A hole lot of political point-scoring

WARRNAMBOOL’s hole-in-one competition has given a literal meaning to political point-scoring. 

Both Premier Denis Napthine and Wannon MP Dan Tehan found themselves swinging a little to the left this week as they joined hundreds of others teeing off at the city’s annual fund-raiser. 

Arriving complete with golfing gloves on Tuesday, Mr Tehan came within 515 millimetres of landing a spot at the final on Sunday but was outperformed later in the afternoon by another rival. 

It didn’t stop him talking up his hit over the Premier whose ball landed in the shrubs on Saturday. 

“The Premier will need to improve his game I think,” Mr Tehan said. 

There’s something to be said for the simplicity and success of Warrnambool’s hole-in-one competition. 

A steady line of hopefuls trickled through the makeshift green on Tuesday morning while a handful of Rotarians sought the shade of a marquee. The competition is raising on average $800 a day. 

“We’re expecting to raise $40,000 by the time we’re finished,”  organiser Mark Taylor said. 

“It’s going to a variety of local, national and international projects.”

“The finals are on Australia Day — so everyone who gets a hole-in-one as well as those who get nearest the pin.

“We’re expecting about 40 people to shoot off.”

Seven skilful amateurs have pocketed holes-in-one so far.

Some are going to some unusual lengths to stay in the game. “We’ve had one chap from Alice Springs qualify who was due to go home, he’s put his flight off,” Mr Taylor said. 

The competition has had a patchy past — running most years but with a few gaps between. 

“It’s only been in the last three years that we’ve been giving a car away and the winner on Sunday will be taking home a car.” 

But a long list of good causes will emerge the real winners. 

“We’re sponsoring a young gentleman to go over to Cambodia and create prosthetics, we’re funding an organisation in Vietnam to do some work refurbishing a school and we’ve got an ongoing project in East Timor in association with water for East Timor.” 

The shoot-out kicks off at noon on Sunday at Worm Bay. 

s.mccomish@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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