Sandi’s lifelong love affair with golf

First win for Amy Coates.

By Peter Owen

Sandra Probert was a young schoolteacher in the remote southeast of South Australia when she fell in love with golf – the affair forged on the picturesque fairways of little Kingston SE golf course, where visitors still leave their green fees in an honesty box fixed to the clubhouse.

She’d turned her back on hockey when she left Adelaide for the seclusion of coastal Kingston SE, bought a set of golf clubs, read all the golf magazines she could find, and set about learning a completely new game.

“I’d go out on Saturday afternoons, after the men had finished playing, and have a hit,” she said. “It’s where I started.”

A half-century later, Sandi is still playing the game – no longer in South Australia, where she once played pennants for fashionable Flagstaff Hill, but at Noosa Springs, where she has been a member for five years.

And, now 77, she’s still a formidable competitor.

Indeed, last week she outplayed a field of more than 100 women in the Ladies Series event at Noosa Springs on a course made soft by days of heavy rain.

Sandi, playing off a handicap of 16, scored 37 stableford points to beat three runners-up by a single point in the second leg of the popular annual three-round series that will conclude with the final leg in December.

“I was lucky,” Sandi said, crediting her win to the encouragement of her playing partners and a tip she’d picked up watching professional tournaments on television.

“I’d gone out with this idea that had to do with my hand position and my take away,” she said. “It seemed to work and I also sank a few putts.”

After Sandi’s stint teaching in the South Australian ‘bush’, she returned to Adelaide where work and family commitments kept her away from golf for a time. Later, though, she joined Flagstaff Hill, where she remains a member, and Blackwood, in the Adelaide hills.

While at Blackwood she became ladies’ captain, joined the committee, and managed to trim her handicap to a very respectable nine.

Sandi and husband Rod moved to the Sunshine Coast a decade ago in search of warmer weather, and settled at Peregian Springs, where they both became members.

When that club’s future looked uncertain five years ago, the Proberts transferred to Noosa Springs – and they’ve never regretted the decision.

“We were made very welcome,” Sandra said. “The staff are lovely, the course is magnificent and everything here is efficient and well managed. We’re very happy.”

Draw keeps Noosa’s title hopes alive

Noosa remained in contention to defend its A grade pennant title after a remarkable tie with the club’s second team on Sunday.

Five of the seven matches between Noosa and Noosa 1 ended in draws, with George Giblett securing Noosa’s only win, and Shane Dunning beating Russell Milner for Noosa 1’s sole victory.

The 3.5-3.5 result left Noosa in second place – two points behind unbeaten Maroochy River – with only one round to be decided. Significantly, that final match is against Maroochy River.

In B grade, Noosa teams fared well, with young guns Dino Degotardi and Blake Heinger leading Noosa Springs to a 5-2 win over Caloundra, and Noosa scoring a solid 5-2 win over Headland. Cooroy narrowly beat Tin Can Bay 4-3 to keep its finals hopes alive.

Noosa Springs remained in contention in Masters competition, edging Caloundra 4-3, but Noosa lost to Headland 5.5-1.5, and Cooroy went down narrowly to Tin Can Bay, 4-3. All three teams will need to win next week to have any chance of finals action.

Brave win for young Amy

Little Amy Coates, who only a fortnight ago won the Encouragement Award for her gallant performance in this year’s junior pennant competition, was stunned on Sunday when she won the net trophy for girls in the annual Noosa Springs Junior Classic.

Amy, the least experienced girl in the field, gained her handicap only a few days before the pennant season began.

The Noosa junior, playing off a beginner’s handicap of 45, shot net 73 to win by two strokes from Ruby Kavanagh, a three-handicapper from Pelican Waters.

Ruby shared the gross prize for girls with her former Maroochy River clubmate Ionna Muir, both returning scores of 78, before Ionna was declared the winner on countback.

In the boys’ section, Shae Coghlan of Maroochy River shared gross honours with Virginia’s Jedd Brady, both boys scoring 79, before Shae was promoted to victory on countback.

Open set for September

The Noosa Springs Open – an annual event to showcase the course to visiting golfers – will be played on Sunday 12 September.

The 18-hole stableford event is open to all golfers with an official handicap.

It will be an 8am shotgun start, and excellent prizes are on offer.

The cost is $79 ($29 for members). Download an entry form from the Noosa Springs website, or phone the golf shop on 5440 3325.

Wet conditions hamper Noosa golfers

Jason Norris did best of a strong contingent of Noosa amateurs in last week’s Maroochy River Pro-Am, the 11-handicapper from Noosa Golf Club braving atrocious conditions in the morning wave of players to tally 34 stableford points and earn seventh place in the morning competition.

The constant rain, wind and poor visibility tested even gifted players like Noosa’s George Giblett (33 points) and Tamatoa Stansfield (27 points), while Noosa Springs stars Ryley Martin (31 points), Dino Degotardi (31) and Blake Heiniger (29) also found it tough.

Former star amateur Lawry Flynn, playing his first professional event, and Redland Bay pro Gavin Fairfax shared the pro-am spoils, each shooting five-under 67 in the afternoon, when conditions were much more pleasant.

Club competitions


Monday 5 July

Women’s stableford: A grade – Paula Jeffrey 38, Tracy Whitbread 37; B grade – Trish Eldridge 38, Jane Peterson 34; women’s stableford, 9 holes: Barb Allen 20.

Tuesday 6 July

Men’s stableford: A grade – Cody Pyne 40, Wayne Mallett 39, Gav Hunt 38c/b, Murray McMillan 38c/b; B grade – John Purdue 41, Shane Dunn 40c/b, Aldo Oriti 40, Derek Pousette 38c/b; C grade – Jim Booth 42, Dave Wellington 41, Stephen Jackson 39, Michael Davenport 38.

Wednesday 7 July

Vets stableford: A grade – Michael Morgan 39, Barry Robinson 37c/b, Alastair Kerrison 37; B grade – David Hinder 40, Ian Dalrymple 38c/b, Phil Grieve 38; C grade – Danny Woodward 39, Michael Davenport 38c/b, Kenneth Wales 38c/b.

Thursday 8 July

Women’s stableford: A grade – Sharon Vickers 41, Sally Simmons 37, Gayna Ryan 36c/b; B grade – Elisabeth Thomson 41, Maureen Burgess 39, Karen Turnbull 37c/b; C grade – Tracey Skeppstrom 39, Kathy Jones 36c/b, Jill Hill 36.

Saturday 10 July

Men’s stroke: A grade – Bronson White 67, Treg Kleidon 69, Dwight Bandman 70c/b; B grade – James Pittendrigh 68, Michael Napier 71, Steve Grey 73; C grade – Alfie Bartlett 70c/b, Brian Priebe 70, Stephen Jackson 71; women: Judy Meager 75, Noreen Scanlon 76, Arlene Penlington 79c/b.


Monday 5 July

Men’s stableford: Andrew Tregaskis 41, Doug Oates 36, Uli Schmetzer 34: women’s: Irene Cordukes 35, Janet Dunn 34, Debra Oates 33.

Tuesday 6 July

Women’s Ladies Series, stableford: Sandra Probert 37, Dana Angus 36c/b, Margaret Hart 36; men’s stableford: Tony Carabetta 37, David Fearns 33c/b, Blake Heiniger 33.

Wednesday 7 July

Men’s stableford: Simon Cotton 39, David Wrigley 37c/b, Graham Dill 37; women’s: Gabriella Latham-Callcott 38c/b, Karen O’Brien 38, Janet Dunn 32.

Thursday 8 July

Men’s stableford: Timothy Bishop 35, Luke Cummings 35, Mark Latham-Callcott 33c/b.

Saturday 10 July

Men’s stroke: Charles Roylance 70, Chris Collinge 72, Michael Mason 73c/b; women’s: Michelle Hilbert 73, Janet Dunn 75, Annette Philp 76c/b.

Sunday 11 July

Men’s Sunday Series, stableford: Stuart McFarland 34, Raymond Orloff 33c/b, Mark Latham-Callcott 33c/b.


Tuesday 6 July

Women’s stableford, 9 holes: Desley Walker 15, Leith Barr 14.

Wednesday 7 July

Vet’s Monthly Medal, stroke: A grade – Brett LeMoy 69, Kerry Davies 70c/b, Peter Jeucken 70; B grade – Ian Lumsden 72, Bruce Wilshire 73, Dale Rickard 74c/b; C grade – Dave Chapman 72, Don Clelland 73, Andrew Aves 74.

Thursday 8 July

Women’s stableford: Lynne Dawson 32c/b, Janelle Thorburn 32c/b.

Saturday 10 July

Men’s stableford: Div 1 – N. Ackland 36c/b, A. Stewart 36; Div 2 – T. Gordon 38, M. Davies 37c/b; Div 3 – M. Woolway 36, T. Foster 34c/b.