GOLF

World amateur Number One Lydia Ko will be giving tips at a Saturday (March 31) morning golf clinic for aspiring golfers World amateur Number One Lydia Ko will be giving tips at a Saturday (March 31) morning golf clinic for aspiring golfers CREDIT: Southern Public Relations
View of The 19th area at The Hills golf course (front) showing the SNAG golf area to the rear View of The 19th area at The Hills golf course (front) showing the SNAG golf area to the rear CREDIT: Southern Public Relations

Entertainment galore and family fun at the NZPGA Pro-Am at The Hills

Thursday 22 March 2012, 10:46AM
By Southern Public Relations
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QUEENSTOWN

A family friendly arena of entertainment, food and wine, 'The 19th' at the NZPGA Pro-Am event at the stunning Hills golf course will be THE place to be at the end of this month.

While golf enthusiasts and sports fans will already have March 29 to April 1 etched in their diary as a 'must do' on the events calendar, everyone is being encouraged to enjoy what promises to be simply a great day out.

At just $20 for a day ticket, $55 for a four-day pass and with children 15 and under going free, Tournament Director Michael Glading said the event was "superb value" for locals and visitors from Queenstown, Arrowtown and surrounding districts.

Parking is just $10 a day or there will be a regular bus service running to and from Arrowtown and Queenstown and The Hills.

Not only will spectators have a rare chance to walk around the exclusive Hills course, admiring world-class golfing action, professional and amateur rivalry and magnificent golf course and mountain scenery from a number of vantage points, but they can be wined, dined and thoroughly entertained at The 19th.

As golfers and golf 'widows' know, 'The 19th' is the accepted euphemism for going for a drink at the clubhouse after 18 holes.

And while it does have a bar, 'The 19th' at The Hills is much more than that - a 'one-stop-shop' entertainment centre tucked into a secluded natural amphitheatre that will also offer a wonderful array of activities, games and competitions.

Easily found by following brightly-coloured flags to its entrance, children will love the bouncy castle and Patagonia ice creams (hopefully not together) while adults can indulge at a number of local food and wine stalls.

Food delights on offer will come from Provisions of Arrowtown to Fresh Fish Brothers and Francesca Pizza, while other stalls include some of Central Otago's most celebrated local vineyards Waitiri Creek, Northburn, Wild Earth, Akarua and Valli. There's award-winning cheese to go with your drop of vino from Gibbston Valley Wine & Cheeses, and coffee of course for those who need their caffeine fix. Gourmet pies and BBQ's will fix any hunger pangs.

The eforea: Spa at Hilton will be bringing a touch of luxury and pampering to the event, with its superbly appointed, custom-built pavilion brought to spectators by major NZPGA sponsor Hilton Queenstown.

For the more adventurous, Milford Track Guided Walk, another key sponsor, is offering exclusive guided walks to the 15th tee, a spectacular area normally closed off to the public. Daily bookings are essential at the Milford Track Guided Walk marquee at The 19th.

Art lovers will also be entertained at The 19th and around the course, with sculptures and works by celebrated sculptor Mark Hill and others adding to the landscape.

For all aspiring golfers, children and adults, SNAG - Starting New At Golf - is set up alongside the 19th, and is a fun and easy way to learn golf basics. Endorsed and encouraged by the legendary Sir Bob Charles, SNAG uses modified golf equipment - large and small - to teach entry level golfers while having loads of fun.

Best of all it's free, and according to organisers "anyone who can stand, can snag."

First Tee - a charitable international organisation supporting young golfers - also provides expert golfing tuition and will be set up at The Hills. First Tee is also supporting a Saturday morning golfing clinic with teenage golf sensation and world amateur Number One Lydia Ko.

Golfers of any age can brush up on their golfing skills under the expert guidance of some of the NZPGA pros, with all donations going to the charity.

Finally return to The 19th Bar, a perfect spot to relax and watch the results of the NZPGA on the score board. Look out for the mobile TAB, taking punts on competitions over all four days of the tournament.

Gourmet food-lovers also have a chance to enjoy an exquisite dinner with celebrity Masterchef Josh Emett at The Hills for two evenings, Thursday and Friday March 29 and 30. Tickets for his six-course menu matched with award winning Central Otago wines are $225 per person and numbers are limited.