Bumper year hits full swing

The first six months of 2011 are up and there’s plenty to look forward to in the second half of this year in golf in Australia.

From February to May, Golf Australia conducted eleven National Championships with champions ranging from world number one, Yani Tseng at the Handa Women’s Australian Open to Queensland’s Cameron Smith, who won both the Srixon Australian Men’s Stroke Play and Australian Boys’ Amateur titles.

Stephen Pitt Golf Australia CEO: Stephen Pitt

It’s also been a busy six months as our work continues on delivering the best handicap system for Australian golfers.

Late in April we provided golfers with a report on the statistics around handicap trends under the “Old System” and the “New System” which was based on an analysis of one million rounds of golf played in Australia.

That report is available on the Rules and Handicapping section of the Golf Australia website.

Clubs will have received our May announcements by mail and they are also posted on our website and we encourage members to check there regularly.

June is also the time when our elite amateurs head to the northern hemisphere to play the summer amateur tournament circuits in Great Britain and the United States.

These overseas tours give the players the chance to experience different tournament courses and conditions and play against the best amateurs in the world.

The pinnacle of the June to August trips for the players will be the chance to play in the US Amateur and British Amateur Championships where winning can earn career-defining opportunities and exemptions.

Last year’s successes included Tasmanian National Squad member Ryan McCarthy reaching the quarter finals of the US Amateur Championship at Chambers Bay.

While our players will compete against the best in the world, they themselves are in high demand to play in tournaments. Golf Australia receives dozens of requests for our leading players to compete in countries all over the world including Singapore, Thailand, Morocco, India, England and the United States.

We aim to give players as many opportunities as we can or as their heavily booked schedules allow.

More To Come

The second half of 2011 will be an exciting and important time for Australian golf as the Presidents Cup brings a host of the world’s best players to our shores.

With this focus and interest on golf, we’re working on some exciting initiatives to make sure golfers of all ages, abilities and interest levels continue to engage with the game.

There are so many Australians who interact with the game in many different ways with various levels of frequency and we need to ensure that we continue to make the game as attractive as possible to everyone who plays, no matter how often they play.

Finally, this week the golfing world turns to Congressional Country Club in Maryland for the US Open.

I have a good feeling about Jason Day, particularly after seeing the way he handled the final day at Augusta National.

Let’s hope the Australians are in contention like they were on that Sunday in April.