The Omaha Beach Golf Club received high praise after hosting its first New Zealand Long Drive Open on March 25.
The International Golf Association New Zealand (IGANZ) event attracted a number of top players.
IGANZ owner Olna Ford says she is looking forward to bringing the event back to Omaha next year.
“The course is a stunning location, and I’ve never had the quality of support I got there at any other club when organising an event,” she says.
“Omaha became the first course to use sight scope technology to show shots on the big screen for spectators, which was a big success as well.”
Omaha Beach Golf Club general manager Mike Reid says he is thrilled with how the day played out.
“We attracted some strong players and long drive brought in a number of spectators who were not traditional golf watchers,” Reid says.
The alternative golf format attracted a number of people to Omaha Beach Golf Club to see the big hitters.
“Hosting the competition was definitely good for the club. We hope to refine how we deliver it over the next two years.”
Anthony Thomas, from the United States, took out the top prizes after coming first and hitting the longest drive of 346 metres.
He won a $15,000 IGANZ prize package that includes entry into the world championships this year, plus an all-expenses paid trip to play in the Pacific Rim Long Drive Series in Rarotonga.
“This competition is also affiliated with the World Long Drive Association, meaning competitors receive ranking points,” Ford says.
After Thomas, Tyler Barton (US) came second, Chris Andrews (Australia) came third and Alex Robertson (UK) was fourth.
The day before the Long Drive Open, Omaha hosted the New Zealand championship with a play-off between the South Island champion and North Island champion. The winner was North Island champion Alan Stroud.
The club also held its 21st ProAm on March 17 and 18 as part of the Northern Swing series.
Ben Campbell took the top prize of $5400 after shooting 64 and 67. Daniel Pearce came second, four shots behind.
“It was windy conditions for the competition, but the best players came out on top over the two days. Feedback from competitors was once again positive,” Reid says.