THEY have been close but not close enough.
Entrants in the 2013-2014 Warrnambool hole-in-one competition have so far failed to find the target, despite hitting thousands of balls.
Spokesman Peter Reeve said the competition, the major annual fund-raiser for the Warrnambool East Rotary Club, was enjoying “terrific” interest.
“It’s more popular than it’s ever been,” Mr Reeve said.
While two holes-in-one were scored in the first week of the 2012-2013 competition, the target has been more elusive this year.
The competition began on Boxing Day and Mr Reeve said the closest a ball had come to the hole so far was 10 centimetres.
Hole-in-one winners and competitors who hit the ball nearest the pin each day take part in the competition’s shootout on Australia Day, when they have the chance to win a Nissan Micra car.
If no hole-in-one is scored at the shootout, the car goes to the person who manages to get nearest the pin.
The competition was reinvigorated by the club’s decision in recent years to ensure the car was won at the shootout, even without a hole-in-one.
Last year, more than 5000 people took part and more than 1000 people witnessed the shootout for the car on Australia Day.
Mr Reeve said the club hoped to raise up to $40,000 from the competition to support Rotary’s local, national and international projects.
Two new sections have been added to the 2013-14 challenge.
A ride-on mower valued at more than $2000 is offered for the woman who hits nearest the pin during the competition’s 30 days.
The junior prize is a bike.
A corporate challenge will return on Friday nights, with the first round this week.