Date: July 12, 2017
Author: Golf Australia

Stalwart McCabe’s endless work rewarded

Like most unsung heroes of sporting clubs, Noel McCabe doesn't put in the hours for the personal acclaim.

But McCabe, a member of the McLeod Country Golf Club for more than 40 years, has just had his work honoured on a national stage.

McCabe was recently voted Australia's "best club stalwart" by Inside Sport – a Confederation of Sport-backed initiative that helps to promote the importance and passion of community sport.

And there have been few more passionate for a longer time than McCabe.

When others of his vintage are sometimes accused of making golf clubs their own personal playgrounds, McCabe has dedicated countless thousands of hours towards fostering McLeod's juniors.

He has held many positions within the club’s administration and committees including treasurer, secretary of the fellows and has been a key member of the finance committee for many years.

But his work with the club's youngsters was the clincher.

McCabe has been involved in the running of Pee Wee pennants since its inception at McLeod.

His mindset is to engage the hearts and minds of the children, even before they get a handicap. So the Pee Wee pennants has enabled him to walk the course with kids and their parents as they have fun using an ambrose format.

McCabe was also instrumental in proposing and setting up a room within the clubhouse as somewhere for juniors to hang out.

"I want them to think of us as a home away from home and to be comfortable and not intimidated at the golf course," he has said many times, clearly demonstrating his view that without the next generation, all clubs will battle in the future.

McCabe can regularly be seen walking the course with the latest crop of juniors as they first venture out on course, many of them under 10.

He also pioneered at McLeod the use of a short junior course as a means of getting juniors the on-course experience they need before committing to playing the full course.

He puts out the junior tees most Saturdays, having done so for more than a decade.

"Juniors need to be nurtured or you scare them away," McCabe proudly states.

Everyone at McLeod is justifiably proud of McCabe's award, with nominations having come from 37 sports.

Golf Australia is thrilled with McCabe's recognition.

"The development of the next wave of golfers is paramount to the game's future and with Noel's clear commitment to his club, we know McLeod Country Golf Club is in great hands," GA game development manager Cameron Wade said.

"Congratulations, Noel, on your well deserved award."