Date: July 03, 2018
Author: Golf Victoria

Women�s Winter Pennant a winner for Goulburn Murray

This year the Goulburn Murray Golf Association in Victoria’s north unveiled an historic initiative – Sunday Winter Women’s Pennant.

The concept of Sunday pennant is nothing new in golf, however in this case there is a point of significance.

It’s the first time in history that the district has offered women’s pennant on a weekend.

Shepparton, Mooroopna, Rich River and Cobram Barooga golf clubs were quick to jump at the opportunity.

Mooroopna GC member Zoe Courtney, who now lives and studies in Melbourne, is travelling home each weekend to make the most of it.

“People would always talk about pennant but then I saw it was on Monday or Tuesday and I realised I can’t do that,” says Courtney.

“Sometimes it feels like it’s all talk – ‘it’d be great to have this’ – but now it’s here and it’s fantastic. Every single one of the ladies on our team has said how fantastic it is and how they have never been able to play Pennant until now – now that it’s on a Sunday.”

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And filling the teams has proven to be an easy task, particularly for Mooroopna.

Already 10 women have signed up for the team which only requires five starters each week.

“When you’re playing by yourself and having a bad day you’ve got to try and get it together in your own head – tell yourself to keep going,” says Courtney.

“Whereas in Pennant there is that team encouragement. You have your teammates there to encourage you when you bump into them across the course throughout the day.

“It’s quite relaxed but competitive at the same time – everyone who plays golf has a little bit of a competitive streak in them. As soon as you come in everyone’s asking ‘what’s your score?’ ‘did you win?’ ‘did you lose?’”

The players are hopeful that the inaugural season ignites even more options for women in the district.

“There have been so many positive things talked about,” says Courtney.

“There’s even been talk about hopefully joining the men’s Pennant season during the summer because this has been such a success already.”

The initiative has come at a crucial time for the sport with the recent launch of the Equal Opportunity in Golf guidelines, prepared by Golf Victoria and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

“It’s an important step in the right direction for the district which previously only held mid-week pennant for women,” says Megan Carr, Golf Victoria’s regional development officer in the area.

“Golf should be accessible for women of all lifestyles so we hope that weekend pennant for women is here to stay in the Goulburn Murray and that neighbouring districts are inspired to get involved too.”

Shepparton, Mooroopna, Rich River and Cobram Barooga are three rounds into their five-week roster and while plenty of eyeballs will be watching the scores each Sunday, there is a sense that this is about more than just the ladder.