FIJI INTERNATIONAL AIMS TO BOOST GOLF DEVELOPMENT IN FIJI

Caption:?Fiji International Golf Development Program attracts new potential junior golfers in 2014. Photo: SUPPLIED.

Friday March 27, 2015. The Fiji International is planning to soon launch its golf development program for 2015 in Fiji with the aim of increasing awareness of the sport of golf and establishing a strong foundation for the sustainability of golf in the nation.

The?program, which began in 2014 together with the inaugural Fiji International, will include socializing the game of golf with school students at selected schools across the nation through one-hour fun and interactive golf clinics conducting by PGA qualified golf professionals from PGA of Australia alongside Fiji PGA.

?The PGA of Australia works with Golf Australia in delivering a national junior program, My Golf, which we feel will compliment the work already being done in Fiji.?Our programme is designed to reach young people of all abilities and circumstances to give them a chance to pursue golf from the community into the club environment. The ?Skills for Life? attributes that golf has to offer can also have a positive impact on these young people as they grow into adulthood. We intend to build on the success of our efforts last year and work with more schools this year to increase the awareness, reach and participation?, said Natalie Ritter, General Manager of Fiji International.

The Professional Golfers Association of Fiji and National Golf Association of Fiji have both expressed appreciation to the Fiji International stake holders for paving the way to leave behind a legacy of golf in Fiji and for growing the game. The same sentiments were echoed by the National Sports Commission of Fiji in a meeting held last month together with PGA of Australia and all the relevant sports bodies.

?An event like the Fiji International brings awareness of golf in Fiji not only on the global stage but also on a domestic level. It provides a platform for our local professionals to aspire to and compete against some of the best golfers in the world. With the golf development program, we hope to be able to share the game with the youths of Fiji giving them better opportunities for their future. The industry of golf worldwide is a rapidly growing one. We hope to see interest levels domestically increase which will help to boost the industry in Fiji furthermore and benefit all in the long run. We are grateful to PGA Australia and the Fiji International stakeholders for their commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for golf in Fiji. ? Said Graeme Bell, President of the Professional Golfers Association of Fiji.

The final plans for the Fiji International Golf Development program will be released in the weeks to come. All schools of Fiji will be considered as potential venues for the series of clinics planned. Schools are encouraged to contact?info@fijiinternational.com?for more information on how to become a candidate for the program.

The 2015 Fiji International will be held from 15th?? 18th?October at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.

The inaugural Fiji International, boasting a million dollar prize purse,?signalled?Fiji?s official arrival onto the golfing world stage with the Fijian Government, Fiji Tourism and Fiji?s number one golf ambassador, Vijay Singh, all making a push to put their country on the lucrative golfing map.

As the newest tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia tours, the inaugural Fiji International was a resounding success. It was not only a great golf event, but also an opportunity to showcase Fiji as a premier cultural, leisure and sporting destination with a diverse range of activities and attractions.

120 players from 16 different countries came together at the spectacular Natadola Bay to take on the challenging championship course, designed by local hero Vijay Singh, in what was the regions first ever internationally broadcast tournament.

Other players in the field included three time Major Champion, Nick Price, Fiji?s Dinesh Chand, India?s highest ranked and world top 100 player, Anirban Lahiri, China?s top ranked players, Liang Wenchong and Wu Ashun, and two of Australia?s most successful and respected golfers, Craig Parry and Peter O?Malley.

Hitting the very first tee shot of the Fiji International, Steven Jeffress went on to make history by sinking the last putt of the tournament as he birdied the 18th hole to claim the title by four shots from fellow Australian, Jake Higginbottom.

Further information on the Fiji International is available at?www.fijiinternational.com.

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