ON COURSE: Chris Carley of Brisbane; Peter Burles of Beaconsfield, Tasmania; Graham Little of Scamander, Tasmania; Ken Alexander of Canberra on the links in Byron Bay.
ON COURSE: Chris Carley of Brisbane; Peter Burles of Beaconsfield, Tasmania; Graham Little of Scamander, Tasmania; Ken Alexander of Canberra on the links in Byron Bay. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Left-handed golfers take greens by storm

THOSE who know little of golf will be surprised to know that left-handed golfers have their own clubs - of both the social and hitting kind.

It's not surprising then that they have their own tournament - the National Left Handed Golf Championship - being staged on the Northern Rivers this week.

Keen golfers have come from every state and New Zealand for the event.

It covers the pick of the Far North Coast golf courses: Ocean Shores, Byron, Ballina and Casino.

Yesterday the A and B graders were teeing off from Byron Bay after playing Ballina on Monday.

After a rest today, they'll play at Ocean Shores tomorrow and finish at Casino on Friday.

There's $10,000 up for grabs from Ballina's Bourke Love Lawyers for the lucky left hander who sinks a hole-in-one at Ballina's 158m ninth hole.

With the gusty winds on Monday, the A and B grade players failed to even hit the green there.

The plus side of their misfortune is that the women and C graders will get a crack tomorrow.

"Hopefully we'll get a good bite of the cherry," organiser Dot Rose said.

"We're hoping it goes off so it adds some excitement to the tournament."

Tasmanian Peter Burles said he has come to the event most years since 1998.

"It's semi-competitive but mostly fun," he said.

"There's a lot of characters around."

Mr Burles said left handers were becoming more common on the fairway.

"In Tasmania they're probably 50-50."

Mrs Rose, president of the local division of left-handed golfers, said it was a big event for the local economy, as players turned their trip into a longer stay.

"Most people make it their annual holiday and hang around and see the area," she said.

Some more of the keen players might go on to play in the world left-handed championships, which were held in Turkey this year.



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