Mount Maunganui Golf Club will host a tournament on the Charles Tour from December next year.
It will mean a double dose of top quality golf in the Western Bay with Tauranga Golf Club already an established host of the Carrus Open on the Charles Tour.
The dual hosting of 72-hole professional tournaments is a return to what was known as the golden days of New Zealand professional golf, when Mount Maunganui and Tauranga clubs hosted high ranked tournaments over a two-week summer period in the 1970s.
Those events attracted the best players in Australasia and many from Europe and the US, including five-time British Open winner Peter Thomson who died on Wednesday.
The idea to get a Charles Tour start has been talked about for many years over a cold drink after golf at the Mount Maunganui course. The arrival of new club general manager Michael Williams 12 months ago was the catalyst to get the process under way.
Williams was previously general manager of the Manawatu Golf Club where he helped run four Charles Tour events and the New Zealand PGA Championship.
"We have undertaken a full tournament review over the last 12 months and we looked at everything from your little community fundraiser tournament through to the Grant Clements, which has been our national high profile event," Williams said.
"We have come up with a structure and a framework that we want to do tournament-wise because tournaments are a big part of the golf club. Basically, the board was keen to do something of note on the national stage."
Williams began work on whether it was feasible to run the tournament and quickly got the answers he was hoping for.
"I went off to see if it was viable and had a chat with Christies Floorings owner Dave Gerrand to be the major sponsor and he said 'yes'. I spoke with the council and what they could offer and they got enthused about it, and obviously New Zealand Golf as the other major party," Williams said.
"When asked would they like the Mount to join the Charles Tour, they took about five seconds to say 'yes' so I went back to the board and said 'yes we can do it'."
December was agreed as the ideal time to hold the event from an availability factor and course condition.
Mount Maunganui's flagship 72-hole amateur tournament the Grant Clements Memorial will be incorporated into the Charles Tour event. The top amateur will win the trophy just as the leading amateur wins the Bledisloe Cup at the New Zealand Open.
Homegrown New Zealand touring pro Hayden Beard is delighted the course where he grew up playing is to host the Charles Tour event.
"I played the Grant Clements for a number of years and to have a professional event other than a pro-am is always great. Now we will have the leading amateurs and pros playing the same course at the same time.
"The course is in good nick that time of year with hard and fast greens. It will be a good test."