The Grand Opening of the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf resort built at Kinloch near Taupo was entrusted to Experience Group as part of our wider marketing contract with Kinloch Golf Resort. The planning for the Grand Opening at Kinloch involved attending the Grand Opening of the Jack Nicklaus Cap Cana Resort in the Dominican Republic, as well as the AT&T Pro-Am event at Pebble Beach, California.
A carefully selected group of 300 local and international guests were invited to a three day 'Grand Opening' Event held in Taupo in March 2007. The guest of honour was 18 times major winner, and arguably the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus.
We teed off with an intimate cocktail occasion with Jack Nicklaus and the golf course designers on Friday evening, followed by a breakfast media conference in the purpose-built marquee located atop Clubhouse Hill, which offered a stunning panoramic backdrop of the new course, Lake Taupo and the Ruahine Ranges. This was followed by Jack Nicklaus playing the course hole by hole and describing his design and how to play the course. He was mic'd up so the group of 300 could follow him throughout his round. Kinloch was a special project for Nicklaus who became endeared to the region many years before through his passion for fly-fishing. Work began on the project in 2003 and because of its special nature, Nicklaus personally supervised the design and construction with repeated visits to New Zealand. "It occurred to me that in an increasingly tumultuous world, this peaceful haven offers a timeless way of life and values," Nicklaus said.
A relaxed sundowner event in the marquee followed, where guests mixed and mingled. The following day was dedicated to guests, celebrities and the media playing the course. The Kinloch Club was voted one of the Top 10 new golf courses in the world for 2007 by the prestigious U.S. Travel and Leisure golf magazine - making it the only course outside of North America to be included in that Top 10. Feedback from guests and media alike was overwhelmingly positive.