Fancy golf round at Eden Park?

Eastern Courier - - OUT & ABOUT - JACK­SON THOMAS

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.