Those days at the Ekka when every child won a prize have been replicated by a group of seniors at The Brisbane Golf Club, and the outcome has been a runaway success.
Twenty-six-year member and octogenarian, Jim Mouzouris, is chief organiser of The Senior Group which plays regularly on the first Friday of every month. In his time at the helm Jim has overseen an increase in numbers from four groups – 16 players – to more than 80.
And while Jim preferred not to comment on how past management treated the seniors, he willingly concedes current GM Geoff Kuehner, as well as past and current Presidents John Kelly and Phil Wikman, have been ‘a breath of fresh air’.
“Geoff and the current committee have welcomed us, they have encouraged us and they have assisted us. As a result, we regularly have 60 players taking part in what is basically a big social event,” he said.
To play in The Seniors Group players must be a BGC member and be aged 50-plus. The cost of the monthly 18-hole morning shotgun start event is $10 – the same as it has been for 20 years – and every participant wins at least one golf ball.
“And they aren’t rubbish golf balls either,” declares Jim.
“I buy a minimum of 200 dozen balls annually from our pro shop and the best scores on the day each receive four golf balls. There is no countback. If six people return the best score, six people are declared the winner.”
But there’s more. The runners-up each receive three balls and those with the nearest-the-pin shots collect five golf balls.
The NTP rewards are also a little different to the norm. Prizes are for those closest with their second shot on all four par threes, and the balls from the NTPs are shared. The golfer who hits the closest shot takes two for himself, and the other three are distributed to his playing partners.
And while Jim concedes much about how The Senior Group conducts these events is a little different to what might be considered normal golf protocol, the positive response has been overwhelming.
“A lot of the guys who play are just social golfers – they rarely play in a club competition,” he said.
“And of those who do, most find it hard to compete and rarely win anything. This way everyone enjoys the game, a great day out with new and old friends, and every player wins a prize.”
Jim acknowledges $10 is a very reasonable price to pay for 18 holes of golf on the course that for the past three years has hosted the Isuzu Queensland Open, but he says the club receives ‘plenty’ in the clubhouse post golf.
“I would estimate that with lunch and a few beverages afterwards, most would spend a minimum of another $20,” he said.
“That is money the club would not normally get, and our business-savvy committee members are smart enough to understand that, and that is no doubt one of the reasons they have encouraged us so much.”
But it isn’t just after golf that The Senior Group socialises. Once they held an annual luncheon – now there are four a year. And again, according to Jim, the club benefits.
“Most of the group attends each of our luncheons, which means we have up to 80 sitting down to a three-course luncheon prepared by our head chef,Frederick Marechal,” he said.
“Our Christmas lunch is the biggie. The wife of one of our members, Irene Baveas, bakes and ices a Christmas cake which is the feature of our big raffle. She has been doing that for 10 years.
“And the Christmas gift for every person attending is a dozen golf balls. All of that costs just $35.”
Because TBGC hosted Ladies Pennants on the first Friday of March, the next event for The Senior Group will be on Friday, March 15 with a shotgun start at 7.30am. A luncheon will follow golf. If you would like to join The Seniors Group contact Jim Mouzouris or register with the Office. Everyone is welcome. – TONY DURKIN