Otago selectors given more 'freedom'

Doug Harradine
Doug Harradine
Otago selections are going to be fully in the hands of the selectors.

A change of criteria for selections to represent Otago gives a lot more autonomy to selectors Jason Hughes (convener), Mahal Pearce and Craig Palmer.

"The philosophy of the changes is to give the selectors the freedom they need to do their job," Golf Otago executive officer Doug Harradine said.

"There will no longer be a list of published trials in the months leading up to selection and the Toro team will be selected on the performances during a whole year's golf.

"In recent years, players' performances have been a snapshot of recent form during the months leading up to the Toro interprovincial tournament.

"One example last year was the selection of Inia Logan at No 1 despite him being a "full-time amateur" who has competed in Australia and not the local trials.

"I believe that the selectors' role is to put the best team on the course for the national event and I believe the current selectors have done just that."

The new criteria take into account performance in the Bridgestone Golf Otago order of merit events, national events, past performance as an Otago representative and Otago interclub pennant results.

They also involve a commitment to culture and behaviour on the course, personal and course management, commitment to Golf Otago, adherence to etiquette and the Golf Otago code of conduct as well as the suitability of a player's game for the competitive Toro venue.

Last year, the Otago matchplay championships and the revamped North Otago tournament gave the selectors and insight into golfers matchplay skills.

But of the other listed trials, only the 36-hole tournament at Cromwell, playing at almost 6500m off the back tees, gave any indication as to a player's ability to handle Christchurch's long Clearwater course from the back teeing grounds.

Players intending to compete for places in Otago senior, women's and junior teams are being asked to register with Golf Otago as soon as possible.

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