Motueka mini-golf course putt to rest
There will be a hole in one or two summer tourist plans after the announcement that the Motueka Mini Golf Course on Chamberlain St is now closed for good.
Located on garden surrounds at the family-owned orchard of Pippa and Peter Hansen, the course had been open for more than 15 years and run by the family over the Christmas holidays for the last seven.
Featuring landmarks from around the Tasman region, including Split Apple Rock, Mt Arthur, and Motueka’s High St clock tower, it was modestly promoted as ‘the best little golf course in Tasman.’’
While the Hansens occasionally employed locals or orchard workers look after the course, Pippa said it was the involvement of immediate family that had been crucial to its success.
‘‘I’ve had my boys available to help as they went through school and then uni but then my youngest has just informed me last week he won’t be home for the next two summer breaks because he’s got work placements...so I don’t have a helper anymore.’’
As well as dwindling assistance to hand out scorecards and clubs, Hansen said the demands of an expanding horticulture operation had impacted on her ability to maintain the golf course.
‘‘I do all the administration for the orchard and because we operate our packhouse all year round, I’m quite tied up now,’’ she said.
‘‘You imagine that garden, it’s beautiful but when it gets left all winter it’s a disaster.’’
‘‘It takes me probably a good two weeks full-on to get it back to being playable – I have pretty high standards and I think you need to when you’re doing something like that.’’
‘‘It’s sad that it will be the end of an era – I know it’s going to be missed in the community but it’s been a big decision for us.’’
Hansen said she was ‘‘pretty much ruling out’’ selling the course to a new buyer.
‘‘I’m really reluctant to hand it over because it’s our family name on it and I don’t want someone half-running it – I want it done properly,’’ she said.
She was waiting until her brother-in-law Arjan Van’t Slot, who built the course, returned from overseas before making any decisions regarding the future fate of the landmarks.
‘‘We always wanted to pick the whole course up and take it down to T.O.A.D Hall or something – it would be great but it wouldn’t be doable.’’
A busier orchard life and dwindling help has seen a Motueka family close their popular mini golf course.