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Teenager gets Green Light for NZ Open

For immediate release:
Tuesday 14 November, 2006

Teenager gets Green Light for NZ Open

19-year old Otago Rep Golfer Mark Brooks has finally made it to the Blue Chip New Zealand Open.

But the Otago Polytechnic sports turf management student (and keen golfer) won’t be lining up at the Gulf Harbour Country Club first tee alongside Michael Campbell – he’ll be helping to ensure the fairways are groomed to perfection and the greens running smoothly.

Mark is the recipient of the first New Zealand Golf Scholarship focused on sports turf management. His scholarship includes a $2000 contribution to the expenses associated with attending New Zealand’s premiere golfing event for a two week period. He will take part in the Green staff preparations leading up to and during the Open.

“It’s going to be great to get a bit of experience leading up to a major tournament – and this is the biggest tournament in New Zealand. It’s sure going to look good on my CV if I decide I want to work overseas!”

NZ Golf has created the scholarship especially for students of Otago Polytechnic’s two-year National Certificate in Sports Turf Management (Level 4) – the only programme of its kind in the country.

It reflects a shortage of trained, experienced workers in the industry and the need to ensure New Zealand’s 400-plus golf courses are kept to a high standard into the future says Programme Manager Gary Smith.

“Mark was choosen for the high standard of practical skill he demonstrated at the Otago Polytechnic Sports Turf Centre, his excellent work experience feed-back and his assessment standards.”

Mark is currently engaged in full-time work experience at the Cromwell Golf Club . Students are involved in course construction under the direction of former professional golfer Greg Turner, who is redesigning the course

The scholarship was initially intended to benefit a second year student, however it has been awarded to first-year student Mark. Graduating sports turf management students are currently engaged in fulltime work experience and all have already secured employment for next year in venues ranging from Eden Park to Clearwater Golf Resort.


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