China’s tech capital of Hangzhou had the spotlight temporarily shifted away from e-commerce giant Alibaba in March 2019 for the inaugural China – New Zealand Youth Team Golf Tournament, hosted by the China Golf Association and Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The event was the first of many in an initiative to further unite these two countries, who partook in the China New Zealand Year of Tourism earlier this year.
The event was held at Fuchun Golf Course from 26th March until 1st April. It consisted of two days of practice rounds, and a youth development and player performance seminar facilitated by Institute of Golf Co-Founders Craig Dixon and Guy Wilson alongside celebrity caddy Steve Williams, who famously carried the bag for Tiger Woods (1999 – 2011), Adam Scott, and Greg Norman.
The two junior teams then competed in a three-day, Ryder Cup style tournament finishing with an awards ceremony on 31st March.
Each team consisted of 12 high performing junior athletes from their country, ranging in age from 11 to 18 with a male and a female split into three age ranges. Two high performance coaches who guided the teams through the event, which wasn’t just focused on education and golf, but also cultural activities in and around Hangzhou.
The junior elite players went under the spot light through-out the entire journey, and while score absolutely played a role, they were also judged on sportsmanship, presentation, participation and furthering the cultural ties between the two countries.
Team NZ came into the final round level with China on 12 points and the final round of 12 single matches made for a very challenging day for all.
Our team had belief we could win if we played our absolute best and after three days of competition and a neck and neck tournament the New Zealand team were proud to take out gold with the end score being 16.5 vs 13.5
China put on an amazing event and we are looking forward to hosting them in October for a training camp. For more information on the NW#1 program and how you can be involved head to www.nextworldnumberone.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.