Date: November 30, 2006
Author: Alistair Hogg

Amateurs in tune for Dunes

By Alistair Hogg Australia&aposs best amateurs will be in Victoria next week for the annual Dunes Medal. Contested at the Dunes Golf Links course on the Mornington Peninsula, the national level event is unique as it is one of the few that is contested by both male and female players. Golf Australia&aposs Elite Development Manager, Peter Knight stressed the importance of the tournament and noted the 2006 medal is likely to be hotly contested. “Performances in these national selection events go toward consideration for the players representing Australia in teams events,” Knight said. “This year&aposs field will be really strong because the recent performances of national squad members in recent tournaments have been outstanding. If they continue in the same way, the scoring will be very competitive.” However sub-par performances at the Dunes Golf Links might be hard to come by with the course notorious for wreaking havoc on the scoreboard. Fiercely undulating fairways can spell trouble for golfers when coupled with the windy weather that is synonymous with the area. “Each course has unique features about it, whether they be exposure to elements or course design,” Knight said. “Where the Dunes is located, it does get exposed to strong winds which can change the nature of how the course needs to played from day to day. So players need to have multiple strategies to compete well on the course.” When asked what it will take to win the medal, Knight laughed, “Just a low score!” But added, “If it blows, they need to have very good control of ball flight and keep it low most of the time.” “The course can be undulating which means a player can be protected by being in a hollow. So understanding where the wind is coming from or not understanding can lead to judgment errors, so they&aposll need to be wary of that.” The Dunes Medal gets underway on December 5. Competing Golf Australia National Team members: Men Ray Beaufils (QLD) Rudi Bezuidenhout (NSW) Rohan Blizard (NSW) Michael Foster (WA) Richie Gallichan (NSW) Rick Kulacz (WA) Aaron Pike (QLD) Tim Stewart (NSW) Josh Younger (VIC) Ladies Kate Combes (VIC) Kristie Smith (WA)