Justin Speirani picked up his first golf club when he was 15 and has been obsessed with the game ever since.
He prides himself on his strong short game, which gave him the competitive edge needed to launch his professional golfing career back in 1990.
‘‘I’ve certainly been lucky to have a good short game and a good putter. It makes it a little bit easier to drive the ball straighter these days,’’ he said.
Speirani has worked as the director of golf at the Cobram Barooga golf club for the past 15 years, where he has hosted tournaments and encourages community members to share his love of the game.
‘‘The club is probably the major tourist attraction for Cobram and Barooga,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s an enjoyable place to work and has two great golf courses.’’
The club has 36 holes and two championship standard golf courses on which regular tournaments are held.
The club’s most popular course is known to locals as ‘the old golf course’, but Speirani said there was a special place in his heart for the less popular west golf course.
‘‘I think the west course is the most undervalued golf course in the collection of courses on the Murray,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a longer golf course with wider fairways and it’s the type of course I prefer to play. There’s no weak holes out there — it’s just a really good golf course.’’
The old golf course is slightly shorter, narrower, with smaller greens and narrower fairways, but is the higher rated and more iconic of the two courses.
‘‘It’s more well known because it’s the original course. It’s always known as ‘the’ old golf course. You go to Cobram to play ‘the’ old golf course.
‘‘They’re both beautiful courses and I love working here.’’