Otago preparing to host three legends events

Geoff Smart.
Geoff Smart.
Otago will host a swing of a legends tour through the country planned for next February.

Tournaments are scheduled for Wanaka, North Otago and Chisholm Park, all in the space of five days,

as part of a New Zealand tour which will take place over three weeks.There will be two days of play at Wanaka Golf Club, a day of play at North Otago Golf Club and two days of play at Chisholm Park.

New Zealand PGA national events manager Geoff Smart said the tournaments were scattered around New Zealand and were part of a booming legends circuit in Australia and New Zealand.

Australia had 85 events and wanted more so New Zealand had only limited dates. He could squeeze 16 days of golf into under three weeks.

Legends tours are for players aged 50 or over and most tournaments on the tours are played in a pro-am format.

Wanaka Golf Club professional Alan Rose said the  club would have two days of play. An Australian-New Zealand match was set for February 22.

Known as the Nagle-Charles challenge, it would feature up to 10 golfers from each country in an 18-hole matchplay event.

A pro-am would be held the following day and he hoped every group would include two professionals and two amateurs. Amateurs would play in a stableford format while the professionals would play in a strokeplay event.

The tour would then move to the North Otago Golf Club, just outside Oamaru, for a one-day strokeplay tournament on Saturday.

Rose said the club was looking forward to hosting the event and he was confident it would get good support from players and spectators.

There had been good financial support for the event and it was definitely going ahead.

No-one at the North Otago club could be contacted.

The tournaments in Wanaka and North Otago will have prize money of more than $10,000 while it is planned to have double that at the Chisholm Park tournament.

A pro-am for legends players has been played at Tokarahi in North Otago over the past three years. Smart said the small club had decided not to  go ahead with the tournament this year and other clubs in the region had put their hand up.

In all, 10 events are scheduled for the New Zealand tour, starting off with a legends three-day event in Wainui and Gulf Harbour, north of Auckland.

Smart said all events had to be confirmed to the NZPGA with finance secured by the end of October to go ahead.

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