Celebrity sporting faces graced the greens at Hepburn Springs Golf Club on Friday, adding an extra highlight to a sunny golfing day.
Professional golfer Brett Ogle told stories about his career and shared tips for training and practice before over 100 golfers teed off for an afternoon on the course.
Former AFL player Mark MacClure, sport journalist Mike Sheahan and former Richmond player and coach Tony Jewell also shared laughs with the crowd in the afternoon.
Hepburn Springs Golf Club vice president Patrick Baird said the 2017 Spa Country Ambrose, otherwise known as celebrity golf day, was the biggest fundraising day of the year for the club, with celebrity guests attracting visitors from a wide range of areas.
The “ambrose” style of the golf meant it was a fun day on the course even for those not so keen on the sport. Each player in the team hits off from the tee, the best shot is selected and each member hits from that shot in the popular ambrose golf format.
Ogle said he thought it was important to support country golf clubs.
“I grew up in a small country town called Goulburn, so to do fundraisers in country towns means a lot to me,” Ogle said.
Hepburn Springs Golf Club member John Scarffe said the event had raised over $150,000 throughout the nine years it had run.
“Without that we would be struggling. It is the one event throughout the year that keeps our head above water,” Mr Scarffe said.
Around $18,000 was raised during Friday’s celebrity golf event.
Mr Baird said most golf clubs were facing similar issues with an ageing demographic and dropping memberships making it difficult to remain financially viable.
“Lots of people are playing golf but not a lot of people are joining clubs,” he said.
“Our membership has dropped steadily for the past decade and that is just the way golf clubs are at the moment.
“We just have to reinvent ourselves – we are in a changing landscape and we have to change with it, hence days like Friday.”