Seniors Order of Merit
The Senior Order of Merit (SOOM) is run by the NSWGA. It consists of scratch and handicap events, for over 55 years men and women and is played at various NSW/ACT courses from January – December.
Over the year golfers accumulate points based on their finish position within the top 30 for the “best of” of 14 round. This “league table” is viewable at the NSWGA website, as is the 2018 calendar of events and the entry forms. SOOM events are the premier golf competitions for the state’s most competitive senior golfers. Royal Sydney invites the top 40 to an event each year.
Over 35 different SOOM tournaments held at courses including The Australian, Concord, The Lakes, Avondale, Monash, St Michaels, Bonnie Doon and Manly, while in the country courses such as Federal (ACT) Newcastle, Duntryleague, Coffs Harbour, Magenta Shores, Port Kembla are venues. Most events are 18 holes, some are 36 holes and a few “majors” are 54 holes. This year Merimbula/Turra beach is 72 holes and part of the Australian SOOM.
This is an opportunity to play top courses, in well organised events, where the superintendents prepare the courses appropriately. Cost is typically around $45-$60 / 18 holes, usually including lunch, and represents good value and access to prestige clubs.
NSW Veterans Golf, by comparison, tends to focus on a week of mixed golf events, in various NSW localities, where handicap scoring prevails, although there is an annual 54-hole state championship held in stroke and in matchplay.
Masters Pennant is separate competition for seniors in interclub team matchplay. It is for male golfers 50 years or more and played in teams of 8 golfers. Masters pennant has its own website.
From the Links, Graham Leake and Eric Greentree are regular SOOM players. In 2017, 1085 golfers contested the various events.
Graham ran 4th in the 2017 NSW SOOM scratch league table after finishing the year with win in the season ending event at Cromer where he shot 74 against a strong field on a tight layout.
In the NSW SOOM nett event, Graham enjoyed late run of success including a “top 5” in the 54-hole ACT championship (where points are tripled) and a nett win at Cromer, for a maximum 150 points, which jumped him into first place in the SOOM Nett “league table” making him the overall winner for 2017.
In 2018, Graham played the Wollongong SOOM in January, where smaller field included the current SOOM champion and the 2-time former winner of the event. Playing through a breezy North-easterly, Graham shot 73 to win the scratch voucher.
Coming up in late March 2018 is the premier NSWGA SOOM event, the NSW Senior Open, a 54-hole tournament at Nambucca Heads GC. Top amateurs from around Australia and NZ contest the event. Entries are now open.
The following week the NSW Veterans Association holds its 54-hole championship at the Richmond, Dunheved and Stone Cutters Ridge courses. Entries are now open.
To engage with the SOOM events you can visit the NSWGA website to view this year’s calendar, entry forms and to see the “league table”, while “Inside Golf” usually runs a story on the various state events, and Graham Leake and Eric Greentree are available to give more detail about the events and courses played. Links Veterans have been posted a booklet that provides information about all Veterans events.
MASTERS PENNANT LINKS TEAM 2018 – is held over 6 Sundays in May/June (excluding Mothers’ Day and June long weekend). To be eligible the golfer must be aged at least 50 years as at the time they play. Links team nominations will soon be called for so keep in contact with the pro shop.
PHOTO Graham Leake, winner 2018 NSWGA SOOM event Wollongong, Feb 2018.