Fancy golf round at Eden Park?
The spiritual home of New Zealand rugby, Eden Park, is being turned into a golfer’s paradise.
This coming November, 1800 players will get the chance to tee off from nine locations around a stadium golf course set up at the famous ground, as part of the inaugural ASB G9 event.
As a grand finale, the golfers will get to play the final hole inside the changing rooms traditionally used by the All Blacks, Blues and Auckland.
Registered teams of four will be given 90 minutes to complete the course with scores tallied on how close each ball gets to the hole. Golf balls will be hit from various heights and distances, from the grandstands onto the main field.
All Blacks legend Grant Fox, who’s son and golfer Ryan Fox is currently ranked 102 in the world, officially launched the event by teeing off onto a ground he first played on as a young schoolboy back in 1975.
Fox, of Beachlands, says he never thought he would be back at Eden Park hitting golf balls from the spectator stands.
‘‘I think the concept is unique and fast paced,’’ the All Blacks selector says.
The addition of the changing room putt was a key feature of the course also, he says.
‘‘It’s about 10 times bigger in there nowadays.
‘‘When I played, the thing would get smaller with every coat of paint, but I think people will love the long flat surface.’’
Eden Park commercial general manager Nicholas Sautner says the concept is an ‘‘exciting first’’ for major stadiums in New Zealand and he hopes to expand on the idea going forward.
The event will run for five days from November 1 and general public sales will be available from 10am on August 24.
Players are able to bring their own golf clubs, however, they will be restricted to only an 8-iron, 9-iron, wedge and putter.
The world-famous venue is owned by the Eden Park Trust Board.
Traditionally, November is a down period for the international sports and event stadium and Saunter hopes the G9 could help keep the facility busy during that period.
Golf Warehouse chief executive Rhys Bishop says there is sometimes a perception that golf is too slow and he hopes that the new quick-paced format would attract new players to give the game a go.