Grab the driver and go

Blending beautiful cars, an extraordinary location and the opportunity to play at one of New Zealand’s premiere golf destinations, Aston Martin Auckland recently hosted 40 customers at the stunning Kinloch Club for the inaugural Aston Martin Golf Tournament.

Let me start with a disclaimer: I’m no expert when it comes to golf. Indeed, thanks to my own unproductive amalgamation of sporting ineptitude and rampant impatience, I’m terrible at it.

Nevertheless, it’s a game I enjoy and one I aspire to get better at. It would appear I’m not alone in my aspiration either, if the number of Aston Martin Auckland Golf Tournament attendees filling the Kinloch Club’s impressive lodge is any indication.

Among the tasteful décor, around 40 of us awaited the draw and enjoyed the scenery. On one side of the room, the course itself is visible, nestled among landscape stretching to the blue waters of Lake Taupo in the distance. On the other side of the room is the lodge’s internal courtyard, showcasing rendered brickwork and blackened cedaralong with a sparkling new Aston Martin Vantage. As far as settings go, it doesn’t get much better. 

To say the Kinloch area (about 20km north-west of Taupois a rather special place to long-serving Aston Martin Auckland General Manager, Greg Brinkis an understatement. Greg grew up here and his passion for the rocky escarpments and lake vistahave never left him. When the Kinloch Club added several luxury cabins and the lodge two years ago, he knew it was perfect for an event of this nature. Aston Martin’s President of Asia Pacific (and golfing enthusiast), Patrik Nilsson, clearly agreed; he’s flown in for the experience as well. 

The tournament is in keeping with Aston Martin’s Art of Living product offering that provides its customers (or prospective customers) experiential new ways to maintain a relationship with the brand.  

“I’m thrilled to be in New Zealand again, especially for such a wonderful interpretation of our global Art of Living strategy,” said Patrik. 

“It’s important for Aston Martin to be more than a car company. Experience is at the heart of what we’re aiming to deliver and to be here in such a beautiful setting, with some beautiful cars, is very true to that philosophy.” 

Also on the guest list is Michael Hendry; professional golfer, long time Aston Martin driver and brand ambassador.  

Michael is currently ranked fourth in New Zealand and is a ranked PGA pro. He’s a wealth of knowledge and only too happy imparting expert tuition each morning of the event to those wanting to improve their game. 

With teams drawn and two days of friendly competition underway, there’s great banter and it’s easy to forget there’s some serious swag up for grabs; one of the event partners, TAG Heuer, has offered up an exclusive timepiece to the winner. I’m having too much fun to think about competition, which is probably just as well as there are several strong players within the group. I’m clearly out of my league. 

I can always turn my attention to the other type of driving on offer this weekend though. With some exotic metal available to sample on the flowing Kinloch roads – including a DBS Superleggera, a DB11 and the new Vantage – attendees are spoilt for experience. I could certainly get used to Aston Martin’s Art of Living philosophy. 

It’s a credit to the team at Aston Martin Auckland, who wanted the programme to be about passion for the game, as well as great cars. The atmosphere has been fantastic, and it’s no surprise there are a number of attendees already confirmed for next year’s tournament.  

Perhaps I should lock that in too… although I’ll have to get some practice in first.

Words and Photos Steve Vermeulen 

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