Golf: A welcome invasion

Canada geese are famous for their ability to migrate thousands of miles but it is a different group of Canadians who make an annual trip to the Bay of Plenty.

Every year, starting around December, a large group of Canadians travel here to escape their harsh winter. Many are casual golfers who become seasonal members of the Omanu and Mount Maunganui Golf Clubs, and a core group decided 12 years ago to organise a golf tournament hosted by them, and played the second Monday of February.

Since then the Canomu Golf Tournament has grown to a playing field of more than 110 players with 114 in action in this year's event held yesterday at Omanu.

"It is a fun and casual tournament, and the goal of the event is simply to have a lot of laughs and great camaraderie," said the Canadian tournament organiser Ed Klassen.

"This is simply a way of saying thank you to the many local Kiwi residents and golfers for taking such great care of us. It seems that Canadians and New Zealanders have a lot in common, and we very much appreciate the warm hospitality that is shown to us.

"Omanu Golf Club manager, Barry Plank, annually invites the Canadians to plan this event. Barry Keast, a life member of Omanu and president of the Veterans, and Wai Wyatt, the secretary of the golf course, are a big help.

"I could not do it without them.

"Canadians that frequent the Bay of Plenty annually are great ambassadors for your country when they return to their homeland."

The Canadians pay for the full tournament, including prizes, a full course meal and even a drink at the bar.

Every player receives a golf prize, regardless of his or her score.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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