Local All-Abilities golfer tours international amateur circuit

Gath and his strongest supporters at the recent Police and Community Charity Golf Day. (L-R) James Howell, Garth Allen, Trent Moffatt, Stephen Mount and Clint Jacobsen.

LOCAL golfer Garth Allen has embarked upon a major tour of amateur golf tournaments this year, already racking up some big wins interstate, and will soon head overseas to compete in Europe, too.

As the special guest at the recent Police and Community Charity Golf Day on Good Friday, Garth was surrounded by some of his strongest supporters, most he has known since childhood.

“The boys helped me get to the Victorian Open in February for the All-Abilities, and then into the Webex Tour in the Hunter Valley,” Garth told NOTA.

Garth was victorious at the Webex, and has since been swinging around between NSW and Queensland, taking part in the states’ respective Inclusive Championships.

He is currently ranked in the top five across four states (NSW, VIC, SA and QLD) on the WR4GD (World Rankings for Golfers with Disabilities) circuit, and is excited to be heading over to the USA for the third US Adaptive Open Championship Qualifier at Goose Creek, California, and hopefully the final thereafter in Kansas.

From there, he goes to Scotland for the Scottish All-Abilities Open from 8-11 May, then the G4D Open in London after that – part of the prestigious European Tour, second only to the US PGA.

As a third-generation local boy, his family used to run the old Hawks Nest Ampol service station, his interest in golf began not too long after the tragic car accident that left him with a leg disability.

“Gary Vasicek got me into golf, and I was also a keen surfer and saw Kelly Slater playing a round, and when I played myself, I got the bug,” Garth explains.

His greenkeeper apprenticeship at Hawks Nest Golf Course helped him focus on the fairways, as well as encouragement from the club’s golf pro at the time, Steve Denning.

“As a junior, I won two pennants, and was also Captain of the Hawks Nest Golf Club pennants team for four years,” Garth said.

His recent victory at Webex was against the top nine entrants in Australia, and seems to have been the start of something tangible.

“Webex golf scholarships, a new concept, offer six golfing high-performance scholarships, funding to play in events, and PGA coaching, too, now attracting big sponsors to back the All-Abilities players, and that is my next goal.

“I’d love to see some youth sports scholarships in the Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens community, not just golf, others like surfing, rugby league and soccer.”

Garth was deeply grateful for the support he has received from locals in Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest, saying, “When you have the wider community supporting you, it makes you feel like you can do anything.”

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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