COUNTRY Week debutant Shane Gurnett says he feels honoured to be part of south-west Victoria’s representative golf squad.
Gurnett is part of an eight-player Corangamite District Golf Association (CDGA) contingent which will contest the five-day “best of the bush” titles next week.
The Port Fairy Golf Club member will join clubmates Chris Dunne and Troy Richardson in the CDGA squad.
Other members are Ashley Couch (Cobden), Ashley Quick (Terang), Alistair Gillan (Timboon), Mark Murnane (Colac) and Andrew Keane (Warrnambool).
Country Week starts with the two-day Victorian country championships on Monday and Tuesday.
The teams’ competition tees off on Wednesday and continues Thursday and Friday.
Corangamite is in division two, after being demoted from the top grade last year.
It will take on South Gippsland, East Gippsland, North Eastern and West Gippsland.
Gurnett shifted to Warrnambool in January after 25 years in Melbourne.
He joined Port Fairy Golf Club and was part of a historic CDGA division one pennant victory in May.
The 43-year-old said he was proud to win selection for Country Week after less than a year living in the region.
“To represent your association is a highlight for anyone from the district. To be a part of the team is very important,” he said.
“It’s hard to tell how we’ll do. We don’t know how strong the other teams will be.
“But our team is very even with a lot of depth. If we team well together, we should have some good results.”
Gurnett said his form was OK but was improving as courses across the region dried up following a wet winter.
The father-of-two said the sport had become a passion since he forged his career on the fairways of Swan Hill.
“Golf is the game you can play from when you’re a child until you’re 80 or 90,” he said.
“Through the handicap system, you can always maintain your competitiveness. It’s also a game you can play without having to physically train repeatedly, like you do for cricket or footy.
“You can determine your own level, where you want to play. But there’s also that team success.”
“That was evident with Port Fairy this year. We had four winning pennant teams, including players of differing levels.”