On a warm and sunny day in Sydney, Australia ninety-four World Transplant Games golfers teed up the ball and proceeded to play the beautful but challenging Pennant Hills Golf Club course Tuesday September 30. The golfers, representing sixteen countries, included 86 men and 8 women and ranging in age from 21 (Warren Paine, New Zealand) to 72 (Robert Sutton, USA and Bo Dahlgren, USA). The USA (33) and Australia (19) had the most competitors while the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark were represented each by one individual.
The rolling hills, blind approaches, tree lined fairways and undulating greens presented obstacles to low scores. "If you hit your shot into the woods, your only option was just to 'punch out' to the fairway on the next shot" was the comment frequently heard from the golfers as they finished. Sean Somers, Course Professional, Pennant Hills Golf Club indicated that the slope rating for the course was 70.6 and that the course record is 63 (recorded almost 25 years ago). Somers commented that the club's policies were very conservative in that the wearing of shorts must be accompanied by high socks. T-shirts are not allowed nor are warm-up suits. Either soft spikes or hard spikes are permited, but no other type of shoe. All in all a very traditional setting.
The difficulty of the course led to high scores and long playing times. Several foursomes were still on the course after 5.00 pm. And as this reporter was observing on the finishing hole, shots were errant. The gallery came close to being hit several times.
The most important aspect of the day's trials, tribulations and successes, however, was that all the participant's seemed to truly enjoy the competition and the interaction with each other. Conversations were mixed with comments about the great shots, the wild shots, the ups and downs of the course's hills and how much fun they had playing at the Pennant Hills Golf Club, site of the XI World Transplant Games Golf Tournament.
Last modified: 11 May 2000