First pre-qualifying events this month

The countdown is almost over for golfers hoping to play in the New Zealand Open Championship near Queenstown.

The National Open is at The Hills Golf Club and Millbrook from February 27 to March 2, and holds a purse of $900,000.

Elite professionals and amateurs can play for a spot in the New Zealand Open with the first stage pre-qualifying events taking place nationwide on January 28.

Royal Auckland, Paraparaumu Beach, Wellington, and Shirley, Christchurch, which are traditional Open venues, and Chisholm Park, Dunedin, will host one-round first-stage pre-qualifying events.

This will give aspiring golfers a rare chance to play in the New Zealand Open.

A total of 25 spaces in the final qualifying tournaments will be up for grabs at the first-stage qualifying venues.

The final stage of qualifying will be held at the Omaha Golf Club and Cromwell Golf Club on February 24 and February 25 respectively.

Ten spaces in the final New Zealand Open field will be played for at the final qualifying tournaments.