New Zealand Golf is pleased to announce a closer relationship with Events and Venues Rotorua to assist with the staging of the 2017 New Zealand Speedgolf Open.

The third New Zealand Speedgolf Open will be played at Arikikapakapa Rotorua Golf Club on the weekend of 4-5 March and the new support of the national body provides the opportunity to grow the event and eventually the sport.

“We see a nice synergy between our game and keeping fit and what better a place to have a run than on the beautiful turf of a golf course”, remarked NZ Golf CEO Dean Murphy.

“An opportunity exists for our Clubs to get behind this concept and with careful control of tee times this could be a new membership category” said Murphy. The date aligns with the Australian Speedgolf Open scheduled for the weekend of 11-12 March so the opportunity exists for international speedgolf competitors to take in two national championships in the southern hemisphere. Last year current world champion, Irishman Rob Hogan, finished second in the New Zealand Speedgolf Open providing an intriguing addition to the field.

The New Zealand Speedgolf Open was first played in 2015 with a surprise result when local amateur golfer Landyn Edwards beat Olympian Nick Willis. Edwards returned a score of 69 in 50 minutes for a 119 total beating the 122 score of Willis, who returned an 84 in 38 minutes.

Earlier this year Richard Olsen held off the world champion Hogan when he scored 75 in 42 minutes, winning by a narrow two-point margin when the Irishman scored 80 in 39 minutes. Olsen will next month represent New Zealand alongside Willis at the Speedgolf World Championships in Chicago, USA where he will renew his rivalry with Hogan.

Speedgolf is a unique combination of golf skill and aerobic fitness. Competitors carry a maximum of seven clubs, with some using as few as two clubs. When speed is such a major factor any chance to reduce time is important so speedgolfers adopt different approaches in regard to the number of clubs and the way they are carried.

New Zealand Golf have been impressed with the delivery of the two previous Speedgolf Opens and are now pleased to invest in the future of the event and the sport.

Rotorua Lakes Council Events Manager Martin Croft, himself an avid speed golfer said “It’s fantastic to host this event at Arikikapakapa golf club for one final year before another City and Club gets an opportunity.

The Rotorua course offers a unique challenge to the golfers with its undulating terrain and geothermal features. The club and its members have backed the open and the development of speedgolf over the last two years, I am sure next year’s event will be the best one yet.

It’s exciting to see NZ Golf supporting the growth of speedgolf in New Zealand. Speedgolf with its combination of speed and precision would be a great addition to the Olympic programme one day”.

For more information about the New Zealand Speedgolf Open contact Event Manager Nicole Leger at speedgolfnz@gmail.com. Entries for the 2017 event will officially open on Monday 10 October at www.golf.co.nz. Check out the event on Facebook @NZSpeedGolfOpen.



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