One of the highlights of the Greater Shepparton golfing calendar is here to stay.
The Greater Shepparton Masters Pro-Am, to be held between Mooroopna and Numurkah golf clubs for the fourth consecutive year, will also remain in the region for at least the next three years.
With more than 60 professional golfers expected to compete for $25000 in prizemoney on December 14-15, the boost to the local economy will be large.
‘‘It’s an amazing thing, hopefully we get say 60 golf pros from around Australia, they walk away as our ambassadors as well,’’ Numurkah Golf Club head professional Anthony Sanders said.
‘‘And then also all the sponsors and members and visitors that come and play and enjoy the day, not only with the pros, but with their mates and so forth that are there as well.
‘‘So for us, we’re probably going to have about 250 golfers there that come from all sorts golf courses near and far, so it’s a great thing.’’
Mooroopna held the event as a standalone for the previous decade before entering into the partnership with Numurkah, and club professional Reanna Matthews said it was beneficial for all involved.
‘‘It’s fantastic, it’s kind of what sport needs, you need all sports to come together and we’re really lucky that we can get the golf pros up here, so it’s good,’’ she said.
‘‘Previously we had it for 10 years just solo as an individual event and then we sort of came together and decided to do a 36-hole event, so you get more pros coming up, which is great for the area, so they spend more on accommodation and go to pubs and all that sort of stuff which is great for the community.’’
There will be individual amateur tournaments on each day (one at each club), while the pros will play across both.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Dinny Adem felt the announcement was yet another string to the region’s sporting bow.
‘‘We want to become Australia’s regional sporting capital and events like this all add to that aspiration,’’ he said.
‘‘Regional cities have to work towards their strengths. Tourism is something that a lot of other towns aspire to attract customers towards, and we’re doing that as well, we’re not forgetting that at all, but our natural attractions aren’t here as some cities have.
‘‘So while we’re still working on developing them we must make our own attractions to a certain degree, and develop our own economy around those attractions, and sport crazy as we are in Australia we want that mantle of being the number one and I think we’re well on the way to becoming that.’’