A world-first indoor national golf tournament will see some of Australia’s leading male and female professional golfers compete in an 18-hole strokeplay event played simultaneously across four states.
The inaugural X-Golf Challenge will pit legend Peter Lonard against rising stars Blake Windred and Steph Kyriacou in the first-of-its-kind virtual golf tournament on Wednesday 15 July.
The event will be staged in X-Golf facilities in Adelaide, Geelong, Sydney and Brisbane, and will feature up to six golfers plus celebrities in each location, including Western Bulldogs legend Brad Johnson, as well as NRL greats Braith Anasta and Sam Burgess.
The participants will play a virtual representation of Melbourne’s Metropolitan Golf Club and will compete for the $5000 prize purse.
The event will be in support of the charity Challenge, which supports children and young people living with cancer. Challenge has become synonymous with golf, thanks to the efforts of PGA TOUR golfer Jarrod Lyle, who passed away in 2018 following three separate battles with cancer. Lyle’s legacy, Jarrod’s Gift, helps provide practical assistance and support for families impacted by cancer.
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the cancellation and postponement of tournaments globally, PGA of Australia’s Tournaments Director Australasia Nick Dastey said he was excited to leverage the power of technology to provide a unique and innovative setting to stage competitive tournaments.
RIGHT: Aussie legend Peter Lonard will be one of the players to take part in the X-Golf Challenge. PHOTO: Michael Dodge/Getty Images.
“The uptake of digital technology has exploded during the coronavirus pandemic and the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia is excited to work with the team at X-Golf in staging an exciting live virtual golf tournament,” Dastey said.
“The X-Golf Challenge is a new, fun and innovative tournament that will pioneer a new type of golf event while supporting a charity that is very close to the hearts of all involved at the PGA of Australia.”
X-Golf Managing Director Ben Styles said the event is a testament to the growing popularity of indoor golf in Australia.
“We’re thrilled to be welcoming many of Australia’s leading professionals to the X-Golf network for this ground-breaking tournament,” Styles said.
“Never before has a national title been played on a single course simultaneously in multiple different states. The very nature of X-Golf means identical course and weather conditions are assured for all players, irrespective of which location they tee off in. As our sport look towards its future, men and women will be playing side-by-side for a single national title.
“While COVID-19 has led to the size of this year’s field being restricted, we look forward to the day when a playing list of 100 or more professionals are teeing off for this national title at X-Golf venues across the country.”
Players will tee off at 6:30pm (AEST) with the action expected to conclude within two hours. The golfers will play three-ball, using two simulators at each location.
Challenge chief executive David Rogers said he was excited to be part of the inaugural X-Golf Challenge to continue the charity’s long-standing association with golf.
“To be a part of this world first national indoor tournament is very exciting. Challenge has partnered with the golfing world for more than 30 years, with amazing support from the game and players including the late Jarrod Lyle, Robert Allenby and Rickie Fowler all assist Challenge to support children and families living with cancer,” Rogers said.
The event will be streamed on the PGA of Australia's Facebook page.
Further celebrity names will be released ahead of the event.