Fresh breath of air for Otago's Autumn Classic
September 20, 2017 - For immediate
Contact: Denise Langdon
Tournament Director Autumn Classic
PaR nz Golfing Holidays
Fresh breath of air for Otago's Autumn
PaR nz Golfing Holidays has taken over management of the
popular Central Otago Autumn Golf Classic to be held in Central
Otago next April.
It will be the 10th anniversary of the
five-course tournament, which typically attracts more than 400 men
and women players. Many competitors arrive as teams representing
over 150 clubs throughout New Zealand and Australia.
Tournament Director Denise Langdon, of PaR nz Golfing
Holidays, says the region is likely to be at its crisp, clear and
colourful best for the event scheduled for April 9 - 13,
The mixed field will be divided into four groups, each
named for an Otago lake and comprising about 100 mixed-ability
The five courses involved - Alexandra, Arrowtown,
Cromwell, Queenstown and Wanaka - are some of the country's most
picturesque. Every group will play every course, with cumulative
stableford points determing the winners in multiple divsions
resulting in numerous prizes awarded daily along with overall
individual winners in handicap divisions and, team
"Now's the time to be getting teams together for a great
week," says Denise Langdon. "Most participants choose to stay in
Queenstown - but wherever you're based you are no more than about
an hour from a tournament course."
Entries open on October 1, and PaR nz Golfing Holidays can
help with accommodation and favourable car rental, and Air New
PaR nz Golfing Holidays have confirmed the on-going support of
local winery Mount Michael Wines who have signed up for another
three years. The tournament will continue to be known as the
Mount Michael Central Otago Autumn Golf Classic.
The naming sponsor, Mount Michael Wines have a proud history
with one of the countries youngest winery owners fronting this
dynamic Otago winery. Mount Michael Wines have sponsored
this tournament for over 10 seasons and are pleased to
see the event flourish with PaR nz Golfing Holidays.
Anna Robbie purchased the business in 2015 and along with
partner Tim Dunsdon, who brings with him
an agricultural background, Robbie is embracing the
20-year legacy of Mount Michael.
Proudly boutique and producing around 3000
cases per annum, the association with the Central Otago
Autumn Golf Classic gives the winery a chance to shine to a very
wide audience across both sides of the Tasman. One of
the initiatives that has been introduced by Robbie and
Dunsdon, is a personally guided
private heli-tasting experience allowing wine-buffs to
taste the wine collection comprising Pinot Gris, Pinot Rose and
Pinot Noir, while also seeing this marvellous area from atop Mount
Other sponsorship arrangements are in discussion with
PaR nz Golfing Holidays with beer, car rental and accommodation
partners expected to be announced shortly. The tournament
will be launched with a new logo symbolising the area and
the colours of Autumn.
Setting the scene
The travel guides exhaust superlatives when it comes to
describing the Central Otago region, where the annual Autumn
Classic is held. Mountains, lakes, forests, cliffs, grasslands,
rock outcrops and wide expanses of sky - 'stunning' is a word that
applies to them all.
Never mind bunkers, gazing at the landscapes instead of
keeping your eye on the little white ball is a real-enough
Here is a taste of what's in store at each Autumn Classic
Despite a small membership base, this club is widely known
for its consistently well-presented course.
The club has a long and proud tradition of improvement and
voluntary effort. Formed more than 110 years ago on a nearby site
before moving 50 years ago to today's course, it was created on
sandy desert soils near the mighty Clutha River.
The narrow fairways make the 18-hole course unexpectedly
tight and difficult, and an additional challenge is presented by
native grasses growing in the rough. An ornamental pond and
sculptures are a welcome sight for tired players on the final
Golfers with a sense of adventure might enjoy riverboat
cruises, or exploring the rail trail and local wineries after
Arrowtown Golf Club's course is set in rolling hills on
the outskirts of an historic gold-mining town. Formed along the
Arrow River below the Crown Range, players almost always have clear
views of Coronet Peak and the Remarkables during autumn.
Soon after members completed a major environmental
redevelopment, the New Zealand Golf Course Superintendants
Association awarded the club its 2012 environment award. The
project involved removing wilding trees and broom, and
re-establishing matagouri among schist outcrops.
The shortest course in the Autumn Classic stable,
big-hitters must weigh up risks and rewards on many holes. The
18th, for example, calls for a blind shot over a hill to a fairway
sloping towards a pond. Good luck with that.
Like its Clutha River neighbour at Alexandra, Cromwell
Golf Club is also more than 100 years old.
It hit its stride in the late-1970s when construction
workers for the Clyde Dam and hydro-electricity projects boosted
The championship course was formed over terrain modified
by years of gold mining activity and with its strategic plantings
of marram grass, it resembles a coastal course though it is 200km
from the sea.
With design input from professional Greg Turner, who has
played the course since he was a child, the million-dollar
development work done in 2010-12 made the course even more
challenging and interesting. The innovative club routinely hosts
the annual New Zealand Open Qualifier tournament.
The Cromwell basin is in the heart of fruit-growing
country and is one of New Zealand's fastest-growing wine
The Kelvin Heights peninsula, home to the picturesque
Queenstown Golf Club, often features in classic Queenstown postcard
images taken from the gondola at Bob's Peak.
The course is surrounded by Lake Wakatipu and framed by the
Remarkables mountain range, which makes it hard to keep your head
down. Golfers are afforded amazing views of mountains and
shimmering alpine waters at every tee and green.
'Signature hole' takes on a whole new meaning at this
extraordinary course - the fourth, fifth, ninth, 10th, 14th and
17th could be signature holes on any course. If you had to choose,
it probably would be the par-four fifth that curves left around the
shoreline of Lake Wakatipu to an elevated green. Compare scenic
photographs from any New Zealand golf course, and some of the best
will be taken from here.
Driving line is key on this hole, as an over-aggressive line
combined with a mistimed drive will see you ending up in 'the
drink'. However, the hole sets up for a right-to-left shaped drive
which will carve yardage off your approach shot.
With a proud and loyal membership base, the club has a long
history and welcomes visitors year-round.
The award-winning Wanaka Golf Club is one of the largest
in the Otago-Southland region, and is set to host the popular New
Zealand Mixed Foursomes for the third time this year.
Like most of the scenic courses involved in the Autumn Classic,
Wanaka began as a nine-hole course created in a rugged landscape.
Formed in the 1922 at another location, the present course is
nestled above the Wanaka township in the heart of the Queenstown
Players negotiating the front-nine have views over the township
to Lake Wanaka and the Mount Aspiring National Park. The back-nine
has more of a parkland feel with tree-lined fairways and views of
Mt Iron, Mt Gold and the Cardrona Valley.
A challenging layout following natural contours in addition to
small greens make the Wanaka course one to be remembered for more
than its imposing scenery.
For more information contact
Tournament Director / Promoter
Phone 0275 662 385