Keen golf enthusiasts and those who want to be a part of the action are encouraged to put their hands up as volunteers for the 2014 New Zealand Open.
The NZ Open tournament, a tier one event on the PGA Tour of Australasia, will be held from February 27 to March 2 2014 at The Hills golf course and Millbrook Golf Resort in Queenstown.
The growth in tournament size with Millbrook co-hosting the event for the first time has prompted the need for up to 500 volunteers over the first two days of the four-day tournament.
NZ Open Tournament Director Michael Glading said the success and delivery of the 2014 event was dependent on volunteer assistance, particularly in view of the expanded tournament format.
“With the new format we need the support of even more volunteers than in previous years,” said Mr Glading.
“You don’t have to be a golf lover to be a volunteer, though that does help. We’re looking for anyone from across New Zealand with enthusiasm, motivation, passion and who are willing to give their time and energy to support this great event while having lots of fun,” Mr Glading said.
Tournament organisers are looking for volunteers to either assist for either the entire four days of the event or for just the two days (Thursday and Friday) at Millbrook, leaving time to watch the final two days play at The Hills.
Last year volunteers came from as far away as Auckland, Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin and Ashburton as well as one die-hard golf fan who planned a family trip from Australia to coincide with the event.
This year’s event will require the work of an army of volunteers to carry out roles such as carrying scorecards, marshaling on course, ‘ball spotting’, overseeing the leader board, walker scorers, inputting data in the media centre or working as a shuttle driver.
Organisers are encouraging national golf clubs and other community groups to bring a group of members together to “adopt a hole” to marshal.
Keen golfer Sue McFarlane of Christchurch is once again organising the volunteer brigade and said she had already received enquiries from people who had volunteered at previous events or missed out on places.
“I can’t think of anywhere better in the world to spend four days of your time. The scenery is spectacular and the atmosphere of the whole event is one of camaraderie and fun,” she said.
“Because the event has grown we’ll need around 500 volunteers next year which is considerably more than for 2013, so I’d encourage anyone who’s interested to get in touch.
“It’s a great chance to get together a group of friends, family or club members for a long-weekend trip to Queenstown and enjoy what will be one of the country’s best sporting events.”
Volunteers are asked for a minimum commitment of six hours on any given day, and in return will benefit from free tournament admission and parking, a commemorative shirt and cap, lunch each day, and a special ‘thank you’ function on the Saturday night.
Those who volunteer for four days will receive a complimentary round of golf at either The Hills or Millbrook and two day volunteers a complimentary round of golf at Millbrook.
“An interest in or knowledge of golf is helpful, but not actually essential to all roles,” said Mrs McFarlane.
“As well as people on the course we’re looking for people to do things like drive courtesy cars, and these roles would be ideally suited to Queenstown locals who know the area.”
Prospective volunteers can register their interest by identifying two positions of interest and forwarding their details via email, along with name, a contact phone no, Club ID, shirt size and number of days they are available to assist to Sue McFarlane at firstname.lastname@example.org.