• How to follow the Women’s World Sand Greens Championship

The WPGA Tour of Australasia’s run through regional New South Wales will conclude this week with a new event with a difference, the Women’s World Sand Greens Championship presented by Origin Energy.

Played at Walcha Golf Club in the New England region of the state, the 59-player field will tee it up for the $140,000 prize purse putting on greens made of sand, the first time a women’s professional tournament has been played on such a surface.

One of 72 Golf NSW-affiliated clubs with sand greens, there will be few in the field familiar with the concept of landing the ball short of the small circular putting surfaces and raking a smooth line to putt on.

Played over 36 holes, the tournament will welcome an international field from 12 nations, many of whom graduated from Qualifying School at Coolangatta-Tweed Heads Golf Club in January.

Included in the range of national flags is that of Colombia, with Women’s NSW Open champion Mariajo Uribe continuing her journey around the state.

Uribe travelled to Australia seeking world ranking points and an Olympic berth in Paris to conclude her career.

Pegging it up at Walcha as part of receiving invites to the two Ladies European Tour events the past fortnight, Uribe admitted the concept of ‘sand greens’ didn’t initially grab her attention.

“I was lucky enough to get these two invites plus the Sand Greens,” said Uribe.

“I didn’t even read too much into the title, I just said sure because I really wanted to come to these tournaments.

“Then when I got the fact sheet I saw it was actual sand greens!”

Realising the new experience will take more than just her 14 years of knowledge accrued playing on the LPGA Tour, Uribe has sought advice from people with sand greens experience, including a fortuitous pairing with an Aussie LPGA caddie.

“I’ve been getting some tips,” Uribe said of preparing for the event promoted by Golf NSW that is the final event before a break in the WPGA Tour season.

“I played with Duane, Sarah Jane Smith’s husband, on Epson (Tour) and he was telling us kind of how it works.

“You can’t really fly it on the greens.”

As she continues to compile information on how to approach the game played on a mix of grass and sand at a course that boasts a sign claiming to be the “Best NSW Sandgreen Golf Course”, Uribe has made a significant change.

Caddie Andy Techmeir might have to brush up on his raking skills, while reading putts will be likely reduced from his role at Magenta Shores Golf and Country Club and Bonville Golf Resort after his 34-year-old boss extended his Aussie stay.

“I was not going to keep my caddie for that week, I was just going to send him home, but I think I am going to keep him because it sounds interesting,” she added.

“We are going to have fun that week, we will see how it goes.”

One the back of the rain-interrupted Australian Women’s Classic at Bonville, many of the field took the opportunity to brush up on their ‘smoothing’ on Monday afternoon.

The tightly tree-lined fairways should pose few issues for many of the field, bunker play will be almost non-existent as there is only one on the entire golf course – the par-3 18th – but judging approach shots will be critical.

Players saw first-hand on Monday how the ball can react differently depending on where it lands, playing short shaping as a popular option.

Tuesday’s pro-am will take on additional significance as players become accustomed to smoothing the putting surface to make putting as consistent as possible.


For live scoring and the latest news visit www.wpga.org.au Exclusive content and tournament updates will also be posted regularly on the WPGA Tour of Australasia’s social media channels.

Instagram: @wpgatour, @golfnsw
Twitter: @WPGATour, @GolfNSW
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Official hashtag: #WorldSandGreensChampionship


The final round of the Women’s World Sand Greens Championship will be broadcast live on 7Plus on Thursday.

Mariajo Uribe, 2024 Women’s NSW Open champion
Jess Whitting, joint winner of Australian Women’s Classic
Kelsey Bennett, 2024 The Athena champion
Jeongmin Cho, The Navigate Advisors Wagga Wagga CC Pro-am champion
Cholcheva Wongras, two-time runner-up on Thai LPGA
Kristalle Blum, LET Access Series winner
Claire Shin, 2023 Women’s NSW Open runner-up
Kotono Fukuya, T6 at Webex Players Series Hunter Valley

Photo: David Tease/Golf NSW

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