GOLF: The NSW Open Regional Qualifying Tournament will tee off at Grafton Golf Club and Yamba Golf Club this weekend, giving regional golfers a chance to win their way into the 2016 NSW Open Golf Championship and have a crack at the Kel Nagle Cup trophy.
Boasting the names of Australian golf royalty like Greg Norman, Peter Thomson and Kel Nagle, the trophy that bears his name has been on display for the past few weeks at the two golf clubs.
Yamba Golf Club golf operations manager Chris Durrington said it's been great to have the trophy at the club.
"There's some great names on there, and it's high profile stuff,” Durrington said.
"It's been an attraction for the members and guests. They've liked to take a look at it, and get up close to a piece of history.”
Durrington said this is the first time the NSW Open qualifying tournaments have been taken to regional areas across the state.
"Hopefully some outsider will win and inspire others to get involved in the future,” he said.
"We have three local juniors who are starting from between three and four, so it would be great to see one of them come through and win.”
Clarence Valley Mayor, Richie Williamson, said the key sports tourism event aimed to attract about 150 competitors and inject more than $180,000 into the Clarence Valley economy.
He said the council's sports tourism program would bring participants, family, coaches and supporters to the Clarence Valley for the two-day 36-hole event.
"The investment from council and local business into the sports tourism program is really benefiting the Clarence,” he said.
The tournament includes some of best golfers from Northern NSW and South East Queensland and offers an opportunity for amateur male golfers to win their way into the 2016 NSW Open Golf Championship, which will be played at the Greg Norman designed Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club from November 10 to 13.
Defending champion, Victorian Ben Eccles, cemented his spot as a rising star of Australian golf when he won the title as an amateur last year.