Blind golfers and caddies from around Australia will compete in the 30th annual Victorian Blind Golf Open at Rosebud Country Club on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 March 2020.
The 36-hole stableford event will be followed by the ISPS Handa Blind Golf Australian Open, a 36-hole stroke tournament on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 March 2020.
Rosebud Country Club has hosted the Victorian Blind Golf Open for 30 consecutive years. Members and staff from RCC have supported the event each year by volunteering as caddies, spotters and administrators.
Long-time RCC member and Dromana resident, Arthur Scott, started as the Blind Golf Victorian Open Tournament Referee in 1990 and will referee for the 30th time this year. Arthur was also Head Tournament Referee for the World Blind Golf Championship at Rosebud Country Club in 2004. Arthur said, “The World Blind Golf tournament was 4 years in the planning, involved around 300 volunteers and was Rosebud’s biggest achievement.”
Victorian blind golf player and former Blind Golf Victoria President, David Blyth, will play in the tournament that he founded 30 years ago. David said, “I am proud to have been part of the longest running Australian sporting event held in one venue.”
Australia’s top blind golfers will be competing in both events, including Mark Eschbank, winner of the 2019 ISPS Handa Japan Blind Golf Open and Michele Watts, 2018 World Blind Golf Lady Champion.
Rosebud Country Club’s Operations Manager, Matt Lang, said “Rosebud Country Club is excited to be pairing this year’s Australian Blind Golf Open with the celebrations of Rosebud Country Club hosting the Blind Golf Victorian Open for the 30th consecutive year.”
Since its commencement 30 years ago in Australia, blind golf has expanded and is now played in 14 countries worldwide. Competitions are staged regularly providing an opportunity for blind and low vision golfers assisted by caddies to travel the world and play the game they love.
Blind golfers are officially tested by organisations such as Vision Australia to determine their level of vision and are then given a blind golf classification from B1 for totally blind to B3 which is at the higher level of legally blind, but with some sight. Within the classification, blind golfers also have a blind golf playing handicap.
“It is a game that is manageable and enjoyable for blind people of all ages and abilities,” said Doug Sloan, President of Blind Golf Australia. “The ball is stationary and with the help of a caddy the ball can be spotted and the player lined up for the next shot.”