In 1989, the Ukrainian Golf Association of America (UGAA)
was founded in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and was the beginning
of golf outings around the USA in Myrtle Beach, Florida, Arizona,
and others. Through ads in the Ukrainian Weekly newspaper,
golfing Ukrainian counterparts from Australia, as headed by
Ron Shymko, contacted UGAA President Roman Luzniak and suggested
a little competition. A joint venture was organized with 33
participants and the first Australia vs. USA Challenge was
held in October 1993 at Kapalua on Maui.
Since Australia won that first Challenge, and with it the
trophy, an intricately carved wooden pineapple, (made in Ukraine),
the honour to host the next Challenge also went to Australia.
This time, held at Yarrawonga, Australia in January 1996,
the Americans stood above the expanded field of 53 golfers
and came away as victors capturing a 3000 year old prize from
The competition then returned to the USA for a third Challenge,
on this occasion hosted at Ft. Lauderdale in October 1998.
Competitors from Canada and Great Britain joined the Americans
and Australians and the Ukrainian World Golf Challenge was
born. In Florida the numbers grew further with 74 competitors
and over 100 participants. The Australians came from behind
on the last day to capture victory; the Brits offered to host
the next competition.
In May 2001, the Ukrainian golfing community assembled in
even greater numbers with over 150 participants, this time
in Marbella, Spain for the 2nd World Golf Challenge and to
take in the Mediterranean splendour. There were 94 golfers
including a new fledgling team of 5 from Germany who combined
with Great Britain thus establishing Team Europe. At this
tournament, Canada led the way for the first 3 days but Australia
took it away with great play on the final round. And again
the Awards Banquet echoed with a resounding performance of
"Waltzing Matilda" from the repeating World Champions. After
the location was kept secret for 2 days, Roman "El Chico"
Luzniak, as the next host, had the privilege of announcing
the venue for the 10th Anniversary Challenge at the Awards
Banquet. It would return to where it all started in Hawaii.
The Ukrainian World Golf Challenge is a non-partisan, non-political,
non-religious Ukrainian event. The real winners are all the
people spanning from 17 to beyond 77 years of age who attended
the tournaments. Both players and non-players alike enjoyed
the weeklong camaraderie of their fellow participants. The
tournament provides a unique opportunity to come together
with Ukrainians of many backgrounds, from many countries and
to establish, as well as renew and reinforce long distance