Twenty-eight current, past, and ‘friends of the umpires’ braved a dreary weather forecast to play in the AFLUA Golf Day at Latrobe Golf Club in Alphington on Monday 10th May, the first such event for many years. Current running umpires including John Howarth, Nick Foot and Michael Marantelli were joined by past umpires including Ian Clayton, Rowan Sawers, Andrew Coates, Terry O’Donnell and Brian Bullus. The AFLUA was well represented by current president Brett Rosebury, CEO Rob Kerr and former CEO Peter Howe, with former AFL GM of Football Operations Adrian Anderson also joining us for the day.

After a coffee in the spike bar and a briefing from club professional Tony Craswell, the teams headed out to their respective starting tees for a shotgun start. The course was in terrific condition and the rain held off for most of the round, making it a very enjoyable day for all. Post-golf we were able to come together to compare drives, bemoan lip-outs, and share our “if only that shot…” stories over a delicious lunch in the clubhouse. Special mentions to Stuart Allen and Michael Marantelli for their Nearest the Pin wins, and to the team of Chris Donlon, Brian Bullus, Sal Cinque and Tommy Nankervis for taking out the overall win in the team Ambrose competition, although not before an audit of the scorecards by Shane McInerney who was desperate to claim one of the winners’ prizes!

A big thank you to Latrobe Golf Club for hosting us, to Doug Barwick at Drummond Golf / Big Swing Golf in Preston for donating the golf bags for the winning team, to Australian Venue Company for the NTP prizes, and to TaylorMade for the runners-up prizes.

The golf day was a fantastic opportunity to bring together different generations of umpires from Ken Mitchell through to Alex Whetton, to enjoy getting to know other people within the umpiring family, and to have great fun playing a terrific golf course. This event is something that we hope to grow every year, and we look forward to many more umpires – past, present and future – and friends of the umpires joining us at the next AFLUA Golf Day.

Author:  Mat Nicholls

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