Outback on par for huge golf prizes

World's largest amateur golf prize pool announced for Outback Masters

Life & Style
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Plenty of social golfers could be tempted out of the 19th hole with the announcement by Golf Australia that it was putting up the world's largest amateur golfing prize pool for the 2020 Outback Queensland Masters.

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Plenty of social golfers could be tempted out of the 19th hole with the announcement by Golf Australia that it was putting up the world's largest amateur golfing prize pool for the 2020 Outback Queensland Masters.

As well as the million dollar hole-in-one challenge that was the finals lure in the inaugural series last year, there are now $10,000 challenges at each of the five courses being played in the lead-up rounds.

In offering such lucrative prizes, organisers hope to attract interest from golfers nationally and across the ditch to New Zealand and beyond.

Golf Australia Queensland senior manager Luke Bates said they had received really good feedback from last year's inaugural series, about the unique courses played on and the hospitality at all venues.

"Things like the dinners under the stars with entertainment, challenges of the animal kind, and being able to combine it with visiting iconic outback locations are what people commented on," he said.

Over 1000 people took part in the six events last year, predominantly from Queensland but interstate as well.

The prize boost for this year is aimed at bringing amateur golfers from even further afield to western Queensland in June and July.

Host golf courses this year are Biloela, Charleville, Quilpie, Blackall, Hughenden, and Longreach, which is where the million dollar challenge will take place.

While Biloela has grassed greens and half of Charleville's course is grass, the rest are sand greens.

There was no hole-in-one hit at any of last year's events, and Mr Bates said it wasn't meant to be easy.

"A lot of people competing hadn't played a lot of golf but they said they felt comfortable out on the courses.

"There's only nine holes each day so it's not very arduous."

To compete in the million dollar hole-in-one at Longreach, you must first have competed in two of the previous locations.

The first five events are two-day stablefords staged on Saturday and Sunday.

The program kicks off with breakfast on the Saturday morning at the respective golf club, followed by the official tee off.

Saturday evening is dinner under the stars of the Milky Way with award-winning performers from comedy to cabaret to multi-piece bands helping earn the description of the ultimate golfing odyssey.

In 2019 the Seven Sopranos visited Winton to provide the evening entertainment. Picture - Pixel Frame.

In 2019 the Seven Sopranos visited Winton to provide the evening entertainment. Picture - Pixel Frame.

When the tournament culminates in Longreach, it will take a three-day format, the regular event on Friday and Saturday, then the million dollar hole-in-one challenge on Sunday.

To provide opportunities for young people in outback Queensland, free junior golf clinics for local youth are also staged at the six locations with PGA pro, Darren Weatherall.

"It's a great way for young people to get first-hand knowledge and skills in the game", Mr Weatherall said.

"Throughout the journey I will also be offering free advice and tips to adult golfers, including hints to secure that million dollar hole-in-one."

Mr Bate said Australia's most remote golf series was turning into a great way for rural towns to show off the golf course assets they had to the world, and receive a benefit in return.

2020 OUTBACK QLD MASTERS DATES + LOCATIONS

  • 20 - 21 June Biloela
  • 27 - 28 June Charleville
  • 04 - 05 July Quilpie
  • 11 - 12 July Blackall
  • 18 - 19 July Hughenden
  • 24 - 26 July Longreach ($1m hole-in-one challenge)
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