Europes Hottest player May 2010: Interview with Chris Harding
29 May 2010 at 19:35 | Published by: Hans | Views: 5265 | News search
Chris Harding has won 5 out of 6 starts in 2010. (Photo by Richard Gottfried 2010)
Interview with Chris Harding (CH)
This interview was done in May 2010 by Hans Bergström (HB)
HB: First of all thank you for letting Minigolfnews interview you.
HB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself to those who don’t know you. Who is Chris Harding?
CH: I’m a bookshop manager who took up minigolf after reading a book called ‘Tilting at Windmills’ which talked about the game in Great Britain. The following year I represented my country in Steyr (2005) at the World Championships and have been a regular player ever since.
Club: Midlands Minigolf Club
Favorite ball: Nifo 2003 and SV Sem 99
Favourite surface: MOS – any typical felt courses found in the UK
Best Career results: World Crazy Golf Champion 2007, British Champion 2008.
HB: You have a great season start of 2010 with 5 wins in 6 attempts. What is the explanation of that?
CH: I have been lucky in that 3 of these have been played at my local courses that I know very well. The other reason is that I have taken practice very seriously this year with at least one full day playing the course before the tournament.
HB: What are your season planning and major goals for 2010?
CH: Unfortunately I can’t travel to Italy this year but I intend to play most if not all UK tournaments. My main goal is to be ranked UK number 1 player at the end of the year and to win one of our majors.
HB: What do you think is needed to be a good player?
CH: A great putting stroke that works consistently well even when playing hard shots. A good understanding of ball preparation and a creative mind in how to play certain holes. Many of these holes are unique to their individual course and can be played in many more ways than found on European courses. Finally a cool temperament.
HB: What is your opinion of the development of the sport in UK?
CH: This year has seen many new players enter tournaments which is great to see and can only be good for the sport. We have really committed and enthusiastic members in the BMGA but without funding they are never going to make the breakthrough that will see the game become as big as it is in Europe.
HB: As you know most European players play a totally different game than you do in UK. What is your message to the continental Europe about the game played on the British Islands?
CH: As mentioned before the challenge of playing on unique courses should appeal to our continental friends and those that have made the trip over are now seen here on a regular basis. The courses are built so much better now so that the luck factor has been removed in many cases as the borders offer consistent rebounds. This would never have been the case a few years ago.
HB: Will there be any British Team traveling to the European Championships this year?
CH: Yes there will. Some of the emerging players are being given the chance to represent Great Britain this year and it will be very interesting to see how they perform.
HB: When do you think the rest of Europe will travel to the UK for a major WMF Championship?
CH: I don’t really see this happening in the near future. We would need to see eternit and beton courses being built which I fear is a long way off.
HB: Who is the best Minigolf player you have ever met in person?
CH: The best player I have met is Hans Olofsson (sorry Jouni, Pasi and others!) I was so impressed that I managed to buy one of his putters which my son now proudly uses. I pick Hans as his winning record in many countries is so good.
HB: Do you have any idol in Minigolf?
CH: Not an idol as such but the person who has helped me the most is Thomas Zeininger. The coaching I received from him has made me a much better player.
HB: What is your best memory of Minigolf?
CH: Winning the World Crazy Golf Championship. I played almost faultlessly in terrible conditions.
HB: And what is your worst memory of Minigolf?
CH: Playing in Steyr I totally messed up the 17th on beton which was right by the viewing gallery. Coach Thomas saw me and came storming over, kicking everything in his way. I felt so small – well you would do next to Thomas.
HB: What will be your future goals with your Minigolf career?
CH: I would really like to coach. I realize my playing days won’t last forever and I am classed as a senior. The enjoyment I get out of helping others on the course is almost as much as playing and I would love to bring through the juniors to represent GB in future international competitions.
HB: Do you have any ideas on how the sport could get better media attention and recognition throughout the world?
CH: I would like to see a challenge match between top golfers and minigolfers. Once they see how much skill is involved I’m sure minigolf would get much better coverage. Who knows, even the Olympic committee might take note.
HB: Thank you again for participating and I wish you good luck and success in the future.