Bjørn Wirkola is a legendary World and Norwegian ski jumping champion who has long since given away that sport for the more gentle game of golf. He is the namesake and tour host for the Annual Wirkola Cup which commenced as we go to print. Bjørn currently boasts a handicap of 11.6, however son Tore, also on ‘tour’ is just ahead with a handicap of 9. The Norwegian golfing website ‘golferen.no’ describes the tournament as: “a textbook example of a social golfing tournament.” Of course there are some challenges for the almost 50 Norwegian golfers who have just completed the Norwegian golfing season. Managing speedy greens, warm weather (hot for them) and humidity are some of their challenges.
The tournament is managed by the Norwegian Travel Agency Orkidé Ekspressen with Thai Airways providing substantial sponsorship. Apart from the ‘Cup’ itself, overseas flights from Norway are on offer to the winners. Golfers stay at the Methavalai Hotel in Cha-Am. Locally Members of the Cha-Am Golf Club manage many of the technical arrangements. Host Bjørn commented that “In the years the tournament has become the way I want it to be; including the phenomenal job the Cha-Am Golf Club has done.” Membership of the Cha-Am Golf Club and a Membership Card to take home is part of the deal for participants. Cha-Am golf tour operator Rogeir Heimstad from golftrip@cha-am provides local knowledge to golfers and a lead role to ensure all the final arrangements are in place. (By the way; happy 50th birthday Rogeir- November 16th!).
The Event will be played as a best score from two of three days played at Imperial Lakeview, Springfield and Palm Hills Golf Courses however many of the golfers play golf each day before competition play. Arrangements include gala dinners and imported Norwegian entertainers to make for a full and very sociable schedule. Our warm welcome (varm velkomst) to all the visiting ‘Wirkolas’!