Otago Polytechnic’s golf tournament fundraiser held at the Cromwell Golf Club last Sunday (13 December) was such a success it looks set to become an annual event.
Thirty-eight teams (152 people) from Auckland, Dunedin, Roxburgh, Cromwell, Wanaka, Tarras, Queenstown, and Arrowtown participated in the ‘Ambrose’ tournament which raised $7,000 for Otago Polytechnic’s Sports Turf Management students.
The money completes Otago Polytechnic’s year-long campaign to raise money to buy new sports turf training resources for its students.
It was a proud moment for staff and students as Sports Turf Management Programme Manager Gary Smith handed over the $141,000 cheque to John Deere and took possession of a $47,000 top-of-the-line John Deere greens mower, Outfront Rotary Mower, Professional Utility Mower and a Walk Behind Greensmower.
A local Cromwell team (N. Boulton, K. Boulton, H. Smith, M. Tabe) took tournament top honours with a net score of 55.5. The Millbrook team (L. Strang, L. Smith, A.Guiri, B. Lindsay) was a close second with 56 and another Cromwell team (B. Poarus, R. Steentj, L. Middlemass, B, Fahey) took third with a net score of 56.3.
The shot of the day went to Cory Finn from The Hills Golf Club who nearly hit a hole-in-one on the number 3 green.
The Millbrook Greenkeepers team won the inaugural ‘Greenkeepers Log of Wood Golf Challenge’ trophy. The trophy was donated by Gary Smith and aims to provide networking and social opportunities for local greenkeepers and encourage them to try different golf courses.
Greenkeepers within the Central Otago/Lakes District area can challenge for the trophy any time of the year, but must abide by rules set by the current trophy holders. The Hills Greenkeepers have already thrown down the gauntlet to Millbrook for the first trophy challenge.
Gary Smith says there was plenty of fun and Christmas cheer on and off the golf course, particularly at the auction.
“The Santa Sack raffle raised $1,000 and the Peter Calder D&E auction also raised $1,000. Builders, plumbers and electricians donated free labour for that one and there were plenty of laughs when a local builder bid for free labour from one of the other local builders.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the huge turnout and support we received, particularly from Cromwell, Queenstown and Wanaka locals and businesses,” says Gary.
“A real highlight for me was that 20 former students came and played in teams to support the tournament. It was great to catch up with them and find out how well they’re doing out in the industry.
“Everyone’s keen for us to run the tournament again next year. We’ve had great support from our sponsors - particularly the team at John Deere who have been so generous - and several businesses have already been in touch to find out how they can get involved next year.”