It’s great to see professional golf back in the Bay, with three tournaments starting on Wednesday at the Hawke’s Bay Golf Club.  Known to many as the Flaxmere Golf Club, when opened in 1969 it was the longest golf course in New Zealand at the time.  It was designed by Commander John Harris, who was also responsible for the original Wairakei layout.

It still measures a decent 6,436 metres from the championship tees, and will provide a good test for a strong field including Harry Bateman, Nick Gillespie, Doug Holloway, Kieran Muir, Daniel Pearce and Pieter Zwart.

They then move next door to Bridge Pa for the 36 hole Toshiba Hastings Pro-Am, and the swing concludes on Saturday with the Waipawa Pro-Am.  This is another example of a small club (74 members) getting together with the support of the local community to put on professional golf on their course.  You don’t have to be a big metropolitan club to stage a successful Pro-Am event.  All in all, the players will be aiming for their share of the $44,000 on offer during the swing, plus the important opportunity to consolidate or improve placings on the Mondiale NZ PGA Order of Merit.