Port’s Pro-am coup

WE knew it was good, but it seems the rest of the golfing fraternity is catching on to just how great the Port Macquarie Golf Club Better Homes Pro-Am is.

The tournament has been nominated as the NSW/ACT PGA Country Pro-Am of the Year, and the Port Macquarie club is thrilled.

The pro-am has attracted professionals like Craig Parry and Leigh McKechnie, along with former Hasting golfers such as Steve Jeffress and Dave Brandston.

Bradley Hughes and Wayne “Radar” Riley have also taken part in the past.

The Port club professional, Ben Hamilton, received an email notifying him of the nomination last week.

He said in the six years he’d been at the club, it was the first time the flagship event had been given the honour of a nomination.

Hamilton was “surprised and extremely happy” when he heard the news, he said.

“A lot of time and effort goes into running the tournament, so it’s quite wonderful,” he said.

Should it win, Hamilton said it would be a big boost for the event.

“It would be nice to be able to advertise that,” he said.

“I hope we win.”

The club will find out if it’s won on February 28.

Port Macquarie club captain Keith Heap was chuffed with the nomination.

“The club’s obviously very proud, and always has been,” he said.

“We know it’s one of the best [tournaments] in the district. The professionals speak highly of it.”

Heap paid tribute to the club’s professional, Ben Hamilton, along with John Heagney, who he described as “the driving force” behind the tournament.

This year, organisers will add a third day to the tournament, where sponsors will play with professionals.

“We’re continually trying to make the tournament better and involve the sponsors more,” Hamilton said.

That’s on May 20, before the tournament kicks off on May 21 and 22.

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