Be bowled over

Smithton Country Club treasurer Jill Dixon and secretary Vicki Williams hold some of the trophies up for grabs over the coming weeks, as the men play for the Barker Bowl this long weekend and the ladies look to the following weekend for their two major events. Picture: Bodey Dittloff.

Golf. Smithton Country Club expects to welcome a mix of local and interstate professionals to its grounds with a packed schedule organised over the coming weeks.

This weekend will see the men take to the nine-hole course on Saturday for a four-ball-best-ball event, before competing for the coveted Barker Bowl in a 36-hole scratch across the long weekend’s Sunday and Monday.

With sign-ups already yielding a field of over 80 for the event, men’s golf president Matthew Sheehan said “anyone can play” with different grades offered to suit varying skill levels.

“There’s some good golf to be watched,” he said. “It’s a good weekend, everyone has a go.

“I think the biggest thing is we have players from all over Tasmania and the mainland, and ex-locals coming back to play. It’s just a good catch-up opportunity.”

As well as a strong contingent of local golfers, Sheehan said the field already includes the likes of Seabrook’s Zak Rollins and Wynyard’s Craig Hancock; the latter’s name already appearing on the winner’s board more than once.

While possible showers are predicted over the three days, Sheehan said organisers would look to work around the weather to try and maintain a clean run of tee-offs.

“If we start, we’ve got to keep going,” he said. “There’s a bit of run [on the course] . . . if you hit it off-line, you’re in the strife.”

Meanwhile, female golfers will get the chance to etch their names onto silverware next weekend, with Saturday’s Marie Lord Memorial Bowl and Sunday’s Bev O’Halloran Mixed Canadian Foursome taking place.

The significant events have been running for over 20 years at the club, with the Neil Wells Memorial recently renamed last year to pay tribute to the late Marie Lord – a member of the club for “so many years”.

Smithton Country Club treasurer Jill Dixon said while the field for the ladies was not generally as extensive as the men, next weekend’s tournaments would still be very competitive.

“The ladies don’t normally get a good field and we were a bit disappointed last year,” she said.

“Because we’re so far away, it’s easier for people from Wynyard to go to Port Sorell to play [for example]. This year we’ve made a really concerted effort to get people from away.”

Sign-ups for next weekend’s events will stay open for another week, with Dixon inviting locals to join the club in celebrating the coming events.

“It’s not only golf – you might see people you haven’t seen for years,” she said, adding results on the day are unpredictable.

“You’re either on or you’re not, it only takes one hole.”

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