Slocum leads world-class quartet to ISPS Handa New Zealand Open

Media release from ISPS Handa New Zealand Open American Heath Slocum, with seven professional wins including four on the PGA Tour, leads a quartet of world-class players confirmed to play in next month’s ISPS Handa New Zealand Open in Queenstown. Slocum, who rose into the world’s top 50 players, will be joined by Koreans Young-Han Song,…

“It’s a huge boost to the tournament to attract four players of this quality,” said New Zealand Open Tournament Director, Michael Glading.

“Song is now 78th in the world so he is ranked ahead of the likes of our own Danny Lee and Major winners like Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald and Keegan Bradley.

“Slocum has battled professional life with ulcerative colitis and still won some of the biggest events on the PGA Tour and amassed over $22 million in the process.

“Park has strong links to New Zealand, and is battling back from injury in his career on the PGA Tour while Marcus Fraser is a class player around the globe.

“With the level of players coming as a result of our partnerships with the Japan Tour and the Asian Tour, and strong representation from Australia and New Zealand, the Open this year will be eye-catching.”

Slocum, 43, who will also play in the LawnMaster Horizon Golf NZPGA Championship in Palmerston North, has won seven times on the PGA Tour including the McGladrey Classic in 2010, the Barclays in 2009 and the Chrysler Classic in 2004.

He qualified for the first six FEDEx Cup playoffs in a row, finished runner-up in the World Cup with Boo Weekley representing USA, and was a regular contender for many years.

Since contracting ulcerative colitis in 1997 he’s since become a national spokesperson for CCFA (Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation) as well as a significant financial contributor.

Park played in New Zealand as an amateur, earning a number of titles at North Harbour, where his coaches included well-known Kiwi professional Bob MacDonald.

He turned professional with a win on the Japan Challenge Tour in 2010 and after earning promotion to the Japan Tour, win the Vana H Cup KBC Augusta in 2013, finishing 5th on the Japan Order of Merit that year. Park earned promotion to Tour and then on to the PGA Tour in 2015 where he finished runner-up to Bill Haas in the Humana Challenge in just his fifth start. His winnings that year totalled US$600,000. He represented South Korea at the 2011 World Cup.

He is returning to play after being sidelined with a shoulder injury, after earning a medical exemption from the PGA Tour for 2017.

At just 25, Song is a revelation since turning professional in 2011. He enjoyed three runner-ups to be 15th on the moneylist on the Japan Tour in 2015 with his breakthrough coming with a stunning one shot victory over Jordan Speith in the CIMB Singapore Open in 2016. He finished 2016 in fourth place on the Japan money list, making him the highest-ranking JGTO player in the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open field.

Fraser is a class player with six wins to his credit on the European and Asian Tours, along with turn runners-up in playoffs tin the Australian Masters, BMW Open and Balantines. The 38-year-old, currently ranked 133rd in the world, was the midway leader at the Rio Olympics after an opening round 63.

Prior to turning professional he was one of the world’s leading amateurs, winning the prestigious Asia Pacific Championship in 2001 before crossing the Tasman to win the New Zealand Amateur title in 2002.

The tournament has attracted 11 former New Zealand Open winners along with former Major winner YE Yang.

The field will be finalised next week, with the opening two rounds split between The Hills and Millbrook Resort, which will host the final two rounds.

Click here to visit ISPS Handa New Zealand Open’s website.


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Remarkables Residences housing development announced in Queenstown

Media Release from Bayleys and GYP Properties Ltd A $190m 225-home lifestyle development has been announced to local business leaders in Queenstown by Singaporean-based developers GYP Properties Pte Ltd. Remarkables Residences on the Frankton Flats in Queenstown, will consist of a range of three and four-bedroom multi-storey townhouses, and master-planned to be surrounded by a vast…

Stage One of the project – consisting of the first 56 houses — will shortly be on the market and registrations of interest through Bayleys Real Estate have been enthusiastic. Construction is scheduled to start this year and the first stage will take about 18 months to complete. Further stages will be released during the year.

Pricing will be released shortly with a range of housing, sizes and layouts available. All properties feature rear garaging and some have additional studio or office spaces, making them flexible enough to suit a range of potential buyers.

Mr Mah described Queenstown as one of the premier tourism destinations in New Zealand, if not globally.

“We’re very excited to bring Remarkables Residences to Queenstown because we know the demand for good accommodation is there, and we’re creating a development with an Alpine feel to it in a very attractive location at the foothills of the mountains.

“It’s a great value-for-money project that we believe will add to the Queenstown environment in a very positive way, helping to grow the town and meet demand as well as being a commercial success. We hope you’ll be as proud of it as we are.”

Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult, speaking at the announcement, described Remarkables Residences as “a very welcome addition to our district”.

“This development marks a confidence ‘tick’ in the future of Queenstown and our economic development as a high-value tourism destination,” he said.

“We’re in a period of sustained development and extraordinary growth rates, with population growth increasing by 7.1% in the last year compared to national growth of just 2.1%, and visitor numbers of 66,000 on peak days.

“So your decision to create 225 townhouses that will be attractive to families as well as people looking for investments is something our council welcomes.”

The properties are being marketed by Bayleys and there is already strong interest from existing Bayleys clients.

Bayley’s Corporation Chairman John Bayley, also in Queenstown for the announcement, said they were “perfect” for a wide range of buyers.

“They’ll suit owner-occupiers, families, or businesses wanting to house key workers,” he said. “Their appeal will also reach holidaymakers who might know and love Queenstown, Kiwi investors and international buyers who want to invest in this dynamic, fast-growing location.”

Mr Bayley said Remarkables Residences brought “much-needed” supply to the Queenstown market, transforming a bare piece of land into a safe, social and diverse community.

Remarkables Residences is being marketed as well-built, stylish and low maintenance homes incorporating latest design techniques. Master-planned by DASL Consultants and designed by Auckland-based Ignite Architects, they are described as a very modern interpretation of popular developments of this kind.

Much work has gone into creating different building forms in each street using proven ‘neighbourhood architecture’, maximizing privacy and lifestyle living, as well as sunshine hours.

Green spaces incorporated in the development include a main public square and smaller open spaces (called Pocket Parks) dotted throughout the area. There are good links to surrounding biking and walking tracks and easy access to public transport, such as the planned park and ride facility.

Mr Bayley said Remarkables Residences is in the most accessible part of Queenstown, close to the airport and a very short walk to retail and hospitality outlets. It is just 10 minutes from central Queenstown, 15 minutes to Arrowtown and 30 minutes to the ski fields.

GYP Properties CEO Stanley Tan is no stranger to Queenstown — he co-developed the Heritage Hotel 20 years ago and is delighted to return to the district.

To register interest or request further information go to

Photo credit:

1/ The Remarkables Residences development has been introduced to local business leaders in Queenstown

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Innovative star gazing tours launch at Tekapo Springs

Video and Media Release from Tekapo Springs Star gazing in one of the world’s top ‘clear sky’ locations is being launched by Tekapo Springs in New Zealand’s Mackenzie country. The multi-award-winning South Island tourism attraction – renowned for its innovation and ongoing business investment – will take viewing the Southern night sky to whole new…

But this is star gazing with a difference – incorporating a 40-minute guided night sky tour with trained star guides followed by a 40-minute soak in the hot pools. Guides will continue to give information, answer questions and ‘story tell’ on request, and relaxing astro music will play to soothe the soul.

The outdoor pools at the complex will be lit with low red lighting to add to the mood, and guests on the tours will be supplied with floatation devices to help them relax in the water. The complex’s Tahr Bar and Café will be open for drinks and snacks throughout the tour.

Tekapo Springs owner Karl Burtscher said visitors didn’t have to know about astronomy to enjoy their experience.

“Our trained star guides will deliver a tour that includes information on some of the closest and brightest features in the night sky such as stars, planets, constellations, and galaxies,” he said.

“Guests will hear about the mythology and cultural aspects of the night sky including navigation for Maori and European cultures. Our tours have an emphasis on story telling mixed with some facts and entertainment.

“We’re thrilled to be opening after sourcing and putting our new telescopes in place as well as employing guides and training staff about our unique night skies. We’re always being asked about extending our nighttime operations so this is the perfect way to do it.”

Before enjoying the pools, guests are invited to get ‘closer to the stars and planets’ by looking through two Celestron reflector 9.25 aperture telescopes and a Sky Watcher refractor Esprit 120 Telescope, which Mr Burtscher described as “modern go-to’ telescopes”, sitting on the patio outside the complex’s Tahr Bar & Café.

Tours will go ahead no matter the weather and will operate year-round, with guests enjoying an exciting indoor guided tour with the use of a high definition projector if the sky is not visible at all. English and Mandarin-speaking tours are on offer and tour times will depend on the time of year and when it gets dark enough to see the night sky.

Mr Burtscher said Tekapo Springs had been considering adding the night sky products “for the past two or three years” and the timing was now right.

Just under a year ago, Tekapo Springs officially launched two new pools and an aqua play area new pools at the complex, bringing the total number of pools to five. The new pools proved hugely popular with visitors and locals and have resulted in a significant increase in visitor numbers.

“We just keep adding more and more reasons to visit Tekapo Springs including our winter ice skating rink, winter snow tubing and a huge inflatable summer waterslide,” said Mr Burtscher.

“Adding Tekapo Star Gazing will continue to broaden what we offer, and extend the range of ‘things to do’ in Tekapo at night. Many Asian visitors in particular are entranced by our night skies because they can’t see the stars at home due to excessive light pollution.

Star Gazing tours start at $89 per person and transport is available from the Tekapo Springs info centre. Bookings are highly recommended.

Tekapo Springs is a year-round attraction nestled on the shores of stunning Lake Tekapo, beloved by visitors from all around the globe. Last year it was a winner of the 2016 South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards and a finalist in the Champion Canterbury Business Awards 2016.

Click here to visit Tekapo Springs’s website.

Video credit (Mark Gee):

1/ A stunning time-lapse of the night sky at Tekapo

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Fox Links Up With Williams for ISPS Handa New Zealand Open

Media Release from ISPS Handa New Zealand Open Rio Olympian Ryan Fox will have the world’s most successful caddy, Steve Williams on his bag for next month’s 93rd ISPS Handa New Zealand Open. What’s more he will have some sporting power alongside him, with his father and All Blacks legend, Grant Fox paired for the…

Fox is excited about having Williams on his bag.

“Steve is the best caddy in the world having worked with greats like Greg Norman, he was 10 years with Tiger Woods and then with Adam Scott and got him to world number one,” said Fox.

“My caddy is pretty excited about me working with Steve and hopefully I learn a bit from him and bring that to our relationship going down the line.”

Williams has supported Fox on his professional journey, giving him advice and sorting a practice round with Adam Scott at the 2015 British Open.

His professional life in Europe and his penchant for fishing when he is back home means Fox has not had much time to play golf with his father.

“It should be fun. I’m not sure how we will handle playing with a few people watching but I am sure he will enjoy the overall experience. Hopefully I can play well and we can both play the weekend.”

The tournament hosts 144 amateur players, each partnering with a professional in a two-person best-ball event, competing for the ISPS Handa NZ Pro-Am Championship which runs alongside the Open, with the leading 10 teams earning a spot amongst the professionals over the final 36 holes.

Fox, who has made the cut in his first four tournaments on the European Tour, competes in the ISPS Handa Super 6 in Perth next week and two tournaments in South Africa before a speedy return to Queenstown.

“Unfortunately I may have a bit of jet lag at the start of the week but hopefully we can combat that and be in contention come Sunday afternoon.”

Fox said after 14 years without a local triumph, that it was time for a Kiwi to win the New Zealand Open title and he would love nothing more than to have his name etched on the Brodie Breeze Trophy.

The ISPS Handa New Zealand Open is a NZ$1 million Tier One event on the PGA Tour of Australasia, in partnership with the Japan Golf Tour and Asian Tour, to be played in Queenstown at Millbrook Resort and The Hills on 9-12 March.

Click here to visit ISPS Handa New Zealand Open’s website.

Photo caption (Photosport):

1/ Ryan Fox and father Grant Fox will pair up for the 93rd ISPS Handa New Zealand Open in Queenstown

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