When Aron Rozenbaum stands on the first tee at Royal Melbourne's West Course for the Golf Link Cup final in November he will have one shot to thank for finding himself there.
The shot happened more 20 years ago and Aron can't even remember that much about it except that it happened on the 7th hole of Melbourne's Elsternwick golf course, it was perfect and it was the moment he got hooked on the game.
Golf Link Cup finalist Tracey McNeill sees more than enough drama in her day job as a Paramedic but it's not the only thing that helps the Mackay Golf Club 12 marker keep golf in perspective.
Tracey's brother Matt, five years her junior, suffers an intellectual disability as a result of a lack of oxygen to the brain at birth but one of the ways the pair connect is through golf.
B Grade National Finalist Richard Hanks knows he's one of the luckiest golfers around. The 68-year-old averages 200 rounds a year with about 140 of those being in competition.
And despite playing the game for 58 of his 68 years he says he never tires of teeing it up.
“I play four days a week and the only reason I don't play Tuesdays is because it's Ladies Day,” the Ocean Shores member says.
Perhaps it was divine intervention. Certainly Geoff Bishop, a B Grade qualifier for the Golf Link Cup Final on Monday, has no plausible explanation for how he dropped 10 shots off his handicap in the last four months.
The 62-year-old, who has been playing for 40 years without ever achieving single figures, has gone from a GA handicap of 16 in June to 6.3 last week.
“It's really quite strange and I can't really explain it,” says Geoff. “The only thing I have done different is take some advice from one of those golf instruction emails you get from time to time.
It's a long way from Coffin Bay in South Australia to Black Rock in Melbourne but it's a journey Gary Murchison is very much looking forward to.
The 52-year-old 27 marker was more than a little surprised to qualify for the Golf Link Cup Final, especially after a 25 year break from the game which only ended in May this year.
Gary, who played for four years in the late 80's and was quite taken with the game before life and family took priority and he stopped, couldn't break 100 for his first five weeks back but soon found his rhythm and posted a string of consecutive good scores to qualify.
It's unlikely any of our Series One National Finalists will have taken a journey quite like Me Rea Kim's to arrive at Royal Melbourne.
Born in South Korea Me Rea, a member at Muirfield Golf Club in Sydney, came to Australia via West Germany where she worked for several years as a Nurse.
Having arrived in Australia in 1983 it wasn't until the late 1990's the now 62-year-old took up golf but she has shown a natural aptitude for the game and despite the late start plays to a handicap of 10.
As his girth keeps shrinking his game keeps improving and that's fine by C Grade National Finalist and our Series One overall highest point scorer Alvin Rebulado.
Alvin, a member at Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club in Sydney, will be heading to Royal Melbourne in November after racking up an impressive 131,015 points over the 15 weeks of competition.
The now 16 marker has dropped nine shots off his handicap since April but, more importantly, has also lost almost 25 kilos off his frame since August last year.
Of all our Series One finalists B Grade winner Laurie Monaghan may have to make the biggest adjustment come November at Royal Melbourne.
Laurie is a member at Harden Golf Club in South Western NSW but originally learnt the game on the sand greens of Brewarrina Golf Club.
“The first time I putted on grass greens was last year when I joined Harden,” says Laurie. “As a kid at Brewarrina it was all sand so it was a bit of a shock at first.
Doreen Saddler never intended to take up golf. Truth be known the fact she plays at all is really just a happy accident.
“My mum was a member at the local club and I got her to nominate my husband for membership because he needed to give up cricket and I thought golf would be a good alternative for him,” she says with a laugh.
“When we went along to the nomination night dinner I found out mum had put my name down as well. I had no intention of ever playing but I went through the process because I was there.
“Once I was signed up I thought I might as well give it a go and like most people it wasn't long before I was hooked. And 22 years later it is still an obsession.”