Ballarat, Forest Resort, Midlands golf clubs to host annual 54-hole tournament

THE Ballarat, Forest Resort and Midlands golf clubs will host the upcoming Ballarat District Golf Association annual 54-hole tournament.

The event will run from January 24-26, with Friday’s opening day to be held at Ballarat, the second round to be held at Creswick’s Forest Resort and the concluding day to take place at Midlands.

Creswick was introduced to the tournament for the first time last year, while Buninyong is the only one of the four eligible courses that will not play the part of host for the 2014 tournament.

Ballarat District Golf Association president and tournament director Wayne Hines expects each the fields over the three days to sit between 180 and 200 golfers, but is hoping that a revamp of the format will make the event more appealing.

“We’ve had several big changes for this year’s event in that we’ve altered the course set ups to become a bit efficient time-wise, and we’ve introduced a Stableford competition that will make it more enjoyable for the higher grades,” Hines said. “We’ve also introduced a ‘colour day’ for the Sunday competition.”

This year’s host courses will present the competing golfers with challenging variety of layouts.

Ballarat’s heavily bunkered layout has its share of short, attackable par fours, but is exposed to the elements and can be brutally long with the right wind pattern.

Creswick’s long course is densely forested and with a will test golfers’ distance control with great many elevated tees and fairways, while Midlands’s country style course has plenty of water to negotiate.

The capacity field for the tournament is limited at 216.

All three courses should be in peak condition for the annual event, and Hines is expecting a high-quality field to show, led by the Ballarat District’s 2013 Country Week pennant championship team.

“Last year we had 29 players on a five or less handicap, and we’re hoping to get more this time,” Hines said.

“We also expect entries to come from right across Victoria and even some from Melbourne.”

michael.pollock@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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