COOKTOWN’S biggest golfing weekend is back after a one-year hiatus, with $24,000 in prizemoney on the line in the Cooktown Open.
Golfers from across the region are expected to flock to the east coast’s most northern club for the event, which kicks off on Friday with a 9-hole prawn run before the serious competition starts on Saturday.
After deciding to scrap last year’s event due to their poor condition, secretary-treasurer Alice Burton said the volunteers had been working tirelessly to improve the greens.
“A lot of people have put a lot of effort in,” she said.
“We get diseases in the grass and have to treat them, which is ongoing, then there’s the fertilising, mowing and keeping it watered.
“(Volunteer) Glenn was here seven days a week last year watering, moving sprinklers, and keeping the green alive until the wet season – it just takes time and everyone’s pretty understanding.”
Vice president Graham Burton said they were expecting about 50 golfers over the weekend.
“We’ve got about 40 already registered, and we’ll have more show up on the day,” he said.
Ms Burton was quietly confident in the Cooktown contingent putting good numbers on the scorecards, despite the expectation they would be outnumbered two to one.
“Here we play well,” she said.
“Playing with and against the Cooktown wind is a bit different and because we have so much bush lining the fairways, other players are used to being able to go two or three fairways over and back again but you can’t here.
“And finding a ball – there’s no coming back when you lose a ball!”
Following Friday’s fun 9-hole competition, Saturday and Sunday will feature 18-hole competitions, with prizes for each day, as well as overall winners, and two massive $10,000 cash bonuses for any golfer lucky enough to score a hole-in-one.
Club captain Rick Butler said the event wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of the committee and other volunteers, especially life member and live-in caretaker Graham Franke.
“We would also like to thank our major sponsors, the Cooktown RSL Memorial Club, Endeavour Falls Tourist Park and Far North Queensland Insurance Brokers,” he said.
Head to the Cooktown Golf Club’s Facebook page for more information or to register.