The runaway success of the Oates Vic Open – boasting equal prize money and time in the spotlight for players of both sexes – will begin an unprecedented five-week stretch for women's golf in Australia.
The winners of the past three Opens – English duo Mel Reid and Georgia Hall and Norway's Marianne Skarpnord – are among a field also including leading Australians Minjee Lee, Su Oh and Hannah Green.
"Everyone has been telling us that we need to think outside the box and come up with new concepts," Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) chief executive Karen Lunn told AAP.
"I completely get that and agree with it.
"Golf Victoria came up with this concept, they really believed in it and they've grown it to the point where it's a tier-one event on the men's and women's tours here in Australia.
"Clearly the model works – it works for the players, it works for the fans and it works for all the stakeholders.
"In this day and age of gender equity and equality, it ticks so many boxes."
The Vic Open is again co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour (LET), as are three other events in February and early March in Canberra and Coffs Harbour.
The jewel in the crown remains the Australian Women's Open at Kooyonga, which is also part of the US LPGA Tour and precedes two other huge events in Thailand and Singapore – thereby guaranteeing another world-class field.
Lunn said there was scope for the LET to add even more Australian events to its schedule in coming years.
She would also like to see other state bodies replicate the concurrently-run men's and women's events that have proved so popular at Thirteenth Beach.
"To be able to walk down one fairway watching Robert Allenby and look back and then you're watching Minjee Lee – it's unique and it just seems to work," she said.
"You don't get many events that grow as exponentially as this one has done in the last five years."
FIVE BIG WEEKS FOR WOMEN'S GOLF IN AUSTRALIA:
* Feb 1-4 - Vic Open at Thirteenth Beach, $A650,000 prize money - co-sanctioned by LET
* Feb 9-11 - Canberra Classic at Royal Canberra, $150,000 - LET
* Feb 15-18 - Australian Women's Open at Kooyonga, $1.3 million - US LPGA
* Feb 22-25 - Australian Ladies Classic at Bonville, $350,000 - LET
* March 1-4 - Women's NSW Open at Coffs Harbour, $150,000 - LET
- John Salvado, Australian Associated Press