The Manawatu Golf Club will host the 2017 Lawnmaster Horizon Golf NZPGA Championship, to be played from March 2nd – 5th 2017 at its Hokowhitu course in Palmerston North.

Manawatu Golf ClubThe tournament will continue to be part of the PGA Tour of Australasia and will carry prize money of $125,000, as it did for the 2015 and 2016 NZ PGA Championships staged at Auckland's Remuera Golf Club.

"The PGA Championship has historically been played at some of our best regional courses, " said PGA General Manager Dominic Sainsbury at the tournament's launch function in Palmerston North today, " and it is fitting that it will now be held at the country's oldest golf course, which has previously been the venue for five New Zealand Opens and four PGA Championships. "

Manawatu Golf Club General Manager Michael Williams endorsed these comments.  "We are delighted to be able to host this prestigious event again after a gap of nearly 60 years, and to build on the excellent platform we have built up through the Lawnmaster Classic since it became part of the Jennian Homes Charles Tour three years ago.  We are very grateful for Lawnmaster's ongoing support, together with that of the Horizon Golf, the Palmerston North City Council, Sport Manawatu and other local sponsors, and we look forward to welcoming a top class field to Hokowhitu next March."

Mr Sainsbury pointed out that the PGA Championship would again take place the week before the ISPS Handa NZ Open in Queenstown.

"The Remuera Golf Club and the Auckland golf community provided great support for the tournament in 2015 and 2016, and we are confident that the PGA Championship will continue along that path in Palmerston North next year.  It's particularly appropriate that New Zealand players will again be competing for the Sir Bob Charles Trophy, as Sir Bob was the winner of the last NZ Open to be played here in 1973."

The Manawatu Golf Club was founded in 1895 at Hokowhitu, which continues to be its current location.  Previous PGA winners on the course have been Arthur Ham (1922), Fred Rutter (1930), Andy Shaw (1946) and Kel Nagle (1957).

The 2017 Lawnmaster Horizon Golf NZPGA Championship winner will join a long list of famous names on the McDougall Cup, first played for in 1920 when it was won by Joe Kirkwood. The current holder is Brad Kennedy of Australia.  The leading New Zealand player will receive the Sir Bob Charles Trophy, which was initiated in 2015 and won by Josh Geary.  Geary won this again in 2016.

For more information please contact:

Dominic Sainsbury, PGA of New Zealand (contact details)

Michael Williams, Manawatu Golf Club (gm@manawatugolfclub.com or 0276712988)