Waihi Golf Club steps up as new 2017 venue
By Denise Langdon, PaR nz Golfing Holidays
WAIHI STEPS UP
The pretty and well-renowned friendly Waihi Golf Club has stepped up to take on hosting the 2017 New Zealand Women’s Senior Match Play Championships. Napier Golf Club had been billed as being the 2017 host venue but out of the blue had to withdraw its support.
Waihi Golf Club established in 1906, is set amongst beautiful lush green surroundings with many views over the nearby Waihi township and surrounding farmlands. It is a par 72 course with many challenges from tree-lined fairways with moderate undulating fairways, giving players uphill and downhill plays.
Waihi has hosted a junior women’s event in its past but is often overlooked as a venue with other premium courses in the Bay of Plenty, such as Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and Omanu getting many of the national amateur tournaments.
It is however well placed to take on the challenge of hosting this significant women’s tournament. Over recent years there have been trends towards, and support of venues that offer players, especially visiting internationals, the chance to see some of New Zealand’s countryside and other attractions. Popular tourist venues such as Wanaka, Kerikeri, Te Anau, Mt Maunganui, and similar courses get record fields due to their ‘holiday attractions and locations” – Waihi is piped to get the same support.
This writer is a big fan of the long beach that Waihi offers – over 10km of dramatic surf with calm sheltered beaches and tidal waters in adjacent bays. Located only 1 1Ž2 hours from central Auckland it is a popular holiday destination that offers many well priced motels and a plethora of beach houses and bachs’ which will be popular for the expected 2017 field.
Cafe culture is strong in both the town of Waihi and the beach shops, and for history buffs, the Waihi Gold Discovery Museum traces the towns gold mining origins, back to 1878. Waihi has been boosted over recent years by the employment and income generated by Newmont, who are working the open Martha’s mine, with consents to do so, through to 2017.
There are less than 5000 permanent residents in Waihi but the dedicated team of women’s members, many of whom, compete regularly in national women’s events will ensure all enjoy the course and all that Waihi has to offer. It is hoped that this late change will not detract from any players entering including the large contingent of Australian’s that typically enter. The reigning champion Sharon Dawson, was the first Australian to win this prestigious tournament, last February, staged in Te Anau. It is hoped that she will return to defend her title.
Tournament dates are 20-23 February 2017. Enter on-line now or request an entry form from PaR nz Golfing Holidays