As the PGA Tour comes to an end the real golf begins with New Plymouth Golf Club playing host to the opening Jennian Homes Charles Tour event, The Augusta Funds Management, Taranaki Open presented by PipeTech from 29 September till 2 October.

Traditionally the New Zealand Golf summer opens with the Carrus Open, but with some slight rescheduling this will now be played in April as the final event of the season which gives New Plymouth Golf Club the chance to kick things off in style.

Our national golf circuit is only getting bigger and better with high stakes and higher purses this season, hence the great response from some of the countrys finest players with a handful of notable names turning out to play for the first title of the season.

There are four past champions in the field and leading the charge is Mark Brown who returns to try and take home the chocolates yet again. The Kiwi stalwart is always a favourite when entering an event in his home country. Joining him, Joonsang Chung is aiming to defend his maiden victory after earning a two shot win in 2015. Fraser Wilkin is also back and hungry to have a repeat of his dramatic 2013 win.

2010 champion Troy Ropiha will be want to start the season on the front foot and see if he can produce another magical week in Taranaki against what is proving to be a magical field for the season opener.

This magical field doesnt stop at past winners with Josh Geary returning from the Tour, Dan Pearce is back from the China Tour, Nick Gillespie and local legend Grant Moorhead. The former Eisenhower Trophy champ would have enjoyed watching the recent success of New Zealands sixth place finish in Mexico.

Three time Jennian Homes Charles Tour winner, Chantelle Cassidy returns from the Espirito World Team Championships in Mexico where they finished in 19th of 56 teams. Cassidy earnt the right to be selected for this team after her superb season on tour and will no doubt be in with a chance to continue that winning form as Brittney Dryland and Ella Grimwood look to stop her.

Coupled with the start of the golfing season The Jennian Homes Trophy tees off, which plays the role of the FedEx Cup that Rory McIlroy dramatically won this week. One player will be in search to be the seasons most consistent and it all starts here.

After a sad week in the game of golf with The King Arnold Palmer passing away, we find that there is a piece of history at New Plymouth Golf Club with his putter that he used to win the 1964 Masters in the building. This is something very special gifted by a very special man and is something to take a look at upon visiting the open event of the season.

After a long winter, this is the moment New Zealand golfers have been waiting for. Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy your Jennian Homes Charles Tour.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Golf NZ