Warning: Highly Addictive
Each year for the past 21 years, golfers from all over Australia and international visitors have converged on the Gold Coast for a week-long celebration of golf and entertainment. These golfers wait in anticipation each year for the release of the tournament so they can secure their spot in the hotly contested World Masters Golf Championship during October.
Last week one of the die-hard tournament goers popped into our office just to say hello. As a Go Golfing fan, he rocked up proudly sporting a Go Golfing polo shirt. He has a great collection of those and conducts all his business meetings in one. He says, it’s good business Karma.
Daryn started with Go Golfing tournaments in 2010. He would have made it earlier but there was a hitch. When he first read about the World Masters he was still a youngster by World Masters standards - for you have to be 35 years of age to play. He remembers reading an article about this amateur golf tournament on the Gold Coast that had all the bells and whistles usually reserved for professional golfers.
He had to curb his enthusiasm until 2010 to register for his first Gold Coast World Masters and thought, “At last! This is going to be brilliant.”
Daryn was driven by his expectations of winning the tournament. At that stage he had a high handicap and started playing in the C grade. Winning was his focus. He’d practice at the driving range before and after each round. That’s all he did all week – practice and play. So, he was gutted when he finished pretty much towards the bottom of the field.
He spent his first 3 World Masters trying to compete hard and score well but failed to play anywhere near his handicap. So, he started to think: Is this event for me? He thought: I love my golf and competing, I get to play 4 or 5 of the awesome GC resort courses, meet people from all over, so yes, it is for me.
2014 was the turning point for Daryn. He realised he was doing it for the wrong reasons. His focus had been on winning, spending his time and energy trying to kill it and have great scores instead of just going out there and simply enjoying his game of golf. “I made friends over the previous years but this was the year that I said yes just relax, have a few drinks, play and who cares whether you come first or last.” Of course, that was the year he finished runner-up of his B grade division.
“To be honest, being on stage as a runner-up was great, but it was just a bonus. I went home with my trophy and my new GPS watch. It was nice and this event does have fantastic prizes, but my focus now is so different. It’s about friends, playing great courses, the social events and activities and the food is pretty good too.”
“I’ve met some awesome people over the years and really look forward to catching up with them. When you go to the 19th hole, organised at the end of each competition day, you get to meet lots of people. I don’t mean just golfers your own age. I’ve chatted and laughed with people who are way older than me and that don’t even play in my age division. The 19th hole is great for this!”
After going through some personal challenges, the friends he’s made at the events are getting him to travel the world playing in the other Go Golfing tournaments. A new friendship forged at the Wrest Point Masters in Hobart took him to the Centara World Masters in Thailand last year.
Daryn was paired with Gwen and Jen for the ambrose round at last year’s Gold Coast Masters and that chance meeting is now taking him on another golfing adventure. “These two were so much fun. There were jokes flying and I learnt a whole sub culture of golfing vernacular. They had an expression to describe every bad shot! The girls convinced me the Barnbougle tournament and courses are magic and so I am now looking forward to playing that event and seeing the girls in Barnbougle.”
The 2017 Ladbrokes World Masters on the Gold Coast will run from 8-13 October and is open to male and female golfers aged 35 and over. Golfers enjoy a professional tournament experience as well as nightly social and entertainment events headlined by a welcome dinner featuring comedy and a gala presentation dinner. There’s over $100,000 in prizes which must be won. Entries are now open.