Penola Golf Course played host to the 6th annual Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations Golf Day on Friday 29th September, presented by the Coonawarra Vignerons, together with the Limestone Coast’s 96.1 SAFM and 90.5 TripleM.
It was the first of many feature events to take place during the month-long Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations Festival.
One hundred and forty players converged on the golf course for what was a perfect spring day – ideal weather and course conditions- for the 4 ball Ambrose event.
Coonawarra Vignerons Events & Marketing Officer Heidi Guyett was thrilled with the turnout, which was the largest in the events history, seeing a diverse field take to the greens.
“A record number of teams registered to play at this year’s event, 35 up from 27 teams in past year, making it the single largest tournament for the Penola golf club. We had great representation from our local winery members and welcomed an equal number of public teams from far and wide.”
“The event not only attracts teams from the Limestone Coast, but an increasing number of players from outer region including the Adelaide Metro area, Baross Valley and interstate.
“Victoria’s AFL Grand Final Public holiday may certainly have played a part in the freeing up players from across the border. We had a number of golfers from Heywood, Warrnambool, Port Fairy and even Melbourne to join in on the day” Mrs. Guyett said.
Among the teams in attendance were sponsors SAFM/TripleM, One Forty One, Frost Boss, Teys Australia/ 36 South Beef and VINPAC international.
Players started the day with breakfast and a traditional glass of Sparkling Cabernet, to acknowledge and celebrate the first day of the Cabernet Celebrations Wine festival, before taking to the pristine 18-hole course in the 4 player Ambrose competition.
Teams enjoyed the hospitality of the Coonawarra Vignerons with wines flowing throughout the day paired with gourmet BBQ lunch and afternoon treats prepared by the Penola Golf Club and mouthwatering 36o South Beef steaks served for lunch.
Out on the greens players were treated to a series of wine tastings at the 7th, 9th and 18th holes , with Bellwether Wines, Whistle Post Estate and Rymill Coonawarra showcasing their top drops.
Organisers couldn’t be more satisfied with the conditions of the day, with glorious sunshine bathing the pristine course.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day. It really is an all-round great day out with Coonawarra wines being showcased throughout the day, and the opportunity for the public to mingle with the who’s who of Coonawarra” Mrs. Guyett said.
The title of Coonawarra Golf Day Champion Team went to Castec Rural Supplies, led by Craig Foster who produced a winning nett score of 57.375.
The winners took home the perpetual red champion jackets and caps, along with an assortment of golfing goods donated by Golf n More Mount Gambier, Royal Oak Penola Dining voucher and a dozen Coonawarra wines between them. The red jackets will see the winning team gain VIP access to Cabernet Celebrations events throughout the month of October.
Castel Rural Supplies Captain Craig Foster praised organisers for the day and for the condition of the course, “The Vignerons have done a sensational job to put this day today together. The hospitality is second to none and the greens are in top condition- a credit to the organisers and the Penola Golf Club.” he said.
Runners Up Nett by only the narrowest of margins, went to the Redman Wines Team comprising of family members Mike, Dan + Meg Redman, along with Tony Gleeson, playing a combined nett score of 57.75.
The DiGiorgio Family Wines Team, comprising of Katie Lewis, Daniel Christian, Garry Von Duve and Bill Burley took out the title in the overall stakes, with 64 off the stick.
Following closely behind were ‘The Reckless Drivers’ with a gross score of 66 comprising of Michael Childs, Mitch Hartree, Jimmy Fulton and Chris Moyle.
Individual novelty prizes were also awarded, with the winners selecting from an assortment of Coonawarra wines, Parker Estate Draught beer + hats, golf ball packs and hats donated by The Lakes Caddy Shack.
Longest drive prizes for the men were won by Micheal Koch and Travis Younghusband on the 15th and Ben Gordon on the 1st.
The women’s longest drive was won by Karen Cahir on the 2nd with Alex Lambert and Matilda Innes taking out the honours on the 12th hole.
Nearest pin prizes were awarded to Bruce Davy, Cath Kidman and Sonya Kingsbury on the 9th, Andy Graham, Nigel Rowntree and Kirsty Bailey on the 13th.
A nearest the wine bottle competition was hosted on the 10th and 18th holes with individual winners each taking home a magnum bottle of Coonawarra Cabernet, donated by Redman Wines, DiGiorgio Family Wines and Katnook Estate. Taking home the magnums on the 10th was Simon Stagg and Cath Kidman, and on the 18th the wine went to Sonya Kingsbury and Garry Milhench.
Organisers of the golf day were thrilled to learn that many out-of-region teams had opted to make a weekend of it in Coonawarra.
“The golf day is ideally situated ahead of the SA Labour Day Long weekend, to entice players to make the most of the extended break, bringing their family and mates along for the ride. It’s exactly what we seek to achieve by planning these event days to tie in with the greater festival program, by gaining room nights, to support Limestone Coast tourism operators and encourage visitation to Coonawarra’s cellar doors” Mrs. Guyett said.
The successful day lead into the long weekend, the first of five weekends in the month-long Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations. Throughout October an extensive array of food and wine events and tasting experiences showcasing and celebrating Coonawarra’s signature red wine; Cabernet Sauvignon, are taking place.