Fancy fumbling in the dark on a golf course trying to hit a glow lit golf ball? In winter?
Special Olympics New Zealand has hit the mark with their novel event for Kiwi golfers – ‘Stars on Pars’. Essentially it is night golf with a twist- golfers push their limits and capabilities playing under the stars on some of New Zealand’s best courses.
Kathy Gibson, Chief Executive Officer for Special Olympics New Zealand and herself an avid golfer, is thrilled to be the first organisation to have a competitive series played at night. Channeling the Special Olympics oath ‘be brave in the attempt’, golfers taking part in this series will certainly need their wits about them as they drive their specially designed glow-in-the-dark golf balls up the fairway, in the winter and under the stars, all in aid of Special Olympics New Zealand.
Teams of eight, made up of four players and four supporters, register to play at one or more of the four events around the country. They complete nine holes of the 18 with special competitive grade glow-in-the-dark balls. Their supporters can help them find wayward balls on the course. The courses are unlit – but there are ways to get around that using glow-sticks, the occasional torch or other cunning ploys to get ahead.
Three tournaments in and the response has been tremendous: “With Stars on Pars we have tried out a totally new way of fundraising and it has proved to be very successful. It has been great to see all our athletes and their families join forces with other members of the community and sponsors and everyone has had a great time. It is something we will definitely be looking to repeat,” says Kathy.
Stars on Pars looks set to become the winter event that ‘sorts the men from the boys’.
To see how it works click here for a demo for Stars on Pars featured on New
Zealand’s HSBC Golf Show.
Four events are held around the North Island with plans to extend the series of Stars on Pars events into the South Island next year. The final event is on Wednesday 25 August at
the Akarana Golf Club in Auckland.
The four tournament locations and dates:
Tauranga – Mt Maunganui Golf Club Wednesday 6th July
Feilding – Feilding Golf Club, Wednesday 20 July
Wellington – Boulcott Farm Heritage Club, Wednesday 3 August
Auckland – Akarana Golf Club, Thursday 25 August