Message from Visit Victoria

It’s a pleasure to welcome golf fans from near and far to the nation’s sporting capital for the ISPS Handa Australian Open. The Australian Open has a rich history, and we are proud to host the first ever edition with men, women and All Abilities players competing together on the same courses at the same time.

This exciting format, spread across two venues, will create a great atmosphere for spectators and, hopefully, some fierce competition on the fairway.

Off the fairway, there is plenty going on in Melbourne during the summer months. We have blockbuster sporting events like the Boxing Day Test and Australian Open in the city, or you can head out of town to catch Geelong’s Festival of Sails or the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

Music icon Billy Joel is performing at the MCG, our ALWAYS LIVE program features more than 150 music events, and the NGV welcomes a new exclusive exhibition – Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse.

You’ll be spoiled for choice with our vast array of restaurants and bars. Take a wander through our famed city laneways and discover some hidden gems. There is so much to discover in our great city and state, so make sure you explore it after this fantastic sporting event.

We are proud to support the Australian Open alongside a jam-packed calendar of major events and exciting experiences this summer. I hope all players, spectators, and visitors enjoy this history-making event and a fantastic stay in Melbourne.

Brendan McClements
Chief Executive Officer, Visit Victoria

Welcome to the ISPS Handa Australian Open

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2022 ISPS Handa Australian Open Championship. ISPS Handa is delighted to continue its long-standing relationship with Golf Australia and to be the major partner of this very special event that furthers ISPS Handa’s central vision. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair.”

We are proud to bring together, for the first time, men, women and All-Abilities athletes at the Australian Open.

Beyond the professional game, ISPS Handa believes sport plays an important role in the betterment of people’s lives and communities around the world. I have been very fortunate to have been supporting and involved with golf in Australia for more than 30 years and I have seen first-hand the important role golf has played in this country: strengthening communities, bringing people together and positively impacting the health and happiness of millions of Australians.

ISPS Handa is passionately committed to increasing opportunities for people with disabilities to play sport and therefore we are immensely pleased to see this inaugural event unfold. We also hope this event will further the initiative to include golf in the Paralympic Games, a goal we wholeheartedly support.

I wish all the exceptional athletes gathered here the best of luck across this tournament, which will surely be an unforgettable event, filled with exceptional golf and sportsmanship, exemplifying the incredible feats that can be achieved through the power of sport.

Dr Haruhisa Handa, ISPS Handa

Greetings from Australia

Welcome to the 2022 ISPS Handa Australian Open. Needless to say, we’re excited to be back! This represents the first playing of the men’s Open since 2019, and the women’s Open was last contested in Adelaide in early 2020, so to suggest that the anticipation might be building would plainly understate the case.

We could not be more upbeat about this year’s Open on the Melbourne Sandbelt. Golf Australia has worked hard to draw the men’s and women’s events together for the first time in what amounts to a history-making moment for the tournament and for the sport itself. No national Open in golf has done this before, which puts us right at the cutting edge. What’s more, the Australian All Abilities Championship for golfers with a disability is back in the field, front and centre.

So we have an old and storied tournament, dating to 1904, with a fresh look. We are adamant that a more inclusive look and feel points the way forward for golf. It reflects the notions of inclusivity that have been enshrined in the Australian Golf Strategy, launched in 2021 after an exhaustive consultative process that involved the whole industry in this country.

It comes at a time when the sport is booming, with club membership up nine percent over the past two years, the biggest increase seen in decades, and rounds of golf calculated by the Ausplay data up 30 percent during the same time.

Golf is on a high, and the Major-championship victories of Cameron Smith (150th Open Championship) and Minjee Lee (US Women’s Open) in 2022 have provided further inspiration for Australia’s golfers. To think that they are home-grown products who worked through our systems is so pleasing for both Golf Australia and the states who pour time and effort into High Performance programs.

To note that both Cameron and Minjee, along with the likes of Hannah Green, Marc Leishman, Cam Davis, Adam Scott, Stephanie Kyriacou, Lucas Herbert, Min Woo Lee and Matt Jones will tee it up in the Open alongside DP World Tour stars like Ryan Fox and legendary Australians like Karrie Webb and Geoff Ogilvy is very gratifying for Golf Australia.

We’ve been able to assemble outstanding fields for the return of our premier event.

We are extremely grateful to our partners in the event: the ISPS Handa organisation, whose worldwide contribution to golf as a sport is immeasurable; Visit Victoria, who help promote the state as an incredible destination for golf tourists; and to the broadcasters, Channel Nine and Fox Sports.

Victoria and Kingston Heath are magnificent, world-class venues and I want to thank the committees, staff and membership of both host clubs for their patience and hard work in preparing for this week. We are certain that their facilities will present superbly both to the spectators and the television audience.

We all know that the Sandbelt is something special, and let’s hope the tournament matches the glory of its setting. We are confident it will.

Bring it on, we say!
James Sutherland
Chief Executive Officer, Golf Australia

Welcome to the Australian All Abilities Championship

After the exhilarating finish to the 2019 edition of the Australian All Abilities Championship (AAAC), where Sweden’s Johan Kammerstad defended his crown at The Australian Golf Club, we’re back after a two-year pause but with a very different field for this year’s championship.

Kammerstad rejoins the field with an exemption as the defending champion and world No.9, but he will have to overcome six of the top seven players on the World Ranking With Disability who have all accepted invitations into this year’s AAAC.

Assembling the strongest field yet for the AAAC has demonstrated the tournament’s unique global positioning as the world’s first truly integrated championship for players with disability. This year we step up again, positioning the three championships – men’s, women’s and AAAC – together for the first time.

Joining the championship for the first time is world No.1 Kipp Popert (England), world No.5 Tommaso Perrino (Italy) and the second-ranked woman in the world, Mette Wegge Lynggaard from Denmark. Spain’s Juan Postigo (Spain) returns from our 2018 championship.

Australian hopes will sit with Geoff Nicholas (NSW), the in-form Cameron Pollard (NSW) who is coming off back-to-back wins in Western Australia, along with Stephen Prior (NSW) and Mike Rolls (VIC).

This championship will demonstrate the best of the best, inspire people with disability to try the game for the first time or change perceptions that the game might be for the few.

At a grassroots level we have a workforce like no other, with more than 130 PGA professionals with the additional PGA All Abilities Coach accreditation. We are well resourced to ensure people with disability have fantastic experiences and see golf as
a game for life and a sport for all.

As the championship is taking place for the first time in Victoria, it’s also fitting to take the opportunity to thank the Victorian Government
and Sport and Recreation Victoria who have partnered with Golf Australia over many years assisting in developing these important pathways
for people with disability from grassroots participation to the AAAC.

We look forward to the positive contribution this championship will have in inspiring the next generation of people with disability to our sport – a sport for all Australians.

Please join me in welcoming the players of the third edition of the Australian All Abilities Championship to Victoria Golf Club. 

Christian Hamilton
Head of Programs & Inclusion, Golf Australia

Next article