Venue gets thumbs up from golf professionals

Professional golfers converging for the NZ PGA Champs are a hard bunch to please, but are unanimously pleased to be playing at Arrowtown's The Hills, seasoned pro Mark Brown says.

Speaking at a pre-tournament press conference yesterday the Kiwi said the Arrowtown event was widely regarded as the "stop of the year" on the Australian tour.

Brown will play both the OneAsia and Australian PGA tours and drew for second place at the NZ PGA Champs last year.

"Everyone's stoked to be here - it's pretty hard to please the Aussies sometimes, but even they're pleased to be here - it's a spectacular place and they're talking about it being the stop of the year."

The praise also rolled in from the tournament's top rated player, Australian player Brendan Jones - who had such a good time last year he could soon be a part-time Queenstown resident.

"I think we'll be putting a deposit on something before we leave. It's so close to Sydney that to come across for a week in winter to go skiing and for a month in summer makes sense to me.

"I said last year it was the most beautiful place in the world, and I've really got in my head now that I want to come back more and more often."

Jones has been staying with Queenstown based ex-All Black Justin Marshall, whom he partnered with as an amateur in last year's tournament.

"If you come into a [Pro-Am] tournament like this you can meet a lot of nice people that you can have life-long friendships with and that's one thing that I found here last year."

The Southland Times