Volvo swings onto the green

Volvo’s swings onto the green

The 2013 Volvo Golf Champions, to be staged at the Durban Country Club from January 10 to 13 in the new year, will bring the golfing spotlight and the eyes of the world to South Africa. The annual curtain-raiser of the European Tour, it features an elite field of proven winners.

The Volvo Golf Champions is a true “tournament of champions” – with entry restricted to those who either won an event on the Tour in the previous year, or are long-term victors with 10 or more title wins during their career. As such, it features exciting new contenders who are emerging onto the world stage as well as some of golf’s most admired, well-known and high-profile stars. It is the perfect tie-in for the Volvo brand and products.

Already confirmed to appear are Ryder Cup heroes such as Nicolas Colsaerts, Peter Hanson, Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari, as well as their popular and charismatic team captain, José María Olazábal. South African stars such as Retief Goosen and Louis Oosthuizen, both major winners, will join defending champion Branden Grace, this year’s brightest new star.

Players are signing up consistently, and it’s expected that the field for the 2013 Volvo Golf Champions will be the strongest yet. The limited number of players means there is no halfway cut and all players will be in action on each of the four days of the event.

Presenting the tournament trophy are, from left: Per Ericsson, president Volvo Event Management golf; Bram van der Reep, managing director Volvo Cars SA, Torbjörn Christensson, president Volvo Group Southern Africa.Attention will be drawn to three specific Volvo products – with three hole-in-one prizes on offer this year instead of one. Two are particularly innovative, the likes of which haven’t really been seen during a golf tournament before …

The 12th hole at Durban Country Club is a short par-3 with a small green surrounded by steep slopes. It’s named after the Prince of Wales who, when playing it in 1922, had great difficulty in stopping his ball on the putting surface. He is said to have taken 17 strokes to finish! However, it should be much easier for the pros, and whoever conquers it with a hole-in-one during the tournament will bag a beautiful new Volvo V40.

Far more unusual is the prize that can be won at the 194-yard 15th hole – a Volvo Compact Excavator (something the Prince of Wales would probably have been happy to use 90 years ago!).

Equally unusual is the prize on offer at the closing 18th hole. This short par-4 of just 273 yards will make for a dramatic finish as it will be driveable for the pros. The first golfer to hole their tee shot here will win the new Volvo FH truck, itself a champion on long-haul routes and worth approximately €120 000 (R1 341 576).

According to Per Ericsson, president of Volvo Event Management: “This year we have something new and very special on offer as we have three hole-in-one prizes to compete for. Each one shows the sheer quality of Volvo’s superb product range, and we are particularly proud to be offering the FH Truck as it is something that has never before been seen on Tour and will appeal to the players, the spectators and the millions watching on TV around the world.”

Through the tournament, Volvo is continuing its association with Star for Life, the official charity of the Volvo Golf Champions. This school programme was set up in South Africa in 2005 to help young people fulfil their dreams and live a healthy and Aids-free lifestyle. Supported by Volvo since the start, it will receive R10 from the sale of each ticket.

This prestigious championship with its star-studded field, unique format and innovative hole-in-one prizes will certainly draw a huge amount of attention from all over the world.

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