Support on course

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Queenstown Golf Club is hoping a new council will secure the future of its popular but under-threat Frankton course. 

And club bosses think a petition to save the nine-holer, containing a whopping 5000 signatures – penned mostly by locals – could be a hot election topic. 

The existing Queenstown Lakes District Council plans to shut down the resort’s oldest golf course when its lease expires in June 2012. The closure is to make way for expansion at the nearby Events Centre. 

Since launching a petition last December, Frankton golf course has recently reached its target of 5000 names – including endorsement from golf’s governing body, The Royal and Ancient, in Scotland. 

Queenstown Golf Club boss Michael Shattock hopes “commonsense will prevail” and the resort’s new elected representatives will ensure the course is saved. 

“We can’t see any benefit of putting hockey and rugby pitches here – they can be built elsewhere,” Shattock says. 

“It’s such a well-utilised facility, you’d think they’d listen to what the public are saying.” 

Meanwhile, the Frankton course has just been approved to run the country’s second First Tee of New Zealand programme. The programme teaches disadvantaged kids moral and social values through golf. 

Bosses of the Auckland-based programme chose Frankton because of its driving range, easy nine-hole course and other services, Shattock says. 

“Our facilities are ideal for youngsters and that really proves it.” 

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