When discussion of representing your country at golf comes around, most people think of the Olympics or World Cup.
Not any more.
For the first time, Australia will send a team to compete in this year’s World Minigolf Championships in Croatia.
Dave Maiolo, who was drawn into the sport through a Facebook page, says when he was asked whether he was interested in representing Australia he thought, “Why not?”.
“It’s a once in a life time opportunity,” Maiolo told Golf Australia’s podcast Inside the Ropes.
“I like the sport and golf as well, so why not give it a go? My involvement now in the sport is getting deeper and deeper – it’s taken over my day job really.”
While the sport may still be a bit of hit and giggle in Australia, in Europe it’s no laughing matter. No clowns or windmills as one might expect, instead it’s rubber balls, specialised putters on felt courses with loops and angles.
“They take it very seriously. The Swedish are renowned for it and the Germans, some of those guys are going around in 20 or 21 — they are hitting 16 holes-in-one in a round. It’s big business over there, they love it,” Maiolo said.
The 2017 World Minigolf Championships will be help from 20-23 September at the Zaton Holiday Resort in Nin, Croatia. Australia will send a team of four.