The Victorian Trainee Graduation and Awards Dinner was held at Green Acres Golf Club with the night celebrating the achievements of Victorian Trainees in 2018, including the graduation of 16 Trainees into Full Vocational Membership.

2019 Victorian PGA Trainee GraduationThe new PGA Professionals were welcomed to the Association by PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman, PGA of Australia COO Stuart Hergt, representatives from PGA education partners Acushnet and On Course Golf, as well as long-time PGA Professional and PGA of Australia Board Member Director Bruce Green.

With over 50 years experience as a PGA Professional, Green wished them well for a career as long and as fulfilled as his before being joined on stage by Victorian Committee Chairman Tim Moore, who echoed Green’s sentiments.

Ben Pisani, a second year PGA Trainee at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, was awarded the 2018 Victorian Trainee of the Year award, achieving marks of High Distinction in the subjects of Game Development, Small Business and Coaching as well as a Distinction in Management; results which helped him lead the National Academic Rankings for second year PGA Trainees.

Pisani was also the winner of three trainee matches as well as recording 16 top-10 finishes in 35 matches including the PGA National Futures Championship. He also finished 30th in the National Trainee Averages.

Ben Murphy took out the 2018 Victorian Trainee Order of Merit title following a successful year that consisted of nine wins and an additional 18 top-10 results from 33 events. He also picked up a top-10 result early in 2018 at the Rich River Classic.

The 2018 CPM Victorian Trainee Pro-Am of the Year award was won by the Mornington Trainee Pro-Am and accepted by PGA Trainee Brad Stephenson.

The Titleist and FootJoy Excellence in Education Awards were presented by PGA Training Manager Stephanie Jamieson and Andrew Reed, FootJoy Brand Manager from Acushnet.

The leading Victorians in each year level were Nick Culvenor (Year 1 - Yarra Bend Golf Course), Ben Pisani (Year 2 – The Royal Melbourne Golf Club) and John Burbergs (Year 3 - Northern Golf Club).

Academically, Victorian PGA Trainees performed strongly with several placing within the top-10 National Education Rankings. These included Corinna Bryant (Year 1 - Sandhurst Club), Jarryd Collis (Year 1 - Prospect Vale in Tasmania), James Betts (Year 2 – Yarra Bend), Michael Bainbridge (Year 2 –Sandhurst Club), David Hall (Year 2 – Rowville Lakes), Melissa Taylor (Year 3 – Eastwood) and Catherine Odgers (Year 3 – Woodlands).

Thanking their family and friends, their indenturing PGA Professional, their golf club and acknowledging the support they received throughout their PGA Traineeship from PGA staff, each graduate is looking forward to a long career in the golf industry.

Full List of award winners and graduates

  • Year 1 – Academic Award
    • Nick Culvenor
  • Year 2 – Academic Award
    • Ben Pisani
  • Year 3 – Academic Award
    • John Burbergs
  • 2018 CPM Victorian Trainee Pro-Am of the Year
    • Mornington Trainee Pro-Am
  • 2018 Victorian Trainee of the Year
    • Ben Pisani
  • 2018 Victorian Trainee Order of Merit Winner
    • Ben Murphy
  • Trainee Graduates – Class of 2018
    • Mitchell Anketell
    • Aaron Attwell
    • Darren Bowman
    • Elliot Braulins
    • Deb Brinkley (Tas)
    • John Burbergs
    • Jack Cox
    • Tom Corker
    • James Gordon
    • Marcus Hakkinen
    • Tom Jefferies
    • Brad Kivimets
    • Brad McGill
    • Ben Murphy
    • Sahil Sahib
    • Melissa Taylor