Volvo enjoys an enviable reputation for its quality vehicles, for its innovation, and for its strong relationship with golf all over the world. Now, Volvo is combining all three of these admirable attributes in its approach to the hole in one prizes during the Volvo Golf Champions, which will be staged at Durban Country Club from January 10-13.
This curtain-raising event is a true ‘tournament of champions’ as it features only proven winners – those who have won on The European Tour during the previous year or who have accumulated ten or more titles in their career.
As such, it attracts the best of the best and this high calibre field is sure to be fascinated by Volvo’s unusual and bold rewards on offer for that rarest of golfing achievements, a hole in one. Whilst many tournaments have a prize on offer at one of the par threes, not many boast not one but three such opportunities during the course of a round. As the restricted field means that there is no halfway cut, over the four days of action each of the star golfers taking part will get not just four, but 12 chances to go home with one of Volvo’s treasured products.
The list of entrants already features Ryder Cup stars Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari, along with their inspirational captain José María Olazábal, as well as local heroes Retief Goosen, 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen and bright new star, defending champion Branden Grace. Such talent on display means that at least one hole in one – or more – is a distinct possibility.
Volvo’s superb array of vehicles will be on display on and around the course, and this is sure to whet the appetite of the golfers. And whilst the car on offer at the 12th hole is a superb reward in its own right, the two prizes at the 15th and 18th holes are particularly innovative, the likes of which have never been seen during a professional golf tournament before. With all three coming in the last seven holes, an exciting finish to each round is guaranteed.
The 12th hole at Durban Country Club is a relatively short par three, measuring just 143 metres to a small plateau green which is surrounded by steep slopes. Back in 1922, it was being played by the then Prince of Wales, who had great difficulty in stopping his ball on the putting surface. First he would leave the approach short and then he would hit it long – but either way, the ball kept rolling down to the base of the hill. Eventually, His Royal Highness putted out for a 17 and the hole has been named after him ever since.
Now, for the first professional who manages to beat this royal score by 16 shots and achieve a hole in one during the Volvo Golf Champions, there will be a brand new Volvo V40 to take home.
The all-new Volvo V40 is ready to overtake the competition in the premium hatchback class combining characteristics from larger Volvos wrapped in a sleek, compact package.
Håkan Abrahamsson, V40 Vehicle Programme Manager, said: “The all-new V40 attracts you with its sleek, dynamic exterior. It wraps you in a super-comfortable cockpit with outstanding ergonomics and technology that makes you feel informed and relaxed, yet focused. This driver-centric approach is what modern Volvos are all about.”
Far more uncommon, however, is the prize on offer at the final par three on the course, the 177 metre 15th hole. This is played over a lake to a green protected at the front by three bunkers. Here, there will be a prize which perhaps the Prince of Wales would have been happy to put into use on the 12th hole 90 years ago.
The Volvo Compact Excavator EC55 is designed with productivity, efficiency and cost-effectiveness in mind. As golf clubs around the world enjoy the technology on offer to improve and remodel their courses, this type of excavator is often used in landscaping, mounding and all manner of renovation.
Indeed, a Volvo excavator was spotted at the same event in 2012 by former Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen. He is looking forward to the event, and will be particularly interested in the digger on offer for a hole in one here.
Oosthuizen said: “I saw one of these on display at the start of this year during the Volvo Golf Champions at Fancourt. At the time I thought how useful one would be on my farm, so to have the chance of winning one for myself is a fantastic incentive.”
Perhaps the most unusual prize of the lot, however, is on offer at the closing hole. This is a short par four of just 250 metres which will make for a very dramatic finish as it will be driveable for just about all of the pros.
Here, the first golfer to hole his tee shot will win the all-new Volvo FH Truck, which is the world’s strongest truck, pulling up to 750 horsepower.
It was only launched in September by Volvo Trucks, and is itself a champion on long-haul routes.
Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks, said: “All in all, our new Volvo FH is much more than a world-class truck. It is a complete, competitive business solution. It contains new functionality that gives our customers added value compared to previous models, and it will further strengthen our leading position and help us gain new market shares.”
Per Ericsson, President of Volvo Event Management, said: “This year we have something new and very special on offer, as we have three hole-in-one prizes to compete for. We are very proud of all three, the likes of which have never been seen on Tour before, and which showcase the diversity of Volvo’s products. We think they add a real element of fun and will really capture the imagination of the players, the spectators and the millions watching on TV around the world.”
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