Open qualifier a boost for Coffs golf
COFFS Harbour Golf Club will have the eyes of the state upon it in September when it hosts a qualifying event for the NSW Open.
Coffs Harbour along with Dubbo, Queanbeyan and Tweed Heads are among the six clubs named to host an event, each carrying prizemoney of $50,000.
The Albury and Bega regions have been identified to host the final two qualifiers.
The six-event NSW Open Qualifying Series will see around 80 professionals and 40 elite amateurs compete over 36 holes, with the top three placegetters at each event, amateur or professional, qualifying for this year’s NSW Open.
The weekend long event will be preceded by an 18 hole pro-am practice round on the Friday.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Mr John Barilaro announced the series.
He said the event will provide a much needed tourism boost for the Coffs region.
“Golfers love a weekend away and a new course to play,” Mr Barilaro said.
“I’m sure fans will jump at the chance to plan a trip to watch the pros and get a few rounds in.
“The Department of Regional NSW will work with Golf NSW to deliver an event that is both COVIDSafe and provides economic benefits through increased tourism.”
The Coffs Harbour Golf Club has already proven capable of hosting a big tournament.
It was the home of the 2018 Women’s NSW Open, an event co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour.
It also conducts the Great Northern Festival Of Golf each year. Entering into its 70th year in 2020, the Festival at the end of October sees 2,000 rounds of golf played over nine days, culminating with the North Coast Open and Ladies Classic.
Chairman of Golf NSW, Peter Mitchell, said the NSW Open qualifier would be a significant boost to the local economy.
“The vast majority of competitors will be coming from out of the region and some hopefully from interstate,” Mr Mitchell said.
“We know this means motels are booked, restaurants, clubs and pubs are busy and the town will be buzzing while the tournament is underway.”
The exact dates for the qualifying event in Coffs Harbour will be announced shortly.
By Brad GREENSHIELDS