Baffling doesn’t begin to describe Clive Palmer’s latest stunts ahead of this week’s Australian PGA Championship.
|The 9th hole at Palmer Coolum. Sans dinosaur.
Mining billionaire Clive Palmer has been buying up golf courses in Queensland for one reason or another. With little interest in golf, Palmer’s motives are unclear but he appears to be using the publicity associated with the Australian PGA Championship this week to further his own interests.
Hey he owns the resort, so he can do what he wants, right?
All the same, an 8metre high dinosaur positioned behind the ninth green at isn’t exactly what the Australian PGA thought they’d be facing. Nor the painted advertisements on the fairways endorsing Palmer’s business and political interests.
The Australian’s Brent Read
reported yesterday the Australian PGA Championship being held at Palmer Coolum Resort this week has just avoided a “titanic” disaster after negotiations between tournament organisers and resort owner Clive Palmer.
At one point yesterday afternoon, it appeared likely the PGA Tour would be forced to find a new home – or cancel the event – amid suggestions Palmer had informed organisers they were no longer welcome at the venue, which has housed the tournament for a decade.
Yesterday’s dramatic developments were pre-empted by Palmer’s decision to paint signage on the course promoting his company Mineralogy, his plans to build a replica of the Titanic, and most controversially, the slogan “Freedom of Speech”, written large across the 15th fairway.
And on the dinosaur…
It is understood the PGA has requested the dinosaur, which lets out a loud roar and moves its tail and jaws, be turned off during the event.
Aussie Golfer also believes that some of the tense negotiations centred around Palmer’s wish to hold a memorial to John F. Kennedy on the ninth hole during Saturday’s third round.The Herald-Sun reported that JFK’s daughter Caroline Kennedy intends to help Palmer launch his replica Titanic which may partially explain the memorial plans.
Well, if it can be explained at all.
Needless to say, it appears that the Australian PGA Championship will be moving location next year. We hope, for the sake of Australian golf, that this week runs smoothly.