Skill with a mallet goes a long way
At the Mt Albert Croquet Club, up-and-coming player Hamish McIntosh is literally a jack of all trades.
The 19-year-old will represent New Zealand at the World Under-21 Golf Croquet Championships in Cairo later this month.
But he’s also in charge of mowing the green to keep it in pristine condition, giving him an excellent opportunity to see how it will play during a match.
And mixing study with croquet down at the club has provided Hamish with some relief during his university exams.
Golf croquet is a tricky game where players hit coloured balls through hoops in a certain order.
After just two years in the sport, the Mt Albert resident has come a long way in a short space of time.
“I emailed the New Zealand selectors and asked if I could go to Cairo and they said: ‘No, you haven’t done enough on a national level.’
“I went and won the New Zealand Open Handicap tournament and Auckland Silver Badge tournament and they said yes.
“I don’t think they expected me to come back to them.”
Hamish says the Egyptians will pose the biggest challenge at the tournament, with the English and Australians not far behind.
“The standard’s going to be really high, but there’s no point going away if you’re not aiming to win a medal.”
Hamish says it’s the strategic element of the sport that attracted him in the first place.
“It’s nothing like the stereotype that it’s an old person’s game. You’ve got to be incredibly tactical, skilful and aggressive.”
Club president Martin Harvey says a mixture of natural talent and the right attitude has seen Hamish progress so quickly.
“He’s a natural sportsman and has got the drive to succeed.”
For information about Mt Albert Croquet Club phone 849-3003.
On the ball: Mt Albert Croquet Club member Hamish McIntosh will represent New Zealand at the World Under-21 Golf Croquet Championships in Cairo on July 18.