Entertainment at this year’s NZPGA Championship is shaping up to hit the mark with headline musicians, award-winning Central Otago wine and food, and fun activities for all on the menu.
The NZ PGA Championship is being held at New Zealand’s magnificent The Hills golf course near Queenstown from Thursday February 28 to Sunday March 3.
Tournament Director Michael Glading said the concept of the ‘19th Hole’ was well-accepted in golfing circles and was being taken to “a whole new level” for the second NZ PGA Championship.
“We trialled ‘The 19th’ last year, and taking on board what we learned from that we’ve moved it to a fantastic new location, and have very much “upped the ante” of the traditional 19th so it’s no longer just a beer at the clubhouse for players, ” he said.
“It will be an entertainment attraction in its own right, providing a relaxing and enjoyable family-friendly area in the perfect location on the course, with plenty of space to sit back and enjoy the scenery and plenty to do.”
For a ‘golf with a difference’ experience, Queenstown’s Over The Top helicopters will whisk guests to its mountain-top Extreme Golf Tee. Guests lift off for a birds’ eye view of the course to helicopter to the ultimate golf experience – having a mile high golf swing using the latest drivers and eco balls followed by a glass of champagne before returning to The Hills.
The 19th will be sited on the members' driving range, a central location right in the middle of the action.
Operating for all four days of the tournament, The 19th will feature wine from Waitiri Creek, Amisfield, Northburn, Akarua, Valli, Wild Earth and Gibbston Valley Wines, complementing food from Francesca Pizza, Waitiri Creek Pies, Wild Earth Gourmet BBQ and Devil Burger, to name but a few.
Two on-course bars – one at The 19th and the other at the ‘party hole’ 15th -- will be sponsored by Moa Beer, an award-winning Marlborough-based brew that was recently the official beer for New Zealand at the London Olympics.
Moa Marketing Manager Sunil Unka said Moa was “rapt” to secure another top tier sporting sponsorship following its support of the NZ Olympic team.
“As a super premium product, the NZ PGA Championship, and in fact all golf clubs, are the perfect environment to enjoy Moa,” he said.
“We’ve organised some fantastic competitions alongside the event, among others targeting golf clubs around New Zealand that stock Moa, with the ultimate prize giving one lucky golfer the chance to join the Moa Team to compete in the NZ PGA Challenge tournament.”
Mr Unka said Moa was “working hard” with the NZ PGA team to attract Queenstown locals and hopefully a new-untapped audience to golf.
“The on-course bars and activity should be like nothing ever seen at the golf before with plenty to entertain the golf enthusiast as well as those just looking for a great day out, promising to be a damn good time!” he said.
Mr Glading said it was “fantastic” to have a New Zealand-brewed beer as the NZ PGA’s official provider.
“That’s not only because of the exceptional quality of the beer, but also because it’s a New Zealand brew and one that has already established a great connection with New Zealand sports.”
Organisers have just announced details of a 'Saturday at the Hills - Hamper Package', which includes four Saturday tickets for the NZ PGA, four souvenir NZ PGA wine glasses, and a local wine and cheese hamper for $200.
Anyone who buys a Hamper Package on Ticketek before February 9 will go into a draw to win four tickets to the VIP area during the Saturday night open air concert featuring up-and-coming Kiwi singer songwriter Jamie McDell and local band The Lynch Mob.
Mr Glading said that while play from top-notch golf professionals and celebrities would be the major drawcard for many, there was also a focus on making The 19th a ‘must-attend’ event on the local summer calendar in its own right.
“The combination of beautiful late summer weather, a stunning location, great sporting action, the opportunity to wander the course and admire Sir Michael Hill’s amazing sculpture collection, The 19th, music, food and wine has to be a winning combination,” he said.
“It’s a hugely attractive day or two out for visitors or locals who don’t necessarily watch or participate in golf, and our aim is to see the NZ PGA Championship feature right up there with the best of the all-day sporting events, and the best of the region’s food and wine festivals over summer.”
Tickets 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. Entry to The 19th, all stalls and tents and the music concert is free to ticket holders.
For further information on the Championship or to purchase tickets go to www.pgachampionship.co.nz or www.ticketek.co.nz
Travel packages can also be booked through the NZ PGA site.
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 360 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.