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Joe holds aces

Friday, 12th August, 2011

EYES ON THE PRIZE: Hole-in-one “expert” Joe Battle with some of the prizes up for grabs at the South Golf Club this weekend. EYES ON THE PRIZE: Hole-in-one “expert” Joe Battle with some of the prizes up for grabs at the South Golf Club this weekend.

BH golfing ace Joe Battle is hoping his well known hole-in-one skills can land him some lucrative cash at the inaugural Goanna Golf Outback Scramble this weekend.

Spanish company EMED Mining is the main sponsor of the $5000 two-day event and has provided unique mining-themed trophies for the overall winners of the scramble, but 74-year-old Joe is eyeing the cash on offer for a hole-in-one.

“I’ve had four aces here at the South course during my career and another this weekend would come in very handy,” Joe smiled.

“I’m also hoping the locals can land the major prizes as well, but there is plenty of good competition coming from interstate for the event so it won’t be easy.

“The local knowledge around the blacks (the oil-based sand putting surfaces) will definitely come in handy and might just be enough for all these great trophies to be kept in Broken Hill,” Joe added.

The 2009 South BH Open Champion, Joe collected his first ace at the par-three ninth hole in 1992 and repeated the feat in 2000 and again in 2006.

In 2005 he produced another dream shot to pull off a hole-in-one on the 15th, but the par-three 13th hole has so far eluded his exquisite skills.

“The ninth hole is the shortest of the par-threes and you only need a seven iron,” Joe explained.

“But the 13th and 15th holes are much longer and require something like a four iron.

“There’s no real secret to landing a hole-in-one ... it is just a matter of hitting it straight,” Joe continued. 

Local companies GRA Engineering (hole 15), Far West Auto (13th) and Lindsay’s (9th) have come up with the cash prizes for a hole-in-one with $800 up for grabs.

On top of that EMED Mining has donated almost $2000 in prizemoney and trophies for Sunday’s winning team.

“The EMED Mining involvement is part of the Cultural Exchange Program between the city of Riotinto in Spain (population 4200) and Broken Hill,” Co-ordinator Robin Sellick explained.

“The arts fraternity in Broken Hill has already benefited from the exchange program and now it is sport’s turn with golf chosen because Riotinto was the first Spanish city to embrace the game.

“When the British took over the Riotinto mines in 1875 they introduced tennis, soccer and golf which had never been played in Spain before, so we’ll be looking at other sporting projects in the future,” he continued. 

The par-72 South Golf Club, which was opened in 1933, is looking in great shape for the weekend’s competition which includes an 18-hole individual stroke event on Saturday and a four-member Ambrose on Sunday.

Late entries ($25 per player, per day) will be taken up until 8.30am tomorrow.

“I’m really looking forward to the competition this weekend,” Joe Battle, who has been a regular at the South club since 1977, said.

“I play here three times a week and I’m sure the course will prove quite a challenge for everyone.”


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