le Golf Club is justifiably proud of their member, Luke Ellis who is the Captain of the Australian Deaf Golf Team, and the Club was keen to show its support of him and the entire Australian Deaf Golf Team. So on Sunday, Pymble Golf Club played host to the Australian Deaf Golf Team in a match against their Major Pennant Team.
Although promoted as a ‘friendly’ to assist the Australian Deaf Team in their preparation for the World Deaf Golf Championships in Michigan, USA in July, it was always going to be a fiercely contested match, and spectators were not disappointed.
The Australian Deaf Team comprised Jack McLeod, Jack Besley, Luke Ellis, Mark Aird, Andrew Honeysett and Craig Douglas. With handicaps ranging from +2 to 6, and 113 years of golfing experience between them, the Pymble Pennant Team clearly had a challenge ahead of them!
Jack McLeod, who plays off +2, is the current Australian and World Deaf Golf Champion, a title he will be defending in July, so Jack was paired with Pymble’s Club Champion and veteran pennant player, Guy Wall who also plays off +2. Also representing Pymble Golf Club were their current Junior Champion, Harry Waddington (+1), Corey Jones (+1), Jono Streichler (1.5), Joe D’Arcy (0) and Scott Mattheson (4).
Although the run of perfect autumn weather did not hold for Sunday, with some early morning showers, Pymble Golf Club presented a course in stunning condition, with the quick greens a test for even these elite golfers.
Players arrived at Pymble early on Sunday morning ready for battle. With photos taken and the briefing completed, the matches commenced, with the order determined by handicap.
While the Pymble players had the home course advantage they also had the challenge of wearing ear muffs for the back nine, so they could appreciate the difficulty of playing golf with a hearing impairment.
The number one match between Guy Wall and Jack McLeod did not disappoint – the standard of golf was exceptional with Jack making a birdie on the 18th to win 1 up. It was a rare loss on home soil for the Pymble Club Champion and congratulations go to Jack for a solid win.
The second match between Pymble’s Junior Champion, Harry Waddington and Jack Besley saw more outstanding golf with Harry the winner after holing a bunker shot on 16. The match between Joe D’Arcy and Andrew Honeysett was hard fought but Joe’s home course knowledge proved to be the difference and he secured the win.
The number four match between two Pymble members, Corey Jones and the Australian Deaf Captain Luke Ellis, was billed as a tough one. It was a win to Corey, who is a young up-and-coming star for Pymble. Luke fought hard but was juggling playing, hosting and captaining his team. The fifth match saw Jono Streichler paired with Craig Douglas and was close until Jono donned the ear muffs.
He loved the focus it gave him and that helped him deliver a win. The final match was between Scott Matheson and Mark Aird, with Scott the winner. A combination of the weather, a new course and a long course did not play well for Mark, who will be better for the experience of playing under tough conditions before he embarks on the trip to the USA.
Following the match Jack McLeod said that ‘Pymble was in awesome condition and was definitely in the top ten in NSW’. He said ‘the team were feeling really good heading into the World Championships, they have been practicing hard and were well-prepared. It’s a great bunch of guys and should be a lot of fun’.
Pymble Club Champion, Guy Wall was asked what difference the ear muffs made to his game for the back nine holes. ‘It was easier to focus without sound but it was very, very difficult not hearing the shot and having to ‘feel’ it’, Wall said. ‘The feeling of isolation and loneliness was unexpected and contributed to the degree of difficulty’.
Captain of the Australian Deaf Team, Luke Ellis spoke on behalf of the team saying ‘the team found Pymble to be in perfect condition, with fast greens. It is a magnificent course, we had a great time and the team loved Pymble.’ Asked about the upcoming World Championship, Luke said: ‘We are hoping to defend our Team Championship and Jack McLeod is hoping to defend his Singles Championship. We have a strong team and are looking forward to the World Championships’. Luke concluded by saying ‘Pymble members were really friendly and the team and their supporters really enjoyed the day. Lots of thanks to Pymble Golf Club for organising the event.’
As the players and spectators sat down for lunch, Pymble Golf Club’s Vice Captain, Craig Green presented the players of the Australian Deaf Team with a gift as a memento of their time at Pymble. He wished them the best of luck for the World Championship in July and expressed the hope that we would see them back at Pymble Golf Club in the future.