Gold Coasters Neil Herdegen and Todd Sleep PGA from TS Golf have teamed up again to win their 3rd blind golf tournament in a row, taking the honours for the inaugural Kooralbyn Pineapple.
More than a dozen golfers plus their caddies enjoyed two full days of golf at Kooralbyn Valley Golf Resort on Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th October. The golfers also took part in a capacity building session by Todd Sleep PGA before tee off on day two.
Jamie Hain and Big Mark Tooks finished just a single point behind to get 2nd spot after the 2nd day’s play on the notorious but iconic 6992 meter par 72 course.
Both Neil and Todd each scored a few birdies during their rounds, the pair starting with an even par round on the first day. Neil Herdegen has been a student at TS Golf Academy at Robina operated by his caddy and coach Todd Sleep PGA. Neil began golf lessons in 2019 and the pair play regularly at their home course The Glades.
From all reports, all groups had memorable fun and social rounds. Scores were close with more than four groups scoring in excess of 40pts – demonstrating nicely the rising standard of competition blind golf play in Queensland. The fun side of the game was certainly not sacrificed in the name of competition as all groups shared plenty of laughs and wet balls.
The first day’s play was a 2 person Ambrose stroke event and the 2nd day was 4 ball best ball Stableford event, another first for Queensland Blind Golf.
According to former Australian B1 champion, Glen Niciejewski, “The two days were tough, this course is as hard and testing as it gets but I’m sure everyone is already looking forward to doing it all again next year”.
Glen was playing with his caddy Helensvale Trainee Pro Andrew Whinnie. Both players were more than satisfied with their own games in the warm conditions.
The skills clinic was another first for TS Golf, World Blind Golf (blind.golf) and Blind Golf Queensland (BGQ) who joined forces to deliver the session which was another first-of-its-kind for Blind Golf in Australia.
Justin Fudge from the Gold Coast was also on hand to help Todd Sleep PGA showcase a number of activities from the upcoming World Blind Golf training curriculum that they’re currently developing in association with Neil Herdegen and Frankie Althen.
“Things are really starting to take shape for Blind Golf here in Queensland and it’s great to see so many of our Blind Golfers accept the opportunity to spend a few days together enjoying golf at one of Australia’s best golf resorts” said Blind Golf Qld President Dr Brad Carver.
“We had great feedback from everyone about every activity we organised over the two days – we’re taking those compliments as a sign that we’re doing things right in the Sunshine State!”
“The skills clinic will be an important part of all our organised events moving forward as it gives players and their caddies opportunities to participate in a range of activities that have all been based on best-practice golf coaching techniques and dovetails very nicely with the excellent series of development programs deployed Australia wide by Golf Australia, including the excellent Get into Golf Programs and the Community and All-Abilities Coaching courses” said Neil Herdegen.
Players also had opportunities to enjoy the excellent facilities at the famous resort, including a social dinner at the resort’s own tavern on the Wednesday night.
“We place a high degree of importance on the social aspects of our events, and the combined dinner is something that we all can look forward to”.
Dr Carver said that the entire Blind Golf community in Queensland are all very close and enjoy each other’s company and social activities such as these give us a chance to connect with each other, with so much crazy stuff in the world at the moment we appreciate any opportunities that we can get to have a laugh or cry together and talk about whatever is on our mind, mostly that’s golf of course.
“We really owe a debt of gratitude to Todd Sleep PGA from TS Golf at Robina for his commitment to improving the lives of our players through Blind Golf”.
For more information on how you can get involved in Blind Golf contact World Blind Golf by email at [email protected].