PETER Johnston started the Merewether pro-am in 1994 to give the members a chance to play alongside some of Australia's best players.
Twenty five years on, nothing has changed.
Former US PGA tour winner and commentator Brett Ogle headlines the field for the 25th anniversary Greater Bank Pro-am on Tuesday October 1. Ogle is also the guest speaker at a dinner the night before which is supporting Breast Cancer Trails and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
The Merewether pro-am is part of a massive three weeks for Hunter clubs with five tournaments being played and $85,500 in prizemoney.
Hawks Nest tees of proceedings with a two-day 36 hole pro-am starting Friday, followed by Belmont (September 15-16), Nelson Bay (September 19), Merewether and Waratah (October 5).
"Ours is the longest running in terms of consecutive years," Johnston said. "I started as the professional in 1993 and it was one of the things I wanted to do for the club. It was a day for the members so they could play with some of the best players. Peter Lonard's win in 2010 was one of the more memorable. Peter O'Malley has played in it, Nathan Green won in 1999 ... we have been lucky enough to have some fantastic players. The local guys, James Nitties, Jake Higginbottom, Nick Flanagan, Leigh McKechnie, Cal O'Reilly have always supported it. You can't sustain an event for 25 years without major sponsors. We have been fortunate to have The Greater Bank, Dalton Partners, Regal Motors and JSA on board over the years. "
Troy Moses fired a five-under 65 to win last year by a stroke from Higginbottom, rookie Brad Doherty and Queenslander Ben Wedmaier.
Ogle, who Johnston has known since they played juniors together for NSW, and Breast Cancer Trails CEO Dr Soozy Smith will speak at the dinner.
Tickets for the dinner are $75 and available through the club.
* Belmont has playing spots available for the second day of the Viking Realty Lake Macquarie Pro Am on Monday. The field is headed by Peter Lonard and Matt Millar and locals Nathan Green, James Nitties, Cal O'Reilly and Aaron Townsend.
* Two-time winner Daniel Terry will take on Newcastle District rep player Luke Ferrier in the final of the Newcastle club championship.
Terry, who won back-to-back titles in 2014-15, accounted for Jacob Dundas seven and six in the 36-hole semi-final. Ferrier, who is a club champion at Merewether, beat Chris Turnbull four and two in the other semi.
* Ferrier and Turnbull will be out to help steer the NDGA rep side to a win over ACT Monaro at Yowani this weekend. The NDGA seniors, colts and juniors will take on the locals in a four best ball format on Saturday and individual match play, Sunday.
Seniors: Ferrier, Turnbull, Dave Alexander, Mick Coutman, Steve Hassett, Justin Ely
Colts: Oscar Gilson, Ben Hawes, Brayden Brooks, Troy Brouver
Juniors: Josh Robards, Caleb Bromley, Jake Riley, Harry Cleare