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Mini putt makeover tees off

Members of Masterton South Rotary participated in a working bee to weed the gardens at Masterton Mini Putt – the first stage of a significant revamp for the course. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

Erin Kavanagh-Hall
[email protected]

One of Masterton’s most iconic visitor destinations is undergoing a long-awaited revamp – starting with some “hard yakka” in the garden.

Masterton South Rotary has begun a project to refurbish Masterton Mini Putt’s 43-year-old golf course at Queen Elizabeth Park, which it hopes to have completed in time for next summer.

The course’s new “makeover”, its first major renovations in over a decade, will include fresh turf and a new paint job for each of its 18 holes, and a tidy-up of the greens’ surrounding gardens – which had, in recent months, become overgrown with weeds.

The revamp project, co-ordinated by long-time Rotarians Marilyn Hunt and Michael Blundell, kicked off late last month with three volunteer working bees – with Masterton South Rotary members getting out their gardening tools to tackle the overgrowth.

Over three Monday mornings, the volunteers were able to clear away all the weeds and put down new topsoil, donated by the neighbouring Masterton Croquet Club.

Co-ordinator Hunt said Masterton South Rotary decided to “completely revitalise” the course, after noticing the turf, last replaced in 2009, had begun to disintegrate.

Rotarians Tim Wyllie (left), Dick Davison and Rob Irwin enjoy at day of work in the garden.

She said Masterton Mini Putt has long been a popular hang-out spot for both visitors and locals – and it was time the community asset “had a bit of a boost”.

“We had the new greens put down and the concrete remodelled 13 years ago – and there’s been nothing new since,” Hunt said.

“The revamp will give the course a real lift and add a pop of colour amongst all the green and grey.

“We get a lot of visitors from (out of town) coming to the park – so we’re hopeful this will help the course look more inviting and encourage more people to come and play a game of golf.”

Masterton Mini Putt was established by Masterton South Rotary in 1979 and, since then, has become one of the organisation’s major fundraising sources.

Co-ordinator Michael Blundell said the next stage of the revamp would be laying the new turf, supplied by Carpet Court – which is hoped to go ahead in May.

“We get a lot of people through – so the greens had definitely taken a beating!” Blundell said.

Now the gardens have been cleared, volunteers will begin planting coloured leaf and flowering shrubs “to add a bit of extra colour”.

Further working bees will be held for painting the concrete edges, starting with water blasting to prepare the surfaces “and get rid of the gunge that’s built up in the corners”.

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Blundell said he was proud of the Rotary members who worked on the gardens – who not only volunteered their time but contributed their own gardening gadgets, such as chainsaws, hedge clippers, wheelbarrows, and trailers.

“It was pretty hard yakka – but we got it done, and the volunteers really enjoyed themselves,” Blundell said.

“That’s the great thing about Rotary – if you organise a working bee, people will always put their hands up to help out.”

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