Local Vogel’s dreams come true - PGA of Australia

Local Vogel’s dreams come true

PGA Membership Pathway Program Associate Steffi Vogel is living her dream for a second straight year in the TPS Murray River event at Cobram Barooga Golf Club this week.

Vogel has been an Associate Professional for the past three years at the club she grew up playing golf at and having the chance to tee it up in the second leg of the mixed-gender Webex Players Series on her home course has her over the moon.

“It was like a dream come true having the event come here again,” Vogel said. “I’ve always practised and thought ‘imagine there being a professional tournament here’ so to be able to have it is unreal. The rest of the club is buzzing too.”

The 24-year-old started swinging a club at a young age courtesy of her father Terry who was an elite amateur golfer and is now superintendent at Cobram Barooga after being a greenskeeper at the club where he is a 20-time club champion for more than 30 years.

“Born and bred here. Been here my whole life,” Vogel said.

“Started playing here years ago. I’ve probably had a handicap since I was ten and played a bit before that as well.

“Dad used to play in the high-level amateur events like the Interstate Series and we used to come out with Dad while he was practising. I used to fiddle around while he was hitting balls.

“My sister and I would slide down the face of the bunkers and all sorts of stuff. I eventually picked a club up and started doing juniors clinics and went from there.”

As she rose through the junior and amateur ranks, Vogel followed in her father’s footsteps by playing in the Interstate Series for Victoria in 2018 and 2019, and not long after she took the professional plunge.

She enrolled in the PGA Membership Pathway Program to gain varied and valuable training within golf and took to her studies like a duck to water.

Vogel’s week consists of practice on Monday and Tuesday, then anywhere from eight to 12 hours per day for the remainder of the week in the pro shop conducting lessons, coaching junior clinics and heading out for more practice on a Sunday afternoon.

At the 2021 Victorian PGA Associate Graduation & Awards Dinner, she won the Leading Victorian/Tasmanian Academic Award and the 2020 Victorian PGA Trainee of the Year award.

Now, she is eager to add some a strong showing on the course to her impressive resume.

“This week I just want to do better than last year. I didn’t make the cut,” Vogel said.

“So, I really, really want to make the cut and play all four days. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Last season Vogel played each of the four Webex Players Series event as well as the Vic Open, and she has confirmed that same schedule again for this WPGA Tour of Australasia season plus the Women’s NSW Open and the Australian Ladies Classic.

She missed the cut at last week’s TPS Victoria but feels as if she is has already made significant strides forward.

“It’s been a great experience for me. I struggled a little bit last year. I didn’t really know what to expect. This year I feel a bit more comfortable,” Vogel said.

It is no surprise that this week’s familiar surrounds are helping her to feel more settled, but despite knowing Cobram Barooga’s Old Course like the back of her hand, Vogel is keeping her tactics very simple.

“I’m lucky that I’m quite accurate off the tee because the rough is quite thick out there at the moment,” she said. “The person who wins this week is going to have to hit it straight off the tee. Keeping it on the fairway is my game plan.”

Whatever numbers go on her scorecard, playing golf at home has always been about family and friends for the Vogels and the coming days will be no different.

“The members, my friends and family have always been really supportive of me so it’s going to be great to see some of them out there watching me,” Vogel said.

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