Report on the 2nd Queensland Blind Golf Open Championship.

by Gary Mclnnes

Glenn Niciejewski (R), with caddy Mark Tookey,</br>winner of the 2017 Queensland Blind Golf Open Championship.

Glenn Niciejewski (R), with caddy Mark Tookey,
winner of the 2017 Queensland Blind Golf Open Championship.

 

BLIND Golf Australia held the 2nd Queensland Blind Golf Open Championship at the Virginia Golf Club at Banyo on 17-18 July. Fourteen players, including new recruit Raeann Shields from the Brisbane GC, took part.

Having taken out the B1 title in 2016, Brisbane local Glenn Niclejewski went one better this year, taking out the 2017 Championship with a record-breaking score in blind golf of 88 stableford points over the two rounds.

Glenn a "B1" category golfer (totally blind) playing off a handicap of 54, with Mark Tookey as his caddie, opened on Day 1 with 42 stableford points to take a two-point lead into Day 2. He had a relatively scratchy start to his round on Day 2 scoring only 2 points in the first four holes, however, over the next 14 holes he scored 44 points. He shot 49 off the stick for the back-9 which was 14 under his handicap, scoring a massive 46 points for the round. Not bad for a young guy who is totally blind. This was Glenn's first major title victory.

Runner-up was new-comer Raeann Shields from QLD (B2 - 34 handicap) with her friend Julie Anning as her caddie, scoring 74 points over the two rounds. Raeann certainly has the game to become a leading player in the blind golf world.

Victorian David Blyth (handicap 54),with Gary McInnes as caddie, won the B1 title with 50 points. Gary Sargent (NSW - handicap 35) with his wife Eileen as caddie won the B2 title with 59 points, and the B3 title was won by Michael Maurice from QLD (handicap 36) with Len Smyth as his caddie after scoring 69 points.

President of Blind Golf Australia, Mr Doug Sloan, once again thanked Club Golf Operations Manager, Andrew Halliday for allowing the event to be played at Virginia GC and all the support that was given to the development of blind golf in Queensland.

Ms Julie Newton from Vision Australia assisted in the trophy presentations. Doug thanked the Tournament Director, Peter North, and local Rules Official Trevor Prior from Golf Queensland, and other local caddies, especially those from the Aspley Rotary Club.

The next major blind golf events will be the West Australian Open to be played at the Collier Park Golf Club on 7-8 September, followed by the New South Wales Open to be played at the Bankstown Golf Club on 5-6 October, and the Australian Open to be played at the Royal Sydney Golf Club on Sunday 8 and Monday 9 October.

Sponsorship opportunities are available to anyone wishing to offer charitable support to the blind golf community.

Also, blind golf is open to people of all ages and is a perfect avenue for those club golfers who are experiencing some sight loss to stay involved in our great game. Blind golf has three sight categories; B1, B2 and B3 which relate to how much sight a player has. B1 players are totally blind.

Anyone wishing to learn more about these sponsorship opportunities, or either playing blind golf or caddying for a blind golfer may contact Gary Mclnnes on 0417 055 731.

They may also browse our Blind Golf Australia website or see www.internationalblindgolf.com

Reproduced from an Inside Golf news article in Inside Golf, Sept. 2017.