Many senior sportspeople consider the NZMG an annual pilgrimage and can use their silver tongues to convince mates to travel long distances with them, as golfer Catherine Pearce would attest yesterday.

The Melbourne native was entering the start of the 18-hole golf tournament at the Belmont Links, being one of around 140 players spread across the Wanganui and Castlecliff Golf Club greens.

The two local clubs alternate being the main host of the tournament for each NZMG, with Wanganui taking the lead this year as the finals will be held there tomorrow.

Pearce was convinced to come across the Tasman by friends - travelling with them to Cambridge before coming to Whanganui to billet in with their extended family.

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"I came with a couple who are from New Zealand but are living [in Melbourne] now. I thought it was a good thing to do."

She was one of just over 140 players taking part in seven divisions from ages 35+ to 75+.

However, in a familiar tale, this was down from the 180 entrants in 2015.

Co-ordinator Peg Irvin said they had compromised a little bit on the playing groups of four, but by and large people were able to go around the course with others in their specific division.

"The handicap dictates how you play," she said.

While a first timer, Pearce had noticed some of the quietness, especially when heading to War Memorial Hall after a day's play.

"We did go a couple of times but there wasn't many there. They were all telling me the tent atmosphere was better."

Prize giving for the competition will be at the Belmont Links clubrooms at 4.20pm tomorrow, with the medals presented by Whanganui's bowls exponent Sean Johnson.