All the winners from the WA Golf Industry Awards

25th Mar 2024

WA Golf Industry Awards

An audience of 500 attended last Friday’s WA Golf Industry Awards night at Crown Perth, with Minjee Lee, Stephen Leaney, Wembley Golf Course, Joondalup Resort and Karratha Country Club amongst the night’s winners.

The annual event celebrates all facets of the previous 12 months of WA golf, with clubs, facilities, players, coaches, volunteers and employees across the sector recognised for their excellence.

Eighteen awards were presented on the night, with the Regional and Metropolitan Golf Course and Golf Facility of the Year categories being amongst the most eagerly anticipated.

Karratha Country Club proved to be a very popular winner of the Regional Golf Facility of the Year, with judges praising the “remarkable turnaround” in the club’s fortunes after financial difficulties threatened its very existence in 2022.

During a standout 2023, Karratha CC’s notable achievements included a 61% increase in revenue and a membership increase of 73%, while spending $430,000 on improvements to its course and facilities.

The Metropolitan Golf Facility of the Year went to Wembley Golf Course, described on the night as having set “the gold standard for public facilities across the country” and for being “a truly remarkable facility”.

As well as growing membership of Wembley Public Golf Club by 20% in 2023, Wembley delivered over 185,000 rounds of golf and 65,000 rounds of mini golf, while more than 26 million golf balls were hit on its driving range.

Bunbury Golf Club was announced as the Regional Golf Course of the Year, while Joondalup Resort – which hosted the 2023 WA Open – won the Metropolitan equivalent.

Joondalup Resort

2023 WA Open host venue Joondalup Resort won the Metropolitan Course of the Year award


‘Four-peat’ for Minjee Lee

As well as clubs and facilities, several awards were handed out to individuals, with Minjee Lee winning the Outstanding Golf Achievement Award for the fourth consecutive year.

Following an exceptional 12 months that saw her claim two LPGA Tour titles and five further top-10 finishes, Minjee finished the year ranked fifth in the Rolex World Rankings and was awarded the prestigious Greg Norman Medal for the third time.

Minjee was selected ahead of brother Min Woo, Hannah Green, Haydn Barron, Maddison Hinson-Tolchard and Abbie Teasdale to be pronounced WA Golfer of the Year for the eighth time in the award ceremony’s 15-year history.

In her absence, Minjee’s award was accepted by her coach Ritchie Smith, who had himself earlier been named as the High Performance Coach of the Year.

WA Golf Industry Awards Ross Metherell

Ross Metherell (left) was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by GolfWA Chair Greg Higham


Another of WA’s golfing icons, Stephen Leaney, was inducted into the WA Golf Hall of Champions, becoming just the eighth golfer to gain that honour after Maxine Bishop, Eileen Dawson, Terry Gale, Roger Mackay, Graham Marsh, Dennis Bell and Shani Waugh.

Amongst Leaney’s many achievements are 16 professional titles around the world, including six WA Opens and four European Tour wins, a runner-up finish behind Jim Furyk at the 2003 US Open and an appearance in the President’s Cup that same year.

The Distinguished Service Award, meanwhile, was presented to Leaney’s former mentor Ross Metherell in recognition of his “stellar career as a player, administrator and coach.”

Metherell won 17 titles on the PGA Tour of Australasia, served as President of the WA PGA and coached players of the calibre of Brett Rumford, Jarrod Moseley, Craig Parry, Scott Strange and Ritchie Smith. He also led the WA men’s and boys’ teams to considerable interstate success in the 1980s.

The full list of awards also included course superintendents, apprentices, club professionals and managers, coaches, volunteers, employees and more. You can view all the winners and finalists below.

Gary Thomas, Chief Executive of GolfWA and Chair of the WA Golf Industry Gala Dinner Organising Committee, hailed another successful celebration of all that is good about golf in the state.

“Our winners and finalists are the lifeblood of golf in Western Australia and represent the best of our industry, from playing and teaching to administration and the voluntary work the sport can’t manage without,” he said. “As long as we all continue to develop, recognise and reward excellence of this kind, the future of WA golf is in safe hands.”

Full list of award winners and finalists

WA Golf Industry Awards

Graduating PGA Associates
Fritz Arnold (Lake Karrinyup Country Club), Matt Caulfield (Lake Karrinyup CC), Shani Waugh (Bunbury Golf Club)

WA PGA Associate of the Year
Awarded to: Fritz Arnold (Lake Karrinyup Country Club)

GMA Certified Club Management Qualification Recognition
Awarded to: Fiza Errington (Gosnells Golf Club), Nicole Martino (The Western Australian Golf Club)

Hilary Lawler WA PGA Club Professional of the Year
Winner: Grant Williams (Busselton Golf Club)
Finalists: Damien Chatterley (Lakelands Country Club), Michael Draper (Albany Golf Club), Stephen Herbert (Royal Fremantle Golf Club)

WA PGA Coach of the Year – High Performance
Winner: Ritchie Smith (Royal Fremantle Golf Club)
Finalists: David Milne (Lake Karrinyup Country Club)

WA PGA Coach of the Year – Game Development
Winner: Andrew Thomas (Wembley Golf Course)
Finalists: Ackzel Donaldson (Joondalup Resort), Claire Elvidge (Wembley GC), Rob Farley (Various clubs), Mark Parry (Collier Park Golf), Mark Tibbles (The Vines Resort)

WA PGA Tournament of the Year
Winner: Mitchell & Brown Spalding Park Open
Finalists: Metal West Recycling Joondalup Resort Classic, Sanwell Cottesloe Open

WA PGA Management Professional of the Year – sponsored by Golf Car World
Winner: Nicole Martino (The Western Australian Golf Club)
Finalist: Peter Maidment (Mount Lawley Golf Club), Tristan McCallum (Sea View Golf Club), Mark Patriarca (Collier Park Golf)

Course Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by AFGRI Equipment
Winner: Beschen Pou (Links Kennedy Bay/Rockingham Golf Club)
Finalists: Jason Gangell (Gosnells Golf Club), Curtis Lee (The Western Australian Golf Club), Bevan Sholdas (City of Bayswater)

Course Superintendent of the Year – sponsored by AFGRI Equipment
Winner: Tom Tristram (Secret Harbour Golf Links)
Finalists: Fraser Brown (Lake Karrinyup Country Club), Brad Pavlinovich (The Vines Resort), Ashley Watson (Joondalup Resort)

Outstanding Game Development Program of the Year – sponsored by Drummond Golf Australia
Winner: Lake Karrinyup Country Club – Women’s 22-Week Beginner Program
Finalist: Karratha Country Club – Game Development Program

Employee of the Year – sponsored by MiClub
Winner: Jessie Krznaric (Royal Fremantle Golf Club)
Finalists: Tanya Brennan (Bunbury Golf Club), Shelley Hopkinson (Sea View Golf Club), Karen Wilson (Nedlands Golf Club)

Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by Bowra and O’Dea
Winner: Graeme Durward (Busselton Golf Club)
Finalists: Alan Baker (Rockingham Golf Club), Teresa Clarke (The Vines Golf & Country Club), Gosnells Golf Club Volunteers, Norma McCarthy (Joondalup Country Club), Nedlands Golf Club Volunteers, The Vets Working Group (Margaret River Golf Club), David & Merryl Warrener (The Vines Golf & Country Club)

Regional Golf Course of the Year – sponsored by ADH Club Car
Winner: Bunbury Golf Club
Finalist: Margaret River Golf Club

Metropolitan Golf Course of the Year – sponsored by ADH Club Car
Winner: Joondalup Resort
Finalists: Kwinana Golf Club, Mosman Park Golf Club, The Vines Resort, Wanneroo Golf Club

Regional Golf Facility of the Year
Winner: Karratha Country Club
Finalists: Bunbury Golf Club, Esperance Golf Club, Kalgoorlie Golf Course

Metropolitan Golf Facility of the Year – sponsored by Golf Car World
Winner: Wembley Golf Course
Finalists: Carramar Golf Course, Gosnells Golf Club, Wanneroo Golf Club

WA Golf Industry Distinguished Service Award
Ross Metherell

WA Golf Industry Hall of Champions Induction
Stephen Leaney

Outstanding Golf Achievement Award– sponsored by NGI Insurance
Winner: Minjee Lee
Finalists: Haydn Barron, Hannah Green, Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Min Woo Lee, Abbie Teasdale

WA Golf Industry Awards

The WA Golf Industry Awards are organised by representatives of the PGA of Australia, Golf Course Superintendents Association of WA, Golf Management Australia and GolfWA. Sincere thanks to our sponsors, who help make this event possible.

Images by Above Socials