[PHOTO: Gary Lisbon]

The Jack Nicklaus-designed St John course will rejoin the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia tournament rotation with the return of the Heritage Classic at The Heritage Golf & Country Club.

The 36-hole facility, the jewel of the Yarra Valley’s golf offering north-east of Melbourne, will kick off the second half of the 2023-2024 PGA Tour of Australasia season.

To be played from January 11-14, the 2024 Heritage Classic is the first in a three-year commitment that will re-establish The Heritage Golf & Country Club as a first-class tournament venue and highlight the Yarra Valley as a golf destination with a wide array of off-course opportunities.

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A then promising amateur, three-time DP World Tour winner Lucas Herbert lost to David Bransdon in a playoff when the Heritage Classic was last held in 2013.

The Heritage Golf & Country Club chief executive Brett Nelson is excited to launch a new era for the Heritage and once again showcase the country’s best players.

“The Heritage Classic gives us the opportunity to highlight The Heritage Golf & Country Club to the broader golfing community,” Nelson said. “We are especially excited of how this tournament can be used as a vehicle to engage and benefit many local businesses, including highlighting the Yarra Valley as a golf destination.

“St John, the signature course, was designed to host tournament golf, so the opportunity to watch the best golfers in the country play the Nicklaus-designed course will be mouthwatering.

“We are thankful to the PGA of Australia for supporting the club’s vision for a promising future as we continue to restore our reputation as a premier golfing facility.”

The 2024 Heritage Classic will offer $200,000 in prizemoney and further bolsters a growing PGA Tour of Australasia season. In addition to the Heritage Classic in 2013, The Heritage Golf & Country Club hosted the 2014 Victorian PGA Championship won by New Zealand’s Gareth Paddison.

PGA of Australia tournaments director Australasia, Nick Dastey, said that it was a major boost to the Tour and its players that The Heritage was making a return on a three-year commitment.

“There is no question that the facilities and golf courses make for an outstanding tournament venue and we’re thrilled to be once again working with the team at The Heritage Golf & Country Club,” Dastey said. “The St John course not only represents a great test for our players but is visually stunning.

“We’re looking forward to showcasing it to golf fans both on site and through the live weekend broadcast on Fox Sports and Kayo.

“The Heritage Classic adds to what is shaping as another huge summer on the back of success of last season and, as the first event of the new year, will kick off the second half of the season and the countdown to the all-important Order of Merit.”

The 2023-2024 PGA Tour of Australasia season will be highlighted by the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland Golf Club (November 23-26), the ISPS Handa Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club (November 30-December 3) and the NZ Open presented by Sky Sports (February 29-March 3).