Dick Whittington finds his fortune in Noosa

Dick Whittington can still smile, despite a scoring bungle on Saturday that cost him a win.

By Peter Owen

Dick Whittington, a globe-trotting former mining executive who struck it rich when he settled in Noosa three years ago, scored his first par at a golf course in Venezuela when he was just six years old.

The memorable achievement came after he followed a well-struck drive with two hefty fairway shots and an approach that landed at the front of the green and found its way safely into the hole – all four strokes played with a sawn-off three wood lovingly crafted by his father.

Listening to Dick reminisce about his life is a bit like tuning into a travel documentary on SBS. Born in Canada, he’s lived in Venezuela, England, Holland, Papua New Guinea, the United States and Australia – either as a kid travelling with his parents, or as an executive responsible for the performance of various mining companies.

And while Dick Whittington was renowned for his three terms as Lord Mayor of London, his Noosa namesake wouldn’t swap the joys of living at Noosa for all the money Dick Whittington’s cat generated for its owner.

“I’ve lived an interesting and fulfilling life all around the world,” he said. “But my wife and I have never been happier, or more privileged, than by living here at Noosa and playing golf at Noosa Springs.”

Golf has been one of the constants of Dick’s life – though there have been periods when work and raising a family meant the game had to take a back seat to other activities.

After that early flurry in Venezuela, Dick didn’t play much golf until he was a teenager in Britain, where he gained his first handicap.

Then, later, while working in the Canadian province of British Columbia in the 1980s, he took it up again and discovered he had some genuine talent for the game.

But it wasn’t until he retired to Noosa and joined Noosa Springs that he was able to devote more of his time and energy to golf. And he went about it by working as hard as he could.

“I think I probably spend more time on the practice range than anybody,” he said. “During the last few years I estimate I’ve hit 16,000 golf balls there.

“People laugh at me,” he said. “But I remind them that my hero, Ben Hogan, became a legend because he practiced harder than anybody else.”

While Dick’s no Ben Hogan, he’s more than competitive on the tree-lined fairways of Noosa Springs.

On Saturday, for example, he tallied 43 stableford points in the daily competition and, for a while at least, was acclaimed the winner.

But Dick was certain he’d scored only 42 points, and when he checked with the Golf Shop, he discovered he’d incorrectly signed for a birdie four on the final hole, instead of the par five he’d actually scored.

Dick’s honesty meant he and fellow member Michael Pherous had now each scored 42 points, but because he’d signed for an incorrect score, Dick was disqualified.

“It would have been nice to win,” Dick said. “But I don’t really play golf to win – just to appreciate the company of my fellow players and to enjoy the game.”

Brilliant showing by comeback Cassie

Peregian star Cassie Porter capped a remarkable comeback from a serious back injury with a brilliant performance last week in the Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club – one of the world’s most significant amateur golf events.

Cassie, who was off the golf scene for more than 18 months with the injury, shot rounds of 69, 69, 68 and 74 to finish in the top 10 of an event that was televised around the world.

And she would have been even closer had she been able to hole a few of the putts that shaved the hole over her four days of intense golf.

Fellow Australian Kelsey Bennett finished second, one shot behind Japan’s Mizuki Hashimoto.

Cassie had played only a handful of events since resuming her career a few weeks ago.

Veterans show how golf should be played

This year’s $20,000 Noosa Legends Pro-Am on Tuesday 7 December will launch a 10-day carnival of masters’ golf on the Sunshine Coast.

Some of the greatest names in Queensland golf will walk Noosa’s fairways as elite golf shows signs of getting back to normal following two years of Covid-forced disruptions.

Stars like Peter Senior, Andre Stolz, Brad Burns, Richard Backwell and Terry Price have entered the Noosa event as the Legends’ golf circuit kicks back into gear.

They will be joined by a strong contingent of veteran Noosa golfers including Simon Tooman, Mark Tickle, Hugh Dolan, Mark Officer and Shane Healey.

Former Noosa pro Andrew Egea, now the head professional at Wolston Park, will return for the event, and will be joined by Twin Waters’ Stephen Hutchison and Caloundra’s Adam Le Vesconte.

The golfers, starved of competition for much of this year, will then move to Maroochy River for the two-day Queensland Seniors PGA Championship on December 12 and 13, to Headland for the Headland Legends Pro-Am on December 14, and to Twin Waters for the Sunshine Coast Masters on December 16 and 17.

Noosa ladies dig deep for charity

Noosa ladies donned their prettiest pink golf outfits and dug deep into their pockets for the recent annual Pink Ball Breast Cancer Golf Day.

The event raised a record amount of $9600 thanks to the generosity of local businesses and people who sponsored the day, provided prizes and raffle items, or just made donations.

Though proceeds went to cancer research, the event was to also celebrate cancer survivors, and remember the lives of people lost to the disease.

Patty Neale, Marg Colwell, Linda Laws and Charmaine McCormick teamed to win the day’s competition, while Lisa Joseph, Jess Fleming, Rosanne Chisholm and Cindy Lawson were runners-up.

Club competitions


Tuesday 9 November

Men’s stableford: A grade – Gary Webster 40c/b, Michael Napier 40, Grant Baker 39c/b, Justin Morgan 39; B grade – Michael Morgan 42c/b, Derek Pousette 42, Clive Hart 40, David Hinder 39; C grade – Lee Clayton 39c/b, Stretch Buckley 39, Christian Pearce 38c/b, Geoff Smith 38c/b.

Wednesday 10 November

Vets stableford: A grade – Gav Hunt 37c/b, Ron Read 37c/b, Pete Blair 37; B grade – Bob Foster 39, Bruce Hallett 37c/b, Rex Williams 37; C grade – Peter Gordon 40, Ralphe Rickman 39, Peter Crooks 37.

Thursday 11 November

Women’s stableford: A grade – Susie Barlow 39, Heather Alsop 34c/b, Deb Matheson 34; B grade – Evelyn Allen 35, Michelle Linklater 34c/b, Gwendoline Whitehead 34; C grade – Margaret Smith 36, Lynne Hancock 33c/b, Tracey McKay 33c/b.

Saturday 13 November

Men’s stableford: A grade – Peter Fryer 41, David Cameron Mills 38c/b, Brendon Strid 38; B grade – Peter McDonald 38, Ken Morrow 37, Joe Franz 36c/b; C grade – Keith Moore 40, Jim Harpley 37, Cooper Liddell 36; women’s: Arlene Penlington 37, Michelle Linklater 32c/b, Amy Coates 32.


Tuesday 9 November

Men’s stableford: Douglas Oates 40, Blake Heiniger 39, John Taylor 38.

Wednesday 10 November

Men’s stableford: William Jaede 43, Rick Tasso 41, Alex Wyer 40; women’s: Karen O’Brien 42, Joan Cairns 38, Rosemary Perkins 36c/b.

Thursday 11 November

Men’s stableford: Simon Cotton 39, Ryley Martin 36, Alan Holley 35.

Saturday 13 November

Men’s stableford: Michael Pherous 42c/b, Ross Gillies 41, Ola Andresen 39c/b; women’s: Dianne Tonge 40, Barbara Stott 38c/b, Ruby Jaede 38c/b.

Sunday 14 November

Men’s Sunday Series, stableford: Drew McMenamin 41, Greg Taylor 38c/b, James Spires 38; women’s: Elaine Glasby 33, Wendy Dauphin 31, Sandi Hoskins 29.


Tuesday 9 November

Women’s stroke, 9 holes: Julie Collis 34, Elaine Henman 35c/b.

Wednesday 10 November

Vets stableford, best 2 ball: Richard Gibson, Peter Brown, Kevin Pritchard & Kelvin Brittain 90c/b; Jim Lenske, Rick Lenske, Joe Daniels & Andrew Carson 90c/b; John Cairns, Greg Flanagan, Ray Lally & Peter Frosby 90.

Thursday 11 November

Women’s 4-person Ambrose: J. Langford, M. Miller, E. Hunt & J. Hall 57; J. Rabjohns, K. Sawrey, F. Buchanan & J. Tucker 60.75.

Saturday 13 November

Women’s stableford: Chris Michael 38, Sarah Brogden 37.