Over 786 keen golfers from Otago, Southland and Canterbury teed off to support the 2014 NZ Open and raise funds for a children’s golf charity at the inaugural New Zealand Open Day.
Clubs from all corners of the South Island - from Akaroa to Arrowtown, from Clearwater to Chisolm Park, and from Invercargill to Te Anau - collectively raised $3,320 for The First Tee.
Held concurrently across multiple clubs on Saturday December 7, each player at the events contributed a $5 entry fee on the day which will go towards the charity’s work, embedding core values into Kiwi kids through school and club-based junior golf programmes.
Each club was also given a pair of season tickets to the 2014 NZ Open in Queenstown which it gave away either by a lucky draw or to the winning team on the day.
NZ Open operations and marketing manager Michael Goldstein said the first NZ Open Day was “a huge success” with golfers from the Mainland coming out in force to support The First Tee.
“We’re proud to have The First Tee as a partner to the NZ Open and thank the golfing public for getting behind this valuable charity.”
“During the event there’ll be many other ways people can support the charity and children from the The First Tee will be volunteering and fundraising. “
The NZ Open is not just an opportunity to see some fantastic golf, but also get up close with sporting celebrities and experience the best of Kiwi food, wine and entertainment over four days," he said.
First Tee CEO Vicki Watson said they were “extremely grateful” for the support given by the NZ Open and all the golfers who took part in the day.
“It’s phenomenal to hear that over 786 golfers took part and it’s fantastic that people want to “give back” to Kiwi kids,” she said.
“The monies raised from the NZ Open Day will help us deliver The First Tee school and after-school programmes in each region.
“All monies raised regionally stay in that region and so it’s their local children who’ll directly benefit directly.
“Golf is so much more than a sport. It encourages integrity, sportsmanship, responsibility and perseverance – much needed skills to thrive in life.
“Our mission is to ‘grow great Kiwis through golf’ and we’re really looking forward to expanding our reach to make a difference to communities in Otago, Southland and Canterbury.”
Returning to Queenstown next year, the 2014 New Zealand Open from February 27 –March 2 2014 will be played in a Pro-Am format incorporating 132 professional players and 132 amateur players over the first two days.
Tickets to the NZ Open are on sale now via Ticketek at www.ticketek.co.nz.
About The First Tee
The First Tee runs two initiatives - the National Schools Programmes which exposes all children to the nine core values of responsibility, honesty, confidence, respect, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, judgement and sportsmanship.
Students learn the values through fun golf exercises that help them also grasp the fundamentals of putting, chipping, pitching and the full swing. The First Tee’s second initiative is the certified golf programme, taught at golf clubs and driving ranges, which encourages these nine core values through specially designed PLAYER, PAR, BIRDIE and EAGLE levels. Progress is closely monitored through specific coaching methods by exposing participants to actual playing experiences on the golf course.