Club president George George says everyone is pumped for the event.
Local firm Michigan Motors have sponsored the tournament for 23 years and George says it’s the club’s number one golf event of the year – an opportunity for the best golfers in the islands, female or male, to take out the club’s most prestigious title.
It’s a tough format with 21 golfers all hitting off on the first tee, one after the other.
By high noon, and the 9th hole – just two players will be left standing – and they will then chip off for the top prize money.
While the shootout this year features the top nine men and five women in the club – seven invitees – usually club committee stalwarts – round out the field and get a chance to play with the pros, for as long as they last.
“It’s like our little own pro golf tournament in our own backyard at the Rarotonga Golf Club,” George said.
For those competing in the event at the top level, it is most intense atmosphere of all golf tournament formats, as they face the possibility going home after every hole. After each hole the golfers with the most shots all face a ‘chip off’ with a set number of players furthest from the pin losing out.
Fifteen players will be eliminated after the first four holes and there after one person is dropped at the completion of each hole.
“It’s unlike the normal golf that we play at the club,” George said, “You’re playing like a pro, you need nerves of steel.”
“The players that are the ones to watch are those who can handle the pressure. To win the shootout you need to play perfect golf for nine holes.”
Last year three of the club’s top golfers were eliminated on the first hole. Invitees have won the event in past years.
Last year Aitutaki club president Ned Neale was runner up.
The club’s best golfer, William Howard, on a -1.8 handicap, has never won the event despite numerous attempts.
The defending shootout champion is James Herman.
At 1.30pm the rest of the club’s golfers will tee-off in a shotgun start for an afternoon 18-hole stableford competition with the Michigan Motors Shootout prize giving to follow.