WAGGA Country Club will swap the front and back nine as part of the $50,000 Women's NSW Open Regional Qualifier later this month.
Wagga Country Club and the city will be given worldwide exposure with the final round of the event to be broadcast on Kayo TV.
In a bid to maximise that exposure, Wagga Country Club have decided to swap the front and back nine on the second and final round.
The event has drawn an international field and the club is keen to have what has traditionally been the ninth hole to host the finish.
"We're going to turn the nines around on the last day and start on 10 and finish on nine," Wagga Country Club secretary-manager John Turner revealed.
"Have that amphitheatre of the ninth hole and get them all there. If it's tight, you've got that pin down the bottom and getting over that bunker, it's a nervous shot.
"We haven't done it before in my time but the idea is to maximise the TV exposure. Our play-off hole is always nine. Even for the men's championships, you go down nine until you get a winner."
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The 36-hole event will be played on Thursday and Friday November 23-24. A Pro-Am will be held on the Wednesday before, which will serve as a practice round for the professionals.
Amateur golfers will get to play with professionals as part of the Pro-Am and again on the opening round of the event. It will be professionals only for the final round on the Friday, the day that will be televised.
The field has already attracted 35 golfers from as far as England, India, Malaysia and New Zealand. Victory at Wagga provides automatic qualification to the $500,000 NSW Open early next year.
It is also set to provide an opportunity for players to get a warm-up event in before the Australian Open the following week.
"There's an international flavour there," Turner said.
"I've always said that it's perfect timing in that we're a week before the Australian Open.
"If some of these girls want some competition rounds before the Australian Open, they're going to have to come to Wagga. I know the WPGA have put the call out to the international players telling them there's an event on the week before, if you're coming home and you want to have a hit, it's in Wagga.
"And not just that, then if you win it, you get into the $500,000 NSW Open."
Winner of the inaugural Wagga Ladies Pro-Am, Jordan O'Brien, will be back to compete at the event.
Kelsey Bennett, who missed the cut at the British Open by one shot, will also be back.
Darcy Habgood, who has spent this year in the United States, is entered to play, while Rhianna Lewis, who finished runner up to O'Brien in Wagga, will also be back.
"We're expecting close to 50 professionals and elite amateurs," Turner said.
"We've put the call out to Grace Kim. We'd love to see her here as a warm up to the Australian Open.
"We've got an international flavour there. Sometimes it's the players that come in late that you least expect.
"There's not many $50,000 events on their calendar. Last year when you look at their Pro-Am calendar, there was two Pro-Ams. One was ours at $50,000. All of a sudden for the 2023-24 season, there is going to be six $50,000 events leading into a half million dollar event leading into the big events, which in the 2023-24 season are going to be co-sanctioned so there's an added carrot there that might get them to Europe."
The club has already secured their date for the 2024 ladies Pro-Am. It will be held on February 29 and March 1.
That will allow the club to promote that event to the players when they are here for the NSW Open Regional Qualifier.
"They're going to keep coming back," Turner said.
"They're going to have a very full season and the bigger events that are co-sanctioned, they might be able to squeeze this in before they go overseas, or some of the better players that are still here.
"So that top 40 or 50, when there is something that is on in Wagga they'll go 'oh yeah, I like Wagga, I'll go there'."
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