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SPORTS

Give Golf A Go

Give Golf A Go
Fiji International golf tournament roadshow in Lautoka. Photo: Fiji International
July 24
10:22 2018

Rugby Union might be the national pas­time in Fiji but organisers of the Fiji International presented by Fiji Air­ways also want golf to be part of the sporting landscape in the island nation.

As part of the annual tournament at Natad­ola Bay Championship Golf Course, the PGA of Australia run a month-long programme in the lead up with the aim of introducing more Fijians to the game at a grassroots level.

“The tournament is about much more than just the 72 holes of competition,” says Gavin Kirkman CEO of the PGA of Australia which owns the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and along with Sports and En­tertainment Limited owns the Fiji Interna­tional presented by Fiji Airways.

“It is absolutely crucial to our mission that there be a lasting legacy for the people of Fiji beyond just the professional event.

“While the broadcast of the tournament has a significant impact on tourism and the event itself generates an economic return, there is also a wonderful opportunity to in­crease awareness and participation in golf among the Fijian population as well.

“Golf is one of the world’s most popular participation sports and has broad health and economic benefits in all markets where it is played.

“There is no reason the people of Fiji can’t also have a healthy domestic golf scene and these introductory sessions are designed as a first step to help generate interest in the game.”

The ‘Fiji International Roadshow’ travels with a hitting bay plus several junior clubs for youngsters and full-sized clubs for adults to allow Fijians to try hitting a ball for the first time.

The Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways tournament itself is also part of the promotion with free entry for locals en­couraging all to attendwhat is the biggest international sporting event in the country to get a first-hand look at high level profes­sional golf.

Free transport to and from Natadola Bay is provided from several centres during tourna­ment week and among the materials on hand at each Roadshow event are ticket offers and giveaways to be awarded as prizes.

One recent event staged at the Fiji Golf Club met with the approval of Club Captain Vidhya Lankhan who was intrigued by the concept.

“He was curious to know whether the hit­ting bay was stored in Fiji or Australia,” said Raman Dahia, Fijian liaison officer for the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways.

“Following the event, Vidhy is keen to stage more of these roadshows to encourage jun­iors to take up the sport.”

There have will be 11 Roadshow events staged in 2018 in all areas of Fiji, from Ba through to Suva as the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways works to increase awareness of the game, and the opportuni­ties it presents, to all residents of the nation.

If you would like to Give Golf a Go, head to…

Wednesday: 11am Nadi Town; 2pm Tappoo Nadi

Thursday: 11am, 2pm –Ba;

Friday: 11am, 2pm –Tappoo Sigatoka

Saturday: 11am, 2pm –Tappoos Suva;

Sunday: 2pm, 4pm Denarau Golf % Racquet Club.

Or attend the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways at Natadola Bay Champion­ship Golf Course where the hitting bay will be on hand for you to try your hand at golf. Entry to the tournament is free for Fijian residents.

About the Fiji International Presented By Fiji Airways

To be held from 2-5 August 2018, the Fiji In­ternational presented by Fiji Airways will be played at the Natadola Bay Champion­ship Golf Course which boasts breathtaking views of the Coral Coast and is home to the Natadola Beach Land Estate.

Enticed by the tropical destination, the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways has attracted some of the world’s best golfers since its inaugural staging in 2014, including Fijian hero and three-time Major champion Vijay Singh, 2017 champion Jason Norris, 2016 champion Brandt Snedeker, 2015 cham­pion Matt Kuchar and 2014 champion Steven Jeffress, Steven Bowditch, Boo Weekley and Nick Price.

This year’s tournament is set to feature four-time Major champion and Captain of the International Team for the 2019 Presi­dents Cup, Ernie Els.

In 2018, the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways continues to have a global pres­ence confirming its position as an integral tournament in the South Pacific region, with the tournament being tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and Asian Tour.

A Pacific paradise, the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways also boasts some of the most unique hospitality options in world golf with the par-3 8th hole providing the perfect vantage point to watch the golf, whilst socialising on the beach.

More than just a golf tournament, the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways aims to leave a lasting legacy for golf in the Pacific region, with the PGA of Australia supporting initiatives to introduce and grow the game in Fiji.

Owned by Sports and Entertainment (SEL) and the PGA of Australia, the Fiji Interna­tional presented by Fiji Airways is proudly supported by the Fijian Government, Tour­ism Fiji and the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa as the official resort of the tour­nament.

Fiji International Presented By Fiji Airways

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