The 2022 NSW Amateur Championship is bound for the South Coast for the first time in its 123-year history and will be held at The Links Shell Cove and Wollongong Golf Clubs from January 24-28.
Dating back to 1898, the Amateur is one of Australia's oldest and most revered golf championships.
It boasts an honour role that includes winners who have gone on to claim international professional tour victories and major championship wins.
Previous men's champions include Jake Higginbottom of Newcastle, Ben Eccles (Victoria) and Jarryd Felton (Western Australia), who have become multiple winners on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, and Lismore's Brett Drewitt, who has graduated to the lucrative USPGA Tour for 2022.
A little less recently, Sir Michael Campbell, from New Zealand (1992 NSW AM - 2005 US Open) and Jim Ferrier (NSW, NSW AM 1931, 34, 37, 38 - 1947 USPGA) both went on to win major championships.
The honour roll of women is no less impressive; headlined by seven-time Major winner and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Karrie Webb (1993), the list also includes three-peat winner Nikki Campbell, Rachel Heatherington, and last year's champion, Grace Kim, who is currently attempting to qualify for the lucrative LPGA Tour in the United States.
Golf NSW events manager Olivia Wilson said around 270 golfers should enter the prestigious tournament, and with borders reopening, she expects several international competitors to play.
"With the trans-Tasman bubble open, there will be several Kiwi players in the field, and with no more quarantine for those fully vaxxed, we're receiving interest from a few other international golfing bodies about sending players as well," Wilson said.
Manager of the Links Shell Cove, Robby Stephenson, said he was thrilled Golf NSW had selected the course to host its first state championship, and he was looking forward to seeing how some of the future stars of the sport will fare.
"Being selected to host a championship of this stature is quite an honour for the course, the dedicated staff, and the entire city of Shellharbour," Stephenson said.
"Both the Links Shell Cove and Wollongong are links-style courses in every sense, the recent routing changes to the Links Shell Cove setting up many risk versus reward scenarios make it the ideal course for match play, this along with the ever-present wind will ensure the best players rise to the top."
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.