Open looks to birdies to boost charities

Birdies made at one hole during next week’s New Zealand Open will boost the coffers of two charities.

The ‘Birdies for Charities’ initiative sees Craigs Investment Partners donate $200 into a pool any time a birdie, or one-under-par, is recorded — by a pro or amateur — on the Coronet #16, Tournament #15 par-3 across the tournament’s four days.

Money raised will be shared between Cure Kids, which funds research into children’s life-threatening illnesses, and the Western Bay of Plenty’s Acorn Foundation, a community foundation with which Craigs has been a long-term partner.

The foundation plans to funnel the money into its ‘Vital Impact Fund’, which supports charities working in their areas of greatest need.

NZ Open tourney director Michael Glading believes the initiative will give players extra incentive to aim low, and will make for great viewing for the public, who’ll be able to follow the donation tracker on the Open’s website.

"It’s also rewarding for players knowing that they will be ‘giving back’ to Cure Kids and the Acorn Foundation by playing well on that hole."

Craigs’ private wealth and markets head Jeremy Williamson says they came up with the concept by leveraging ‘golf for good’.

"Birdies for Charities is an amazing way for all NZ Open competitors to feel that they can contribute to supporting some excellent charities by doing what they love.

"We look forward to seeing lots of putts drop and that birdie count rising throughout the NZ Open."

The tourney tees off next Thursday, at Millbrook Resort, and runs through till next Sunday.