The event is a special event for men and women, amateurs or professionals who have undergone a heart procedure (e.g. open heart, bypass, stents, etc) and who hold an official GA Handicap. On this basis alone, the event is as much about celebrating life through golf on top of the actual competition that brings together players from mainly across Victoria.
Now in its 30th year, the Vic Heart Open was initiated by the late Commonwealth Golf Club member, Con Davie and Don Lawrence, a Victoria Golf Club member and renowned golf writer for many years with the Melbourne Herald.
Lawrence and Davie approached the former Victorian Golf Association in 1988 with the suggestion to start an event for both men and women players who had undertaken various forms of heart surgery after becoming aware of a similar concept in the United States.
The inaugural event was held at the Royal Melbourne and Victoria Golf Clubs in 1989, has continued ever since and each year players gather to celebrate their continued participation in the game.
The significant progress in modern medical treatment saw the conditions revised in 2015 to welcome a further range of players that had been the recipients of alternate heart treatments.
The Victorian Heart Open is played over 18-holes Stableford followed by a dinner. Nearest the Pin competitions and a raffle are held with proceeds going to the Heart Foundation and Monash Heart Hospital.
The male or female player with the highest stableford points and who has undergone an open-heart surgery is awarded the Don Lawrence Trophy.