So Wollongong it is this week and this is the third year in a row that the NSW PGA has been held here. I have played the last two years and I do really like the course. I actually really enjoy the golf course as it is set literally right on the beach for one and right beside the WIN Stadium where the St George Dragons play. So that combination always excites me, golf, beach and rugby league!!!
I have been able to have three practice rounds this week which has been great, the course was underwater only a few days ago so it has actually been evolving as the week has gone on. As it has dried out it has started to speed up a little. I don't think it will be the same speed of course as the last two years but it is definitely getting there. Despite the rain last week the course is in pretty good shape. It has some great holes along the beach where there is actually no "out of bounds" so should you hit it wide on those holes, pack your bucket and spade and go find it and play it!!!
I played the pro am today and was lucky enough to play with 3 Juniors from the area, Connor, Chase and Darcy. What an absolute pleasure it was to play golf with those guys this morning. They were a credit to their parents, well dressed, incredibly polite and well mannered and also keen to learn and just really loved golf. And they could all play, off handicaps of 7, 10, and 11 with the oldest one of them being 15 I think. The highlight of the day was on the par 4 15th where all four of us managed to make birdie and to be honest, I actually hit it the furthest from the hole, and I was only about 12 feet. What a refreshing morning and it ended with the boys fighting over who could caddy for me in the tournament!! They couldn't believe I didn't have a caddy and so jumped at the chance to pull the bag for a few days. Not sure how the school factor will pan out but regardless of that I am better for meeting such a great bunch of kids and also one of their dads Todd and his father Les. Check out the photo of us out there today.
So once again I enter the week feeling positive and really good about the event. There are a few quality players teeing it up this week with the most notables are Craig Parry, Peter O'Malley, last years winner Steven Bowditch and two time winner on the One Asia Tour Andre Stolz. There is also a notable amateur playing this week which is a bit of a publicity attempt by the PGA to try and get a few more spectators in the gates this week. It is Braith Anasta from the Sydney Roosters. From all reports he plays pretty good being around a scratch marker at St Michaels in Sydney. It will be interesting to see how he goes this week.