Expansion plans for the New Zealand PGA Pro-Am golf championship at Arrowtown’s The Hills course are on hold.
Organising committee chairman and former All Blacks coach John Hart stated after this year’s first pro-am that next year’s tournament would be held over two or three Wakatipu courses – Millbrook Resort and/or Jack’s Point as well as The Hills.
However, tournament director Michael Glading (right) says after a thorough debrief it’s been decided to retain the one-course format.
The other two courses are now likely to come on board in 2014, Auckland-based Glading says.
“In broad terms, our findings were that the event was considered a considerable success.
“We found a lot of little things that we could improve on and that probably led us to a point where we felt we should repeat the dose next year before looking to go to the three-course model.”
The Hills tournament’s pro-am format – pairing pros with 64 amateurs and celebrities over two days – is based on Scotland’s Alfred Dunhill Links and California’s AT&T Pebble Beach.
Glading: “I need to learn more about what does happen with the likes of Dunhill and AT&T, how they treat those other two courses.
“Certainly, in terms of TV, communications and volunteers, those are three areas where you really need to get it right.”
While going to three courses will be a quantum leap, Glading says there’s some frustration it won’t happen next year.
“Out of the amateurs that played this year, everyone bar one said they want to come back and a number said they wanted to bring more people next year. Our biggest frustration is that we’re going to have unsatisfied demand,” Glading says.
“But it’s a much better problem than having people who turned up this year saying, ‘Not sure I’ll come back’.”
Among a number of tweaks for next year are two major challenges, Glading says – getting more people through the gate and probably resiting The 19th entertainment village to make it more accessible.
Glading – who’s just been re-engaged as director – is confident of continuing Government and corporate support.
Next year’s tournament – a month earlier, between February 28-March 3 – will benefit organisationally from a much longer lead-in, he adds.
“This year we were doing things on the fly,” Glading says.
There are no comments on this article.
Have your say
You will need to register or login before you can post a comment.