman, a long-term and highly regarded PGA executive, who has been responsible for the Vocational Professionals and Stuart Hergt, PGA CFO for more than five years, take over as interim joint CEO’s reporting to the Chairman and the PGA Board.

Thorburn oversaw the successful transition of the Australian PGA Championship from Coolum to RACV Royal Pines Resort

The Cut - 9 December 2016

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