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'Make many birdies, and more pars': Greg Norman helps reopen Pelican Waters course

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Twenty-three years after Greg Norman designed and built Pelican Waters Golf Course, an exciting new reconfiguration of the course has officially been unveiled at a celebrity-packed event.

The course was closed for 18 months to allow works to be completed by its owners – the Palm Lake Group – under the watchful eye of Mr Norman and his team of international designers.

It was re-opened amid much fanfare this week, when golf identities and celebrities including the likes of Wally Lewis, Casey Stoner, Paul Vautin and Allan Langer converged to mark the occasion.

Pelican Waters Golf Club’s head of golf Dale Williamson said the course was revitalised.

“We switched the original front nine holes with the back nine, aiming for a new 18-hole course that finished in clear view of the clubhouse,” he said.

“The reconfigured layout is a par 71, 6000m championship course with completely reconstructed greens on 10, 11 and 16, and a new hole on 17.

“On the whole, this new course offers generous fairways, but it’s tougher around the greens.

“Being a Greg Norman design, my overall advice to players is to stay clear of the bunkers.

“With generous fairways, there are always different angles to approach the flag from and because of this, the game never gets boring here.”

Pelican Waters Golf Course has been refreshed.

Mr Norman’s first mini golf course was also unveiled at the reimagined golfing precinct.

Among the celebrities to endorse the new course was Australian musician and television personality Guy Sebastian.

A passionate golfer, he discovered the course during its closure period last year and was keen to come back and be part of the auspicious official opening.

“It’s amazing to see it now that it’s all built,” he said via a club media release.

“The clubhouse and everything look unreal and the course is looking pretty mint – hopefully I can find some fairways.”

Among other celebrities at the event were two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner, NRL personalities Paul Vautin, Alan Langer, Kerrod Walters and Wally Lewis, television personality Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson and radio hosts Sami Lukis and Sam Coward.

PGA player Louis Dobbelaar, ALPGA player Rhianna Lewis, PGA state manager Broc Greenhalgh, Golf Australia representatives, Greg Norman Golf Course Design representatives and How Good is Golf presenter Paul Gow were among the golfing fraternity who turned out on the day, to be the first to play the new course.

Musician Guy Sebastian was among those at the reopening.

A highlight of the event was having Mr Norman’s mother, Toini, hit the first tee shot to officially open the new course.

She has been a proud and long-time supporter of Pelican Waters Golf Club, holds three club champion titles and has achieved four holes in one on the original course.

While he couldn’t be at the opening event, Mr Norman recorded a message for his 92-year-old mum, and the gathered crowd of players and club staff, from his home in the United States.

“Today, I know my mother is there, in the Norman name,” he said.

“I know she’s going to be hitting the first tee shot – I want to wish her well. I know it’ll go straight – maybe not so far, but I know it’ll go straight. She hasn’t missed a fairway since she was 41.

“For me, the Norman family, and my business Greg Norman Golf Course Design, we’ve had a great association with Pelican Waters for 20-plus years. I’m proud of it and it’s been an honour to serve every one of you.”

At post-game drinks, Mr Williamson presented a surprised and delighted Ms Norman with a Lifetime Ambassadorship in recognition of the significant role she’s played in the club’s history.

He thanked her for continuing to be part of the club’s exciting future.

“This day has been a long time coming, but the time taken has been absolutely necessary to bring to life the incredible vision we have for this equally as incredible and award-winning golf course,” Mr Williamson said.

Rugby league legend Wally Lewis enjoyed a round.

Mr Norman agreed.

“Congratulations to all at Pelican Waters. After three years of patience, yes, you’ve got five new holes. Yes, you’ve got a new mini course. Yes, you’ve got a new short course. And yes, you have a tremendous facility,” he said.

“Go and enjoy what Greg Norman Golf Course Design has done – make many birdies, and more pars.”

The reconfiguration of the course has also allowed for an extensive redevelopment and expansion of the original clubhouse as well as the addition of world-class training facilities, which are still under construction.

The reconfiguration of the course has also allowed Palm Lake Group’s most iconic and opulent over-50s community to spring to life around it, with waterfront and golf frontage homes now under construction.

For those keeping score, a game of golf was, in fact, completed as part of the day’s festivities.

The event took an individual and team shambles format and the winning team included Club Car representatives Colin and Lachlan Sergis, who played alongside Palm Lake Resort Pelican Waters future homeowners Jim and Sharon Baker.

Former British Open champion Greg Norman oversaw the works. Picture: AAP

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