By Neal Maidment
A spectacular night at the ADH Club Car WA Golf Industry Awards saw notable accolades for Minjee Lee, Busselton Golf Club, The Vines Resort and Mandurah Country Club, amongst many others.
The annual celebration of all that’s great about golf in WA took place in Crown’s Grand Ballroom on the evening of March 31, with clubs, facilities, players, pros, volunteers and employees across the sector being recognised for their excellence throughout 2022.
Busselton GC was arguably the big winner on the night, scooping dual awards for Regional Golf Course and Regional Golf Facility of the Year after a period that saw significant membership increases and successful renovation work.
Judges noted that: “Busselton continues to be one of the best presented and must-play courses in the South-West. The course is maintained in prime condition and their Course Superintendent works very closely with the various government agencies to ensure the Busselton Golf Club is at the forefront of environmental strategies and implementation.”
To cap an excellent evening, Busselton’s Office Manager Jude Hood was also awarded the Employee of the Year Award in acknowledgment of her “selfless commitment” to the club and its staff.
The Vines Resort won the hotly contested Metropolitan Golf Course of the Year Award after impressing judges with improvements made to the safety and playability of the course throughout 2022, and their innovative approach to monitoring turf health.
Mandurah Country Club, meanwhile, claimed the Metropolitan Golf Facility of the Year, with judges highlighting considerable increases in turnover, membership levels and the number of rounds played.
The club was also awarded the Game Development Program of the Year Award after introducing a series of initiatives throughout 2022 that helped grow female membership to 32% of the club’s total and boost levels of junior membership by 40%.
Celebration of amazing women
As well as clubs and facilities, a large number of awards were handed out to individuals across a range of categories, with WA golf icon Minjee Lee winning the Outstanding Golf Achievement Award for the third consecutive year following her victory at the 2022 US Women’s Open.
In a video acceptance speech, Lee said: “The US Women’s Open was such a dream-come-true moment for me and it was lovely for me to be able to bring the trophy home. I want to thank my friends, my family and my team for their unconditional support, and I also want to congratulate all the other winners tonight.”
Industry veteran Kay Lane – a member of Cottesloe Golf Club for more than 50 years – was presented with the WA Golf Industry Distinguished Service Award in appreciation of her years of service to golf in the state.
Lane has served as President of The Western Australian Ladies Golf Union and Vice-President of the Australian Ladies Golf Union, as well as sitting on the WA Junior Golf Council. She is the current Chair of the GolfWA Honours Committee, and has also held important roles at the WA Sports Federation and Board of Management for Healthway.
Her dedication to the cause was previously recognised with Lane receiving the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and Sportwest’s Service to Sport Award in 2020.
Volunteers in the spotlight
Such was the number of nominations in the Volunteer of the Year Award, the decision was made to split the nominees into regional and metropolitan categories for the first time.
In the regional award, Dunsborough & Districts Country Club’s Dot and Ron Carmody were very popular winners. Known as the “little fairies” of the club, Dot and Ron are known for their ability to get things done without being asked, and past club President Rob Prentice described them as “born leaders” who “subscribe to ‘service-before-self’ and are great assets to the club.”
The metropolitan winners were the Mount Lawley Course Volunteers Group, whose 27 members contributed nearly 4000 voluntary hours across 2022. Amongst their many worthwhile projects, the group planted approximately 3000 plants around the course, as well as preparation of numerous reports on revegetation and bushland management strategies.
The full list of award winners also included course superintendents, apprentices, club professionals, coaches 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, was effusive in his praise of all the awards finalists and winners.
“The beauty of the WA Golf Industry Awards is that it provides an opportunity for us all to come together and celebrate what we have collectively achieved over the past 12 months,” he said.
“Our winners and finalists represent all the best facets of our industry, from playing and teaching to managing facilities and the volunteers we can’t manage without. We congratulate and thank them for their commitment to safeguarding and growing the game of golf in our state.”
Overall, the awards gala dinner drew a crowd of more than 500 in what was the biggest celebration of WA golf in several years. The WA Golf Industry Gala Dinner Organising Committee wishes to thank all the event sponsors, all the clubs and facilities that supported the event, and all who were present on the night.
Full list of award winners and finalists
Graduating PGA Associates
Joshua Herrero (Rockingham GC), Calum Juniper (Gosnells GC), Charlton Knoll (Royal Fremantle), Craig Lowry (Links Kennedy Bay), Brett Rumford (Wembley Golf Course)
WA PGA Associate of the Year
Awarded to: Joshua Herrero (Rockingham Golf Club)
Hilary Lawler WA PGA Club Professional of the Year
Winner: Jim Danas (Sun City Country Club)
Finalists: Daniel Bennett (Geraldton GC), Peter Maidment (Mount Lawley)
WA PGA Coach of the Year – High Performance
Winner: David Milne (Lake Karrinyup)
Finalists: Alex McKay (Mount Lawley), Ritchie Smith (Royal Fremantle)
WA PGA Coach of the Year – Game Development
Winner: Andrew Thomas (Wembley Golf Course)
Finalists: Ackzel Donaldson (Joondalup Resort), Emma Liebenau (Mount Lawley)
WA PGA Tournament of the Year
Winner: Godfrey Hirst Joondalup Resort Classic
Finalists: Mitchell & Brown Spalding Park Open, Roy Hill Port Hedland Golf Classic
WA PGA Management Professional of the Year – sponsored by Golf Car World E-Z-GO
Winner: Tristan McCallum (Sea View GC)
Finalist: Peter Hopkins (Whaleback Golf Course)
Course Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by AFGRI Equipment
Winner: Jayden Zappelli (Kalgoorlie Golf Course)
Finalists: Brody Cooper (Secret Harbour Golf Links), Lleyton Jose (The Vines Resort), Harry Milne (Wembley Golf Course)
Course Superintendent of the Year – sponsored by AFGRI Equipment
Winner: Des Russell (Cottesloe GC)
Finalists: Craig Hamilton (Sun City Country Club), Jason Kelly (Royal Fremantle), Rod Tatt (Mount Lawley)
Outstanding Game Development Program of the Year – sponsored by Drummond Golf Australia
Winner: Mandurah Country Club – Club Game Development Program
Finalists: Royal Fremantle – Junior Academy, Cottesloe GC – Junior Development Program, Jordan McSkimming – MyGolf in Schools, Lake Karrinyup – Women’s 22-Week Beginner Program
Employee of the Year – sponsored by MiClub
Winner: Jude Hood (Busselton GC)
Finalists: Damian Franzmann (Hartfield Golf Club), Jacob Harris (Royal Perth), Shelley Hopkinson (Sea View), Krystal Mosca (The Vines Resort)
Regional Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by Bowra and O’Dea
Winner: Dot and Ron Carmody (Dunsborough and Districts Country Club)
Finalists: Wayne Galloway (Hopetoun Everett Country Golf Club), Nathan Langley (Leinster GC), Ian Rose (Dongara GC), Greg Sewell (Broome GC), Ern Stephen (Capel GC)
Metropolitan Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by Bowra and O’Dea
Winner: Mount Lawley Course Volunteer Group
Finalists: Brian Anderson (Royal Fremantle), David Ball (Hartfield GC), Lawrie Bennett (Gosnells GC), Chris Grant (Yanchep GC), Gavan Kennedy (Joondalup Country Club), Brian McNary (Sun City Country Club), John and Yvonne Messenger (The Vines Resort), David Warrener (The Vines Resort)
Regional Golf Course of the Year – sponsored by ADH Club Car
Winner: Busselton GC
Finalist: Albany GC
Metropolitan Golf Course of the Year – sponsored by ADH Club Car
Winner: The Vines Resort
Finalists: Wanneroo Golf Club, The Western Australian Golf Club
Regional Golf Facility of the Year
Winner: Busselton GC
Finalists: Albany GC, Broome GC
Metropolitan Golf Facility of the Year – sponsored by Golf Car World E-Z-Go
Winner: Mandurah Country Club
Finalists: Hartfield GC, Links Kennedy Bay, Wanneroo GC, The Western Australian GC
WA Golf Industry Distinguished Service Award
Awarded to: Kay Lane
Outstanding Golf Achievement Award– sponsored by NGI Insurance
Awarded to: Minjee Lee
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. Thanks to our sponsors, who help make this event possible.