Mocklow’s big plans for Par-3 tournament
If Anthony Mocklow has his way then the Bacardi National Par-3 Championship will one day be so big that there will be overseas qualifying tournaments for those that want to take part.
With the event entering its second year, Mocklow, the Director of Golf at the Fairmont Southampton, is looking to build on last year's success and hopes the championships next March will see upwards of 120 golfers take part.
There is already interest from places as far apart as California and Germany, with the US National Par-3 and Executive Golf Association sending members to take part, and even arranging their Annual General Meeting to take place at Fairmont Southampton on March 26 and 27 to conincide with the championships.
The German PGA meanwhile are planning on sending half a dozen professionals to play in the event alongside the host of Bermuda professionals who are expected to sign up.
“The goal, ultimately, is to turn this into the World Par-3 Championships,” said Mocklow,
“Hopefully in 2012 we will have enough momentum where we can have qualifying in the US, and start to build on having state championships, and those state finalists come to Bermuda with their partners, and build something that culminates in Bermuda.
“That's the dream, and that's what we are working towards.”
For Mocklow the driving force behind the event is increasing golf tourism to the Island, and getting the likes of the Par-3 EGA, and German PGA on board is just the first step.
“The whole goal of this event is to increase golfer travel to Bermuda, and we're working with the Par 3 and Executive Golf Association, which has a thousand-plus par-three golf courses that are members,” said Mocklow.
“They like the event so much they are bringing their national meeting to Bermuda as a result. That's going to be on during the event.
“Susan Bond, last year's ladies champion, is doing an excellent job promoting Bermuda among her friends in Rhodes –Island, and I've met some of them today who are down for the Goodwill. They're coming back.”
And while Fairmont Hotels are giving the championships global exposure through their website, another important part is changing the date of the event.
Last year it coincided with the Masters. This time it will be towards the end of March, from the 25-27, where it is less likely to clash with anything else in the golfing calendar.
“Bermuda golf has got to be really well tuned. Events that are too close together get canabalised, so we sat down with the BGA and said' what makes most sense',” said Mocklow.
“And we decided, with the sponsor, to have it before the Ross Blackie Talbot, which runs in April, so people can focus on that.
“The other real key message for moving the date was that all the Northeast US golf courses open between April 1 and 10 and we went to the PGA and asked, ‘if we had a tournament in the last weekend in March would it increase the likelihood of them coming down to play', and both the Metropolitan section and New Jersey section said ‘absolutely'.”
Once again Bacardi are throwing their weight behind the event, while golf manufacturer TaylorMade are also reportedly interested in getting involved.
“Bacardi is once again –delighted to be sponsoring the Bacardi National Par-3 Championship,” said Michael Brennan, Vice President Finance and Corporate Controller, Bacardi –Limited.
“Golf is a national pastime in Bermuda and supporting this tournament is a great way for Bacardi to get involved in the community.
“We know golfers really –enjoyed the excellent conditions of the par-3 course at The Fairmont Southampton last year and we're looking forward to another high-calibre tournament in 2011.”
n The entry fee for the Par-3 Championships is $225 for professionals and $175 for amateurs and includes a practice round of golf, tournament fees, lunch on both days of the championship, and a welcome gift.
The deadline for entry is March 1, 2011.