New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENTS - WORDS MIKE GODINET

Be­ing held the week af­ter the NZ Open at Pe­ga­sus Golf & Coun­try Club.

Both events have co-sanc­tion­ing with the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Aus­trala­sia so a field of top qual­ity pro­fes­sion­als is as­sured at Pe­ga­sus at a time when in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment golf will have a high pro­file in New Zealand.

The Pe­ga­sus Golf & Sports Club is si­t­u­ated 20 min­utes north of Christchurch in the fast - grow­ing North Can­ter­bury area. Oc­cu­py­ing an area of 80 hectares and form­ing a land­mark en­trance­way to the town of Pe­ga­sus, it’s just a quick 3 minute drive to the beach and within walk­ing dis­tance of the town cen­tre.

Pe­ga­sus Town is planned around a beau­ti­ful 14 hectare lake and sits along­side the Tū­taepatu La­goon a spring-fed 49 ha la­goon and con­structed wet­lands within the 575 ha Tūhaitara Coastal Park (be­tween the Waimakariri River mouth and Waikuku). It feeds a coastal fresh­wa­ter sys­tem that runs the en­tire length of the park and is home to a di­verse range of species in­clud­ing fish such as mud­fish, in­aka (white­bait), eel and birds such as bittern, banded dot­terels, black-fronted dot­terel and wry­bill.

Along with its prox­im­ity to the beach at Pe­ga­sus Bay, liv­ing in Pe­ga­sus means an ac­tive life­style of golf, swim­ming, bik­ing, walk­ing and beach life that has at­tracted many peo­ple north from Christchurch. Its res­i­dents are a mix of re­tirees, busi­ness own­ers, pro­fes­sion­als and younger fam­i­lies so a typ­i­cal New Zealand town in a rich ru­ral area.

The Par 72 Pe­ga­sus golf course presents bunkers, lakes and ar­eas of nat­u­ral wet­land at vary­ing dis­tances from the tees. Al­ter­nate lines of play and greens of vary­ing size and un­du­la­tion de­mand the use of a care­fully con­sid­ered game strat­egy as well as a re­liance on ac­cu­racy of shots. Clev­erly de­signed by Kris­tine Kerr, it is a true 'risk and re­ward' golf course. No stranger to ‘big time tour­na­ment golf’, the Pe­ga­sus Golf & Sports Club has hosted the NZ Women’s Opens in 2010. 2011 and 2012 that at that time the tour­na­ments were co-sanc­tioned with the Ladies Euro­pean Tour. mak­ing each the rich­est women's sport­ing events in New Zealand.

The golf club has an all­weather driv­ing range and grass prac­tice fa­cil­i­ties un­der cover, 2 prac­tise greens and a bunker and short game prac­tice area to ac­com­mo­date the many users that the club at­tracts from its mem­bers and the many vis­i­tors from around the North Can­ter­bury area and from those many golfers that make the short drive up from Christchurch.

The Pe­ga­sus Golf & Sports Club has en­joyed an ex­traor­di­nary growth in mem­ber­ship, from just over 292 mem­bers in 2014 to now have 505 mem­bers and the strength of the mem­ber­ship is even more im­pres­sive by the fact that the av­er­age age of its mem­ber­ship is just over 40 years old as op­posed to the na­tional av­er­age of 60 years plus. There are 87 'ju­nior mem­bers' as well to build on the num­bers and en­sure that the club stays strong and suc­cess­ful into the fu­ture.

The Pe­ga­sus 'in­ter club' teams have suf­fi­cient strength to chal­lenge in all the top met­ro­pol­i­tan grades that are avail­able in the greater Christchurch area com­pe­ti­tions. The top men's team made the semi-fi­nals of the Wood­ward Cup in their first year in the com­pe­ti­tion and the top women’s Pe­ga­sus team also made the top 4 in the Pol­lack Cup.

The Pe­ga­sus Golf & Sports Club is owned by Sports and Ed­u­ca­tion Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd (SEC). SEC is a man­age­ment com­pany that owns var­i­ous brands in in­ter­na­tional sports and ed­u­ca­tion sec­tors. The com­pany is ded­i­cated to pro­mote New Zealand dis­tinc­tive sports and in­ter­na­tional ed­u­ca­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties to Asia, es­pe­cially to China, through de­sign­ing high qual­ity train­ing cour­ses to at­tract in­ter­na­tional stu­dents to New Zealand. The SEC ob­jec­tives from the event are about rais­ing their pro­file in New Zealand and Asia, es­pe­cially in China and pro­fil­ing the Pe­ga­sus Golf & Sports Club with an eye on de­vel­op­ing ed­u­ca­tional and golf ac­tiv­ity at Pe­ga­sus

SEC have a ho­tel and a golf ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­ity planned for Pe­ga­sus.

The NZPGA Cham­pi­onship has a long and cel­e­brated po­si­tion in New Zealand his­tory. The first of­fi­cial 'PGA' was won by Ted Dou­glas in 1913 and he de­fended the ti­tle again in 1914, pock­et­ing the win­ners cheque of 10 pounds! Fast for­ward to string of NZPGA Cham­pi­onships from 2004 to 2010 when as a co-sanc­tioned event to the USPGA Na­tion­wide Tour the play­ers com­peted for a share of over $1,000,000!

Many fa­mous in­ter­na­tional names that have won the show piece of pro­fes­sional golf in New Zealand have in­cluded, Peter Thomson, Bruce Cramp­ton, Frank Phillips, Kel Na­gle, Bob Tuohy, Jumbo Ozaki, Ni­co­las Thomp­son and home grown New Zealand golf he­roes win­ning the 'PGA' have in­cluded Sir Bob Charles, Ross Newdick, Bob Glad­ing, John Lis­ter, Si­mon Owen, Greg Turner, Frank No­bilo Steve Alker, Michael Hendry and the lat­est cham­pion Ben Camp­bell.

It's a good sign that an event that has such a rich cre­den­tialed golf his­tory, steeped in rev­er­ence for those that have pre­ceded is now to be hosted by one of the new­est, fastest grow­ing and pro­gres­sive golf clubs in New Zealand.

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