COOLUM LOSS IS GOLD COAST GAIN

COOLUM LOSS IS GOLD COAST GAIN

RACV Royal Pines Resort is named the new home of the Australian PGA Championship for the next five years after Coolum Resort lost the contract last year.

The luxury resort, renowned for its golfing facilities, has beaten a heavy-hitting northern rival to secure the event which is one of the major highlights of the Australian golfing calendar.

Mercure Capricorn Resort Yeppoon, which says it was among the top two bids, paid tribute to the RACV Royal Pines victory, although it indicates that still harbours ambitions to one day host the event.

The PGA abandoned its long-time home, the Palmer Coolum Resort (formerly the Hyatt Coolum), late last year after the PGA and the resort failed to reach an agreement to host the 2013 event which is said to have an operating budget of $5 million.

PGA Australia chief executive Brian Thorburn says the deal will provide major leverage to grow the championship into one of the biggest events on the Gold Coast calendar.

“This is a significant and exciting day in the history of the Australian PGA Championship,” says Thorburn.

“The Australian PGA Championship holds great importance to the entire PGA membership, and the relocation to RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast now provides us with the required assets to grow the tournament.

“With a significant population base and its natural tourism appeal, we now have a wonderful opportunity to attract increased interstate and international visitors to the region and contribute considerably to targets set by Tourism Australia as part of their 2020 vision.”

The Queensland Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey, welcomes the decision.

“I am pleased the organisers have been able to secure a new venue which will allow them to get on with planning for the 2013 tournament to be held later in the year,” says Stuckey.

“The Australian PGA Championship is the nation’s oldest professional tournament and the Newman Government will continue supporting it through a renewed agreement with Tourism and Events Queensland.

“The tournament has grown to become a signature sporting experience on our major event calendar and we recognise the important contribution sports tourism makes to the Queensland economy.

“The Australian PGA Championship will showcase the Gold Coast to a national and international audience, with the event broadcast to more than 400 million homes throughout 40 countries.

“As we look toward the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, it is major international sporting events like this that showcase the Gold Coast as a premier event and holiday destination.”

The 2013 tournament will mark the first time in more than a decade that the PGA Tour of Australasia has staged a major tournament on the Gold Coast, with event dates yet to be announced.

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