The masters of keeping it green
New Zealand's biggest golfing tournament begins at The Hills today but the work of the course's greenkeepers began many months before.
In fact, golf course superintendent Brendan Allen says the demands of owner Michael Hill and the members of this high-class club are such that it is kept close to NZPGA - perfection every day.
That means 20 staff mowing and rolling greens raking bunkers, hand watering greens, tees and fairways, cutting tees, green surrounds and fairways and mowing the bunker faces every day.
It all intensifies for a tournament: Staff numbers have increased to 23 and, for the duration of the NZPGA, work will begin at 4.30am and finish at 8am, then start again at 3pm until 9 or 10pm.
"Ideally when you come to the tournament you don't have to do a lot more. We're as close as we can be to perfection," Allen says.
The excitement of a major tournament is loved by some while others, focused on the perfection of the course, are not keen on seeing it trashed.
Players too expect perfection on the course - after all their livelihood is at stake, Allen says.
"This is the biggest event in New Zealand golf at the moment. It's pretty exciting to be involved in."