Gulf Harbour Country Club is gearing up for what director of golf and NZ PGA member Frazer Bond says is the biggest event since the club hosted the NZ Open in 2006.
The Pro Am tournament, to be held on March 30, gives amateur golfers the chance to play alongside some of the country’s top PGA professionals.
Frazer says this is something that is rarely, if ever, possible in other sports. The handicap system means that a weekend golfer can play alongside and compete with the world’s best on an even footing.
Teams of three amateur players each choose which professional they want to play with.
The lineup includes former NZ number one, Mike Hendry, who recently came second in the Australian Open, well-known Kiwi golfer Mark Brown, high performance amateur Luke Brown who recently turned professional – and Frazer himself.
Frazer says the popularity of the Pro Am has taken the club a bit by surprise – 40 professionals and 15 amateur teams are already registered. The amateurs pay $200 each for the privilege and Frazer says while there’s plenty of fun and bragging rights to be had, it is also about watching and learning from people who have made a career out of golf.
There is prize money of $11,000 up for grabs, along with a hole-in-one prize of a golf cart valued at $8000.
Frazer says the club hopes to build up the number of these types of events it hosts.
The public is welcome to check out the action during the day, as several holes can be seen from the clubhouse, but Frazer says care needs to be taken by spectators as there will be a lot of activity around the area.
Update: Gulf Harbour Pro-Am postponed
The biggest event that Gulf Harbour Country Club has hosted since 2006, the Pro Am Tournament (HM March 18), has been postponed until later this year. It was expected to draw around 100 players to the golf course. Director of Golf Frazer Bond says 300 players in around eight corporate groups have also cancelled their games at the club in the upcoming months.