Praise for Mangawhai Pro-Am
Too long absent from the Pro-Am golfing scene, Mangawhai has burst back into the limelight with an outstanding event played in near-perfect conditions on a course acclaimed by many as “one of the very best”.
Sponsored by Partners Life Insurance, the one-day tournament on March 28 attracted a full field of 120 players, with 29 professionals in pursuit of the prize purse.
Teamed with three amateurs, each professional played off the club's blue championship tees with a number of first-timers highly impressed by the challenge the course offers.
Heavy rain over the weekend and on the preceding Monday meant greens staff faced a huge task getting the course into playable condition. It's a tribute to their long hours that the track was superbly groomed and presented with greens running with typical Mangawhai pace and line.
While the sand-based structure of Mangawhai allows for fast natural drainage there was a tremendous amount of clean-up work that needed to be done and this was performed immaculately. The course looked pristine as a superbly calm and warm day greeted the players.
Play commenced with a 10am shotgun and, in the main, groups moved well throughout the day.
The playing amateurs and a good crowd of spectators enjoyed some impressive power and precision from the professionals. There was positive interplay between the players as the amateurs chased the valuable team prizes.
Naomi Ballantyne, managing director of naming sponsor Partners Life, was especially enthusiastic and welcomed the profile her company gained from participation in an event that was so widely enjoyed.
Speaking at the prizegiving, she thanked the club for its efforts and declared “we'll be here for a few years to come!” Other major sponsors Winger Group and ProDrive Golf were equally pleased with the day and also committed their support to future events.
Club president Tony Vale echoed the sponsors' comments and expressed the club's thanks to them and to the many members who had contributed so much time and effort into organising the event under the stewardship of manager Steve Hinton.
He and men's captain Wayne Watts also thanked the numerous hole sponsors for their contribution to ensure the success of the day.
NZPGA national events manager Geoff Smart, before awarding the winning professionals with their cheques, spoke positively about the Mangawhai course and
the club's organisation of the day. Conversational feedback from many of the professionals endorsed his thoughts.
Prizegiving was held in a packed clubhouse following an impressive buffet meal, with Wayne Watts and Naomi Ballantyne presiding. The amateurs’ prize table displayed a value in excess of $10,000 in premium golf equipment provided by ProDrive Golf of Auckland
CONGRATULATIONS: Naomi Ballantyne, Partners Life managing director, congratulates winning professional Pieter Zwart.