Southland golfers will get the chance to beat New Zealand's top amateur Vaughan McCall off the tee at a Gore Golf Club fundraiser on Friday - but they'll have to stump up with cash to give it a go.
The Gore Golf Club fundraiser, sponsored by Stuart Timber Company Ltd, is and the a four person 18-hole ambrose event and should be a winner, with plenty of interest generated already and entries still open.
As part of the tournament, on the 11th hole players will get the chance to test their skills against Gore Golf Club's McCall - who is fresh from breaking the Belmont course record at Lake Macquarie in Australia and finishing as the leading amateur in the Charles Tour LawnMaster Classic in Palmerston North.
"Players will put money down if they think they can beat me off the tee on the 11th hole," McCall said.
"It's a par three, about 140m, and it will be whoever gets closest to the pin. I'm sure there will be a bit of banter.
"I'm hoping I have a good day or I could end up losing money. I'll be hitting about 30 balls though, I think, so I'll have to try to find a rhythm after the first four or five and go from there."
The tournament will also feature a prizegiving, guest speaker, meal and charity auction.
On Saturday McCall will hold a golf workshop at 11am, with demonstrations on some of his practice techniques. The Gore club will open its cafe and offer anyone who plays in the Friday tournament the chance to join the Saturday field as well, with an exemption on green fees.
Tournament co-ordinator Julian Morris said the tournament promised a great day out for all golfers. He expected the 11th hole challenge against McCall to prove popular.
"People can put in as much money as they like and try and beat the country's top amateur off the tee - it should be a bit of fun," he said.
"The emphasis is on everyone having a good time. We've had fantastic local support from some great sponsors and we're really looking forward to a great couple of days."
McCall was also looking forward to some local golf, having spent three weeks in Australia in January playing a variety of tournaments. His brief return to Gore precedes the New Zealand Open - a tournament he said he was "fizzing" for.
"I can't wait to get up to The Hills and give it a crack again," he said.
"The banter I get on the 11th hole on Friday might even help me get in the right space."
Entries to the Gore Golf Club fundraiser are still open and can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Southland Times