Craig Bowyer won the amateur section of the New Zealand Mini Golf Open at the weekend. PHOTO/ELI HILL

Eight holes-in-one in a weekend

ELI HILL
Eli.hill@age.co.nz

A Masterton man has proved he can putt it with the best after taking first in the amateur section of the New Zealand Mini Golf Open.

Rural consultant Craig Bowyer got into mini golf eight months ago after seeing an article online about the New Zealand Mini Golf Federation.

“I saw it and I thought, hey this’d be a good laugh. So a friend from Auckland and myself thought we’d give it a go.

“We played a couple of tournaments in Auckland in the last four months and then this New Zealand Open came up in Rotorua.”

Bowyer scored a 24 under par 111 over the weekend’s three rounds – seven shots ahead of the next place amateur.

Bowyer’s best hole on the course was number six which he managed to ace in all three of the rounds.

“It’s up a hill and the gap to get through is only about a ball and a half wide. The reason I got it in is just being jammy – more ass than class.

“Really, the secret is concentration, that’s all it is.”

Bowyer who also plays regular golf said the Lumberjax Mini Golf course where the tournament was held had proved challenging.

“It’s not about slopes, it’s about hitting a side or an obstacle to then ricochet the ball into the hole and going from there.

“I’d played the course once before and that was on New Year’s. The guys who played in the pro side of this were there on Thursday practising. I just showed up on the Saturday.”

Despite hitting eight holes-in-one throughout the course and achieving the lowest amateur score, Bowyer said he had no ambitions of going professional.

“You’d need a lot of practice and a lot of time on your hands to go pro, but the prize money is pretty good – the pros played for $3000 on the weekend.

“For the meantime, there’s regular tournaments once a month in the upper North Island. I’ll just look to keep playing them.”

Bowyer said the best part about mini golf was the people.

“They’re good, different people from all walks of life. Mini golf lets you meet new people and have some fun.

“You don’t take it too seriously – but then again some people do take it pretty seriously.”