WHEN players tee off in the North Coast Open in October, there'll be more than just a trophy on the line in the prestigious event.

The Coffs Harbour Golf Club tournament has been selected by Golf NSW as a qualifying event for the NSW Open to be held at Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club three weeks after Coffs Harbour's Festival of Golf comes to a close.

The 36-hole event already attracted top amateur golfers from around the state as it forms part of the Golf NSW Vardon Trophy competition.

With the new honour that comes with winning the tournament previously won by such golfing greats as Gary Player, Kel Nagle and Bill Dunk, an even stronger field is expected in 2015.

And the club isn't wasting any time in trying to get the best players from up and down the east coast to Coffs Harbour for the club's jewel in the crown event.

"We're putting together emails and letters to all of the players in Queensland and New South Wales to get them interested in playing here," Coffs Harbour Golf Club captain Bryan Maxwell said.

"I think it's a great thing that these kids can come along and qualify if they win the North Coast Open."

As a golfer with a bright future, reigning North Coast Open champion Tim Hyland said the carrot of being able to qualify for such an event ensures he'll be back on October 24 and 25 to defend his title.

"I was going to try this year to get into the NSW Open anyway but the North Coast Open is obviously going to be a nice gateway to get in there now," Hyland said.

FESTIVAL OF GOLF

This year Coffs Harbour Golf Club's nine-day Festival of Golf will be held from October 17 to 25 culminating on the final weekend with the North Coast Open Amateur, Ladies Classic and Coffs Cup.

Go to www.coffsharbourgolfclub.com.au for details.



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