Melbourne turned on the weather for 16 veterans, who each teed off at the Veterans Golf Day at The Warragul Country Club in a four-ball Ambrose format.

Participants from across all services joined in for the day, including the oldest veteran on the golf course that day – 87-year-old National Serviceman Bill Pyle.

Damien Sgarbossa, who has completed two tours of Afghanistan, was the youngest to tee off.

Former naval man, Warragul RSL Sub-Branch President Ben Vahland says it was great to see such a cross section of veterans come together.

“One of the other groups had a team with a cook and two tankies and I had another naval veteran and a cook, as well as an army officer. So, different genres of military service, a different makeup of people but it was a great day had by all.”

With the theme “Get Moving” for this year’s Veterans’ Health Week, a day on the greens certainly delivered.

“Walking the course is the first thing, that’s the physical side of it. That’s a bit of a physical challenge, certainly when you get to the end of the course around the 15th, 16th hole you get a bit tired and worn out by that stage. But there’s good opportunity whilst walking around just to have a catchup, too.”

Warragul RSL Sub-Branch President Ben Vahland

Warragul RSL Sub-Branch President Ben Vahland

“One of the positive things we can do for our mental health is to get out and get moving, exercise is sometimes the best medicine for dealing with mental health issues. Get out and enjoy the fresh air and keep moving.”


87-year-old National Serviceman Bill Pyle and Veteran Ben Vahland

87-year-old National Serviceman Bill Pyle and Veteran Ben Vahland

A special trophy was made for the day named after David Rackett, who passed away last year. David was a Royal Australian Air Force veteran who saw service in Morotai. He was a life member of the Warragul RSL Sub-Branch and the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, the highest award of the RSL.

The David Rackett Memorial Trophy was taken out by Gary Blackwood.

“He was elated, but it was an interesting one because we had a tie for first. But what happens in golf is that if there’s a tie you have to count back to previous holes to see who had the best score,” Ben said.

And after an epic day out, they took their raging appetites to the Sub-Branch to finish off with a good old trusty barbeque.