Party hole is crowd favourite at NZ Open

BY Bruce Young | Tour | 2009 New Zealand Open | Round Three | 14 Mar 2009

The party hole concept has hit the New Zealand Open, but this time it is the reachable par four 15th hole at the Hills Golf Club in Arrowtown that is capturing the attention of golf fans.

On one of the most stunning days imaginable on day three of the event, sizeable crowds were attracted to the food and bar facilities surrounding the hole but it was also the location and the vistas of the surrounding Wakatipu Basin that attracted the fans.

The altitude of the area (310 metres) plays a small role in assisting many of the field to find the green at the 301 metre (330 yard) hole and the range of scoring possibilities adds further intrigue. The occasional eagle was recorded – one by American Roger Tambellini from 40 feet below the hole and that was enough to get the crowds’ juices flowing.

The tee perched well above the fairway and the superb Remarkables Mountain Range in the background, provide one of the most dramatic and dynamic backdrops in golf and those behind the decision to incorporate this hole as the party hole must be applauded.

To date there have not been quite the rowdy scenes that were widely criticised at the recent Australian Open although tomorrow is another day and the final day of the tournament at that.

Nearly half the field on the third day this week either eagled or birdied the hole providing plenty of reason for the crowd to down their glasses. Professional golf is the entertainment industry and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise and this concept has entertained many.


Position Score Player Country R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1   ↑T2 -19 Alex Prugh United States 65 71 69 64 269
2   ↓1 -16 Martin Piller United States 67 69 68 68 272
3   ↑T7 -14 Jim Herman United States 68 73 65 68 274
T4   ↑T30 -12 Andrew Bonhomme Australia 73 69 68 66 276
T4   ↑T11 -12 Craig Parry Australia 72 70 65 69 276
T4   ↑T7 -12 Jeff Gove United States 71 63 72 70 276
T4   ↓T2 -12 Josh Geary New Zealand 72 65 68 71 276
T4   ↑T15 -12 Peter Senior Australia 68 73 67 68 276
T4   ↑T15 -12 Stephen Dartnall Australia 67 69 72 68 276
T10   ↑T30 -11 Adam Bland Australia 68 71 71 67 277
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Position Score Player Country R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

    Read all of Bruce's articles »

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