E-mail
Password
Lost password »
Register »
      

LATEST FORUM POST

Portugal  Ahnuc

17 Sep 2019 at 17:47

Hi Jeeb, Have a look here as well: [...] This is another supplier from Portugal. Kind regards, Nuno Cunha

Go to latest post »


LATEST COMMENT  More »

United Kingdom  Squire

21 Oct 2019 at 10:28

<a [...] Golf</a> in Coventry, UK is holding a <a [...] event</a> on Halloween night. The indoor crazy golf will feature live monsters on the...

Go to latest comment »




LATEST BLOG POSTS

United Kingdom  Sheila | 52 views | 0 comments

21 Oct 2019 at 21:11

One Man Music Quiz Team - The....


United Kingdom  Sheila | 104 views | 0 comments

17 Oct 2019 at 22:14

Wasps Do Sting Twice, Bees....


United Kingdom  Squire | 154 views | 1 comments

30 Sep 2019 at 12:14

13 years of our Crazy World....


All blogs »



POLL

If miniature golf was to be in the Olympics, which style of course would you like to see played?


- Miniaturegolf

- Concrete

- Swedish Felt

- MOS (Adventure Golf)

- Combination of 2 Styles

- Combination of 3 Styles

- Why not all 4?


To vote, you need to log in.


You have to vote to see the results.


Total 19 votes, since 31 Jan 2018.

Recent polls »

Interview with Matt Ansley


New Zealand 06 Feb 2019 at 14:56 | Published by: PatPenguin | Views: 1290 | News search

Interview with Matt Ansley
Matt (right) and his father John at the WAGM 2018  (Photo by Matt Ansley)

Our first interview of 2019 took us to New Zealand, where we caught up with international player, Matt Ansley. Matt took the time to talk to our reporter, Steve Lovell, about growing the sport back home, learning about the equipment and how he found his trip to the WMF conference in Munich, Germany.

Steve Lovell (SL): Hi Matt, introduce yourself to everyone.

Matt Ansley (MA): Hi everyone. I'm Matt Ansley, I'm 34 years old, 35 next month in March. I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and been here since 2005. My hometown is Whanganui in the lower part of the North Island. I work for ‘Believe It Or Not Quiz Events’, we make, produce and send out pub quiz nights (trivia nights in other parts of the world) to venues all across New Zealand. I've been there since 2008. I host a quiz at three venues each week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I work four days in the office (Monday to Thursday) plus the evening hosting (Monday to Wednesday) and then three-day weekends every week.

SL: So when did you first start playing minigolf? Are you a convert from golf itself?

MA: My earliest memory of minigolf was when I was six or seven years old. It was my Mum's work social evening and family were invited. I scored 14 on one hole and ran to my Dad to tell him. He told me not to say it too loud!! I finished with 99 and I thought I had won, not realising it was the lowest score needed. I also managed an ace (hole-in-one) so received a prize for the ace and last place. I played ‘big’ golf from the age of 13 until 20 with one year off in 2002 when I lived in the UK after high school. I have averaged one game every 18 months or so since then. My Dad, three Uncles, and their Dad (my grandfather) all played too so it was a very family affair. Always competitive too.

SL: Where did you live in the UK?

MA: I lived in Salisbury, Wiltshire, in 2002. I was a teacher assistant at Salisbury Cathedral School. My main roles were with the PE Department and the boarding house.

SL: Competitive minigolf is a relatively recent addition to New Zealand, with the Kiwi's first foray into international events in 2015. What issues do you face as a country to construct a tour and to encourage people to represent New Zealand overseas?

MA: Our first tour (or series) of events started in April 2017. It ran for ten events and finished in March 2018. We managed to squeeze the next season into the remainder of 2018 and the third season starts on February 16 with 11 events planned for this year. One issue we have is finding courses prepared to host an event. Courses in New Zealand are businesses, not clubs. A Minigolf Club is not something anyone has thought of until recent years. Developing relationships with owners is key to keeping events going year after year. Some owners ask us to play outside of peak hours which is understandable. So far, the events have been based in the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty areas so not all of New Zealand. We had one event last year in Taranaki. Another issue we face in New Zealand in terms of international events is we are so far away from most of the world. It's over 24 hours to travel to most parts of Europe plus the time difference of anywhere between 11-13 hours and of course, the financial cost and time off work. We also don't have any miniature golf or felt courses. Most courses are versions of Adventure Golf (MOS). Most New Zealand players play each local event with a golf ball and that's all.

SL: You made your international debut at the WAGM in Horni Bezdekov last year. How did you find the experience and what's it like having your dad, John, as a teammate?

MA: I had no idea of many, many things. Dad and I turned up with a few Chromax balls and metal putters. That's all we had used in the New Zealand events and it had served us well. The amount of different balls was a big learning experience. We had no idea what ball to use for what hole, thankfully we had a few donated to us and had three days to learn how to use them. One of our fellow New Zealand players back in NZ had ordered two rubber-faced putters to be brought back to NZ with us. We didn't know about this until we got there so we ended up using those two putters for WAGM. So brand new balls and putters and three days to learn before a big event like WAGM on a very tough course like Horni Bezdekov was not ideal preparation.

The intensity on game days was more than I was expecting too. The pace of play was very very slow and it got to me during round four. I prefer faster play and the pace of play is a factor in whether I play future events like the WAGM. The opening and closing ceremonies were well beyond my expectations in a good way. I took a quick film of the opening ceremony and family and friends back in New Zealand were impressed with the preparation put in. Playing with Dad is great. We know how each other play, we encourage when we play good shots and when we play bad shots, we know we don't need to say anything. Dad won the first NZ Tour and I finished second and then in the second tour, I won and Dad finished second.

SL: What interests do you have away from minigolf? I understand you're into running.

MA: I've played a variety of sports over the years. Cricket, football, volleyball, big golf during high school. I played rugby for eight years from 2008 to 2015 in Auckland. I also started obstacle racing in 2013. OCR for short, events are run by companies like Tough Mudder and Spartan. I love them, they're the complete opposite to minigolf. My highlights have been competing in the World's Toughest Mudder in Las Vegas four years in a row from 2014 to 2017. It's a 24 hour obstacle race, once again completely opposite to minigolf. I enjoy running, I've completed close to 30 half marathons and 17 full marathons. So, it's been a busy and active life so far.

SL: What's your take on the balance between people that enjoy the sport as a social activity and those who like the competitive element? Tell us a little about the Auckland Minigolf Club.

MA: Minigolf in New Zealand is still in its early days. Growing numbers is a big goal, if not the number one goal. Everyone is time-poor these days so if you want people to participate in what you're offering, you have to make it attractive, fun and worthwhile. Most players are competitive but don't take themselves too seriously. Because we play events with public all the time, some ask questions, others laugh, others say they will come to the next one but never do, but we have to be mindful to grow numbers, we need an attractive product. So avoiding bad behaviour on the course is ideal.

We started the Auckland Minigolf Club this year and it had been talked about for most of 2018. Nobody really knew what to do or what a minigolf club does, so I thought why not start one and learn as we go. We've had two club nights so far with 14 and 13 players respectively. The idea is to play a few more nights and develop handicaps for each player so we can then start some types of competition based on handicaps. The first two nights have been a lot of fun in a supportive environment. We try and have two rounds of individual play and then have a best-ball round which gets the celebrations started with numerous aces. It's very early days and one big goal will be to attract new players. We currently meet every second Sunday evening but will meet earlier on a Sunday once summer has finished. We have a good relationship with the Thornleigh Minigolf Club in Sydney, Australia, and we'll ask them for advice on handicap systems and other info.

SL: How did you get involved as the WMF representative for Oceania?

MA: I was acting on behalf of Damian Kissick who has been on the Technical Committee for the previous year. He couldn't make the trip to Germany so asked if I would be interested. As a single guy with no responsibility, it was easy to get time off to go. I am happy to help the sport of Minigolf in Oceania grow.

SL: You attended the recent delegates conference in Munich. How did you feel it went, is it what you expected and as the representative for Oceania, what issues and difficulties do you feel face minigolfers from your continent?

MA: The conference was fascinating. I learned so much. From history of minigolf to dimensions of lanes and the distance an obstacle must be from the hole and so on. Nothing like that in New Zealand. At times, it was hard to transfer what was being discussed to our environment in New Zealand and Australia. We don't have the playing numbers like in Europe. Oceania players face the problems of distance to travel, lack of championship level courses and having friends make fun of you for playing minigolf competitively.

SL: Do you feel one day that New Zealand or Australia could be ready to host an international event, like the WAGM?

MA: Yes, we could host one for sure. Whether enough players travel the distance to compete is the big question.

SL: What are your hopes for minigolf for the future?

MA: That we grow the numbers playing in New Zealand and find sponsors to sponsor any national teams competing overseas. Personally, I have no set goals other than to help grow the game. I'm learning as I'm going and hoping to lean on the experience from those who have been doing this for many, many years.

SL: What is the best thing you like about minigolf?

MA: That anybody can play. Most sports suit a certain body shape, like height for basketball and volleyball, or massive endurance for marathon runners. Minigolf can be played by most people. Seeing people enjoy playing and meeting other people through minigolf is a bonus. Friendships have developed in New Zealand between players who never would have met if not for minigolf.

Minigolfnews would like to thank Matt Ansley for his time. The photo shows Matt (right) and his father John at the WAGM 2018 in Horni Bezdekov, Czech Republic.



SHARE

Share



Comments

No comments yet.

Add comment
To add comments, you need to log in.


Miniature Golf and Bettering the Community - Part 8

United States of America 17 Jan 2019 at 14:18 | views: 1744 | Comments: 0

We're trying to kick start the new year right by returning to some of our series that feature looks at miniature golf in non-competitive arenas. We're headed back into our piece that highlights the impact it can have on our communities in Part 8 of our "Bettering ...
Read more »

Miniature Golf and Bettering the Community - Part 8

Happy Holidays From MinigolfNews!

Happy Holidays From MinigolfNews!

World 24 Dec 2018 at 13:53 | views: 1753 | Comments: 0

The team at Minigolfnews appreciates everyone who continues to follow us and our quest to further the sport of miniature golf around the world in conjunction with the World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF). We know the second half of the year here was a little ...
Read more »

Gretchen Smith Pens Amazing Strokes

Minigolfnews 12 Dec 2018 at 02:43 | views: 2032 | Comments: 1

A new book about miniature golf has just entered the libraries of many putting lovers around the world, just in time for the holiday season. Amazing Strokes is a 600 page tome that is a testament to the length and breadth of the history of miniature golf and its ...
Read more »

Gretchen Smith Pens Amazing Strokes

International Minigolf Speed Championships under the umbrella of CSIT

International Minigolf Speed Championships under the umbrella of CSIT

World 07 Nov 2018 at 13:36 | views: 2078 | Comments: 0

Note: This article first appeared on the World Minigolf Sport Federation website. CSIT (International Workers and Amateurs in Sports Confederation) is an IOC recognized organization with a history of more than 100 years; for more information please check the ...
Read more »

UPCOMING EVENTS   More »

 23 Oct 2019 (5 days) LIVE

World Championships General Class 2019


 24 Oct 2019 (1 day)

Progolf Filz Challenge


 25 Oct 2019 (3 days)

Raiffeisen Trophae


 27 Oct 2019 (1 day)

MPTO Efterårsstævne


 02 Nov 2019 (2 days)

Trofeo San Martino


 02 Nov 2019 (2 days)

30 Stunden-Marathon


 02 Nov 2019 (2 days)

Grand Prix 2019





LATEST RESULTS   More »

 19 Oct 2019

SĂĽdtirol Trophae

 13 Oct 2019

Memorial Fusini

 13 Oct 2019

AbschluĂźturnier

 11 Oct 2019

St. Prokulus Trophae

 10 Oct 2019

St. Zeno Trophae

 06 Oct 2019

$10,000 PPA Southern Tour Championship

 05 Oct 2019

$1,000 PPA Old Pro Classic




LATEST NEWS

China 21 Oct 2019 at 13:00 | PatPenguin
Minigolf World Championships Taking Place in China

United States of America 17 Oct 2019 at 13:30 | PatPenguin
Graybeal Wins 2nd USPMGA Major Title with Masters Victory

United States of America 25 Sep 2019 at 13:56 | PatPenguin
Seymour Goes Back-to-Back at the Matterhorn

United Kingdom 23 Sep 2019 at 04:49 | PatPenguin
Michael Smith Retains Title to Claim Sixth British Open

United States of America 18 Sep 2019 at 16:01 | PatPenguin
Mini Golf Continues for ABC Holey Moley Competitors

United States of America 12 Sep 2019 at 14:32 | PatPenguin
Hurricane Dorian No Match for The Dolphin

Czech Republic 27 Aug 2019 at 13:05 | PatPenguin
Olivia Prokopová Nets Another Victory in the Czech Republic

New Zealand 26 Aug 2019 at 14:19 | PatPenguin
Round 8 of New Zealand Putting Tour Complete

United States of America 21 Aug 2019 at 14:24 | PatPenguin
Pat Sheridan Aces Farmington Miniature Golf Tournament

Latvia 19 Aug 2019 at 13:24 | PatPenguin
Jennifer Göransson the Queen of YEC in Lativa

United States of America 15 Aug 2019 at 17:38 | PatPenguin
Ben Cassidy wins Maine MiniGolf Open at Tabers