By Evin Priest
Imagine a celebrity pro-am with rounds at Victoria Golf Club, Metropolitan, Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath.
It’s an idea Shane Warne believes could rival the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the US PGA Tour or the Dunhill Links Championship on the European Tour.
And if you think about the past and present sports stars, actors and business people who’d jump at the chance to play the Sandbelt’s finest offerings, the idea has serious legs.
“I think everyone around the world has heard about the Melbourne Sandbelt and how good it is,” Warne told Australian Golf Digest during the pro-am at the World Cup of Golf.
The former Test cricket great says it has a chance at aligning itself with a major tour and becoming a legitimate professional event. It would require a sponsor to stump up several million dollars for a tournament purse, but Warne feels that’s possible.
Keen golfer Warnie is a regular at the Dunhill in Scotland, which is played across the Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.
“I think the pros always take the opportunity when they can to come down and play (the Sandbelt),” Warne said.
“I wish there was someone who would come in and put up that much money for a tournament where you play all the Sandbelt courses. Call it the ‘Sandbelt Classic’. I’ll (help) get it off the ground – the Australian version of the Dunhill. I’d invite some of my friends I know from around the world to come and play.”
After our initial story went online, Warnie retweeted it with this declaration: “Stay tuned for the Shane Warne invitational ‘Sandbelt Classic’. I will be speaking to the Vic Govt & I’m very hopeful they will get behind me & make this happen. The @dunhilllinks is the best pro-am on the planet, let’s recreate that here in Melb. Any sponsors keen to help too?”
Over to you, corporate world!
For more information on a Golfing Great head to Visit Victoria.