Golf Australia

Industry unites for awards night

Louise Briers
2018 Victorian Hall of Fame inductee Louise Briers.

The Arts Centre Melbourne hosted 230 people from the Victorian Golf Industry on Friday August 10th.

The night saw Golf Victoria, Golf Management Victoria, the Victorian Golf Course Superintendents Association & the PGA of Australia come together to celebrate the achievements of the people and clubs within the Victorian Golf Industry.

Amongst the attendees was Simon Brookhouse – Golf Victoria CEO, Peter Busch – GMV President, John Mann – VGCSA Secretary and Gavin Kirkman – PGA of Australia CEO. Also in attendance was Mary Thomson, Victorian Golf Hall of Fame Members Michael Clayton, Bruce Green and Sandra McCaw, Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt, Golf Australia Board Member Jill Spargo, and Members of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee including Chairman Jeff Vincent.

The night opened with a special tribute to Jarrod Lyle and each attendee received a Challenge ‘Leuk the Duck’ pin. Later in the night the lives of three Victorian Golf Hall of Fame Members – Peter Thomson AO CBE, John Davis and Ian Stanley - were also remembered for their contributions to the golf industry.

Peter Busch delivered the Welcome Speech and then presented the GMV Awards to two long standing employees of the golf industry. Peter Parks, currently General Manager at the Commonwealth Golf Club has been in the industry for over 30 years was awarded the Excellence in Management Award and Callum Terrill, currently the Financial Controller at the Metropolitan Golf Club, has been in the industry for 14 years, was awarded the Employee of the Year Award.

John Mann presented the VGCSA Awards which acknowledged Steven Hewitt, Superintendent at the 13th Beach Golf Links, with the Superintendent Recognition Award and Dechlan Turkington, from the Green Acres Golf Club, won the Apprentice of the Year Award.

Stephen Spargo, President of Golf Victoria, presented the Amateur Players of Year Awards to Stephanie Bunque, from the Victoria Golf Club, and David Micheluzzi, from the Metropolitan Golf Club in recognition of their fabulous results in 2017. Unfortunately neither could attend the evening as they are contesting the US Amateur Championships but both sent through a video message of thanks.

The Inclusion Initiative Award was won by the Pakenham Golf Club for their work in welcoming people from cultural and diverse backgrounds and people with a disability. Haydn Thompson and Scott Laycock accepted the Award and spoke about recent re-developments around the Club that have included an All-Abilities playground and improved Clubhouse access for people with a disability.

Golf Victoria also recognised Bill Cassidy, Chris Cooper, Murray Cropley and Brian Lasky for their service to the game by being Rules Referees at golf tournaments around the country for 25 years.

The highlight of the night was the induction of five new Members to the Victorian Golf Industry Hall of Fame. The Class of 2018 included Louise Briers, Brendan Moloney, Tom Crow, Colin Phillips OAM & John Westacott OAM.

Louise Briers was inducted due to her stellar amateur career that included seven Ladies Club Championships at the Commonwealth Golf Club, five Riversdale Cup titles, three Victorian Amateur Championships, Australian Amateur Champion in 1991, representing Australia on numerous occasions and a pennant career that has spanned 42 years.

Brendan Moloney was recognised for his career in golf journalism which included being The Age Chief Golf Writer, press officer for the AGU and PGA Tour of Australasia, and is currently a columnist for Golf Australia Magazine. Moloney has written centenary history books for over a dozen golf clubs including Green Acres, Sorrento and Victoria Golf Clubs.

Tom Crow is perhaps best known as the founder of the Cobra golf club company and his impact on golf club design and manufacturing. But Crow also enjoyed a fabulous amateur career that included two Eisenhower Cup teams, two Riversdale Cup titles, 1961 Australian Amateur Champion, 1956 Victorian Amateur Champion and over 20 Club Championship at Kingston Heath, Royal Sydney and Royal Melbourne.

Colin Phillips OAM was inducted following a career in golf administration that included being Secretary of the Victorian Golf Association and the Australian Golf Union. Phillips was also the Honorary Secretary of the Asia–Pacific Golf Confederation, Director of Asia-Pacific for the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Chairman of the Australian Open Championship from 1975-2005, and was the first Australian to serve on Rules Committees for The Open Championship, US Open and The Masters Tournament.

John Westacott OAM was inducted for his dedication to the golf scene in Victoria. He was on the VGA Council for 23 years which included time as President and Vice-President and chaired numerous Committees during this time. Westacott was also President of the AGU, a member of the Executive Committee and selector and manager of Eisenhower Cup Teams. He is also a National Level Rules referee and has officiated at tournaments around the country for over 25 years.

The 2017 Victorian Order of Merit was won by Mitchell Brown with the GetWinesDirect Heidelberg Pro Am claiming the 2017/18 Metropolitan Pro Am of the Year. The 2017/18 Regional Pro Am of the Year was won by the with the Big Garage Subaru Bairnsdale Pro-Am. The 2018 Victorian PGA Legends Pro Am of the Year was won by the Australian Valve Group Gardiner’s Run Legends Pro Am. Also awarded on the night the 2017 National PGA Legends Pro Am of the Year which was won by the 2017 Victorian Senior Open held at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort & Black Bull Golf Club.

Victorian PGA Committee Chairman Tim Moore and PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman were on hand to present the PGA Awards. These winners are now in the running for the National Awards in their category which will be presented at the Greg Norman Medal Dinner during the Australian PGA Championship in November.

The Victorian PGA Management Professional of the Year was won by Josh Hall from the Leongatha Golf Club. Through Hall’s work, the Leongatha Golf Club has enjoyed a significant increase in membership numbers and recorded significant profits in recent years which has seen course and facility improvements enjoyed by member and guests.

The Victorian PGA Coach of the Year was won by Denis McDade from the Yarra Bend Golf Complex. McDade has students on the US, European, Asian & Japanese PGA Tours. His clients are some of the most successful Australian golfers including Marc Leishman, Marcus Fraser and Matthew Griffin

The Victorian PGA Game Development Professional of the Year was won by Christian Hamilton, National Inclusion Manager. Hamilton primarily works with people with a disability and has held countless coaching sessions at events all around Australia. Hamilton is a leader in inclusive golf programs encouraging people with physical and intellectual disabilities to play golf.

Bruce Green presented the Bruce Green Victorian PGA Club Professional of the Year Award to Heath Streat from the Box Hill Golf Club. Streat is also responsible for Membership and Communications and has seen a significant increase in membership revenue and junior activity amongst his many achievements while at Box Hill. He credited Bruce Green’s assistance and guidance during his career.


Below is a full list of Award recipients on the night:

Golf Victoria

  • •  2017 Golf Victoria Amateur of the Year (Female)
  •     Stephanie Bunque
  • •  2017 Golf Victoria Amateur of the Year (Male)
  •     David Micheluzzi
  • •  2017 Inclusion Initiative Award
  •     Pakenham Golf Club


Golf Management Victoria

  • •  GMV Employee of the Year Award
  •     Callum Terrill – Metropolitan Golf Club
  • •  GMV Excellence in Management Award
  •     Peter Parks – Commonwealth Golf Club


Victorian PGA

  • •  2017/18 Victorian PGA Pro Am of the Year (Metropolitan)
  •     GetWinesDirect Heidelberg Golf Club Pro Am
  • •  2017/18 Victorian PGA Pro Am of the Year (Regional)
  •     The Big Garage Subaru Bairnsdale Golf Club Pro Am
  • •  2018 Victorian PGA Legends Pro Am of the Year
  •     Australian Valve Group Gardiner’s Run Legends ProAm
  • •  2017 National PGA Legends Pro Am of the Year
  •     Shepparton BMW Senior Victorian Open – Black Bull Golf Club & Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort
  • •  2017 Victorian PGA Order of Merit Winner
  •     Mitchell Brown
  • •  2017/18 Bruce Green Victorian PGA Club Professional of the Year
  •     Heath Streat – Box Hill Golf Club
  • •  2017/18 Victorian PGA Management Professional of the Year
  •     Josh Hall – Leongatha Golf Club
  • •  2017/18 Victorian PGA Coach of the Year
  •     Denis McDade – Yarra Bend Golf Complex
  • •  2017/18 Victorian PGA Game Development Professional of the Year
  •     Christian Hamilton – National Inclusion Manager


Victorian Golf Course Superintendents Association

  • •  Apprentice of the Year
  •     Dechlan Turkington
  • •  Superintendent Recognition Award
  •     Steven Hewitt


Victorian Golf Hall of Fame – New Inductees

  • •  Brendan Moloney - Journalism
  • •  Colin Phillips OAM - Administration
  • •  Louise Briers - Playing
  • •  Tom Crow – Playing and manufacturing
  • •  John Westacott OAM - Volunteer

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