Motueka mini-golf course putt to rest

The Leader (Nelson) - - YOUR HEALTH - TIM O'CON­NELL

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 place­ 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.

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