Golf Industry Central Autumn 2013 - Page 11

Industry News Peter Stone and Martin Blake join Golf Australia website Award-winning golf journalists Peter Stone and Martin Blake have joined Golf Australia’s online team on a permanent basis. Having left Fairfax Media at the end of 2012, the pair has almost 70 years’ experience in sports reporting between them, with Blake covering golf for The Age in Melbourne since 2002 and Stone as chief golf writer for the Sydney Morning Herald for 18 years. They have covered key issues in the game and countless tournaments, both in Australia and overseas. Both covered Golf Australia’s recent ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open for womensaustralianopen.com at Royal Canberra Golf Club with record traffic figures for the site. Golf Australia’s Digital Director John Sutherland said the pair would be an important part of the growing online team. “Peter and Martin are well known in Australian golf circles and have broken countless stories over their respective careers. They will be valuable contributors to our site and, as they have in the past, will generate plenty of debate,” Sutherland said. “In a period of some contraction in the Australian media industry, Golf Australia, as the peak national body in the game, is committed to growing its coverage of breaking news and issues in golf and we now have the best team to do that,” Sutherland added. Top NZ golf club sells for NZ $12.8m One of New Zealand’s top six golf clubs has sold for a tidy sum of $12.8 million - the Gulf Harbour Country Club. The new owner, its fifth, is New Zealander Chen Gau. The club, which boasts world top amateur golfer Lydia Ko as a member, will lease the facility from Gau for the foreseeable future, according to club deputy chairman Doug Godfrey said. The amount that has changed hands is considered to be a bargain price, given it would cost approximately $30m to build the country club and golf course now. Membership is increasing and the club has 100 junior players. As well as it being the home club of fifteen-year-old New Zealand Women’s Golf Open champion Lydia Ko of Albany, it is also the home club for golfer Michael Hendry, who won the New Zealand PGA Championship in 2012. The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr and opened in 1997. The club hosted the 1998 World Cup of Golf and the New Zealand Open in 2005 and 2006. Golf Industry Central Autumn 2013 9