The call has gone out for caddies to take part in the 2013 NZPGA Championship at the magnificent The Hills golf course in Queenstown late next month.
Over 120 caddies are needed in total for the four-day PGA Tour of Australasia tournament, which runs from Thursday February 28 to Sunday March 3.
Organisers are on the lookout for two sets of caddies -- approximately 80 are needed for the professional golfers in the line-up, plus another 40 who are keen to caddy over the weekend for the amateur players.
Caddy Master and golf professional Andrew Whiley said about 50 keen caddies had already signed up for the event, many of those returning from the previous year because they “loved the experience”.
“As this is now a PGA Tour of Australasia Tier 1 tournament thanks to increased financial support from the Government and major sponsors, all players will need a caddy compared to last year’s event which was a Tier 2 tournament, where players are allowed to carry their own bags or use a trundler,” he said.
“Some players will no doubt bring their own caddy or a friend to caddy as Queenstown is a town everyone wants to visit.
“We’re looking for people who ideally have some golf knowledge as that’s valuable, but also they’ve simply got to have the ability to keep up, be fit and able to carry a tour bag around the course and know when to shut up!
“Caddying is as close as you can get to the heat of the competition, being part of the event and ‘inside the ropes’ at a professional sports event of this calibre.”
Mr Whiley, golf pro at Chisholm Park Golf Club in Dunedin, said while many golf club members from around the country contacted him directly about being involved in the event, last year’s event had attracted caddies aged from 16 to 60 from a wide range of backgrounds.
The length of time required for the role depends on whether someone is caddying for a pro or an amateur. Pro caddies will need to be at The Hills from Tuesday February 26 as most players will want to get a couple of practice rounds in. Caddies do receive payment depending on how well the player plays and if the Pro makes the cut. On average most caddies at last year’s event received $50 per day and usually end up with some extra golf balls.
While more players are yet to be announced, the line-up of golfing greats already includes renowned US golfer Hale Irwin, Japan’s Toshinori Muto, currently ranked 103 in the world, top Australian golfer Brendan Jones, and Kiwi golfer and title-holder Michael Hendry.
The list of ‘celebrities’ includes flamboyant English cricket star Sir Ian Botham, teen golf sensation Lydia Ko, world and Olympic rowing champion Mahe Drysdale, golfing legend sir Bob Charles, TV personality and ex cricketer Mark Richardson, and former All Black Justin Marshall and his Aussie rugby rivals Nick Farr-Jones and George Gregan.
Tickets are now on sale and are just $55 for the season (all four days), or $20 a day for Thursday and Friday, and $30 a day Saturday or Sunday. Children aged 10 to 17 are $15 for Saturday only (free all other days), and youngsters under 10 are free of charge.
A Saturday evening concert, free to ticket holders, will showcase the talents of Kiwi songbird Jamie McDell and talented local band The Lynch Mob. Entertainment area The 19th will feature an extensive array of regional food, wine, merchandise and daily entertainment.
Prospective caddies are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information on the event go to www.pgachampionship.co.nz
The Tournament Format: NZ PGA Championship
Up to 132 professionals will tee up on Thursday February 28th, 2013 with the top 68 professionals making the cut on the Friday progressing through to the weekend to play for the NZ PGA Championship.
A field of 68 Amateurs (friends, sponsors, celebrities) will play a seeding tournament on Friday 1st March at Millbrook. Following this each amateur will be placed with a professional and that pair will play as a two-ball, best-ball team on the Saturday and Sunday for the NZ PGA Championship pro-am title.
The Course: The Hills
In its stunning amphitheatre encircled by the Remarkables Mountains, with 180 degree views taking in Coronet Peak and the Crown Range, The Hills has the x-factor as a tournament golf course.
Designed by Darby Partners, the course was initially Michael Hill’s own private golf course. Set over 500 acres of former deer farm land close to Arrowtown, Central Otago, it is home to an incredible array of flora including native brown top grasses and wild native mountain tussocks.
Another unique element of the course is a significant sculpture park that links outdoor art pieces into the course design, creating a magical playing environment.
The Hills is proud to have hosted three consecutive New Zealand Open Championships since opening in 2007 and is now the home of the NZ PGA Championship.
The Location: Queenstown
With mountain peaks as far as the eye can see, shimmering lakes and crisp alpine air, Queenstown is quite simply a place of pure inspiration. It’s also a golf lover paradise.
With six stunning golf courses all within 25 minutes’ drive of the town centre, Queenstown is fast gaining a reputation as an internationally renowned golf destination. Choices range from the immaculately groomed greens of resort courses to breathtaking fairways with rugged mountain peaks as a backdrop.
Golf facilities are world-class and there’s plenty of variety between The Hills, Millbrook Resort, Jack’s Point, Arrowtown Golf Club, Queenstown Golf Club at Kelvin Heights, and the Frankton Driving Range and Golf Course.
A range of different courses means no two rounds need be the same and a week-long trip can be both technically challenging and fun. Tailored tours and packages cater for the solo golfer right through to larger groups. Every style and level of golfer will be well looked after.