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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012
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From only NO
Mini golf still going strong
By JUDITH LACY
Family fun: Feilding Host
Lions Mini Golf turns 30
Photos: WARWICK SMITH
Got it: Becky Chard, 9, sinks a putt.
Her mother Fiona won the round.
''Crazy, short and super fun,'' proclaims Becky Chard's T-shirt. She isn't a
poster girl for Feilding Host Lions Mini Golf, but Becky -- and her T-shirt --
Winning a bet with her mother Fiona she would stay up to see the New Year
in, Becky's prize was a trip to mini golf.
If Becky had lost the bet she had to be her mum's ''slave'' for an hour.
The Palmerston North girl celebrated her ninth birthday at Feilding mini golf
last month, bringing with her a friend who had never been before. Becky
likes the obstacles, particularly the paddle which swings above one of the
holes. Mrs Chard said it was a good course, as the balls run true and skill
''The parents can enjoy it too because it's not just pot luck.''
Some take the fun very seriously
Powerful strokes from dads see the
ball rebound off the concrete, kids
struggling to master clubs nearly as
big as them.
Grandmothers clutching the score
sheet. Conifer perfume filling the
air.Feilding Host Lions Mini Golf has
been entertaining and challenging
people for more than 29 years as a
second generation of players has a
go.The Church St course next to the
Makino Aquatic Centre opened on
November 20, 1982.
Construction started the year
before with the work being done by
club members and people sentenced
to periodic detention.
The course was designed by
members, following visits to courses
With raised holes, tunnels, water
features and obstacles it is not an
A lot of people have told us it's
quite a challenge,'' Allen Start,
director of the mini golf committee,
I don't think there is an easy hole
in the whole course, to be quite
honest,'' president Lionel Raven
As we walk around the
course, Mr Raven quips to
a father: Don't you hate
it when that man stands
up and pushes [the ball]
back out on you?''
We pay him to do
that,'' Mr Start adds.
At the 18th hole,
players can win a free
game by getting their ball
though a marked slot. On
average, two free games
are won a weekend.
The nursery rhyme
theme with a wishing
well, castle and Old Mother Hub-
bard's shoe has remained
unchanged, though there is talk of
adding a mini Feilding clock tower
to one of the holes.
The builder who constructed the
crooked house said it was one of the
hardest things he had built in his
life as he was so used to everything
Last week, a woman in her late
20s, now living in Perth, stopped
and could not believe the course was
still there. A father now living in
Australia recently brought his chil-
dren and remarked the course was
still the same.
Some people come back yearly for
a mini golf challenge.
Mr Raven said some players are
really competitive -- one group last
week brought an independent
I said this is serious' and they
said yes, it's a very serious round'.''
Nearby McDonald's is a popular
choice for the loser to shout a meal.
The orange dot ball is meant to be
the lucky one.
It's a lot of fun, everyone enjoys
it,'' Mr Raven said.
After 30 years we must be doing
something right to still be going.''
Schools come as part of outdoor
activity days, businesses for
Christmas functions and four hol-
iday programme groups are booked
in this week.
Money made is distributed to
charities and community events,
including the annual midwinter din-
ner for about 230 senior citizens.
Host Lions' 29 members take
turns in the ticket office and are
assisted by members of Feilding
Pakeke and Kowhai Lions clubs.
Mr Start leads the maintenance
including regular removing of
leaves and rubbish from the greens.
Manawatu District Council contrac-
tors Fulton Hogan look after the
Feilding Host Lions, formerly
Feilding Lions Club, celebrates its
50th anniversary with a dinner on
Feilding Host Lions Mini Golf, 10am
till 6pm weekends and school
holidays, weather permitting. Adults
$5, children and senior citizens $2.
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