16 Jan 2017

Sport: Tonga govt undecided on 2019 Pac Games golf plans

1:38 pm on 16 January 2017

Tonga's deputy Prime Minister says nothing has been confirmed as yet regarding the preparation of golfing facilities for the 2019 Pacific Games.

Earlier reports out of the country said the government had approved the location for a new course for Games, despite the Organising Committee suggesting one was not needed.

The current course at 'Atele is a nine hole course but Siaosi Sovaleni said the government is proposing an extension or construction of a new 18 hole course in Popua to which presents a more of a challenge.

Tonga's Deputy PM, Siaosi Sovaleni.

Deputy PM Siaosi Sovaleni says nothing has been finalised regarding Photo: IISD

However he said no concrete decisions have been made.

"That's what we are hoping to establish," Mr Sovaleni said.

"We have got a design team coming in to finalise what the layout is going to be like so we can actually see what is going to be the best way forward.

"Whether to do the new one or to extend the current one."

Mr Sovaleni said hopes to establish soon which path to take.

"The whole idea was to actually expand on the nine holes so it could be more challenging and to a certain standard. That is the whole plan so far," he said.

"The new site, we have a similar plan to actually look at what we can do given the limited time that we have. We are getting the designs done and looking at the implementation plan and looking at the actual design for the golf course."

Earlier the government said the cost for extending the existing 'Atele course would come in at a minimum cost of $US6.2m but they could only allocate $US1.35m towards a golf course.

The CEO of the Organising Committee, Lord Sevele, has said previously the current nine hole course would be suitable for the Games.