Peter Williams, one of New Zealands most recognized broadcasters and sports writers is also an avid golfer. In 1970 Williams played in the Otago schoolboys golf team beginning a sport he still plays at least once a week to this day with a current handicap of 9 (for those not familiar with golf, this is very good).
Williams is a member at the Mt Maunganui Golf Club where he tries to play every Friday after he finishes Magic Mornings at midday to keep that handicap at 9. Williams also stays fit with a gym membership where he tries to go a couple of times a week to “do a bit of trotting on the running machine, lift a few weights and occasional body balance class – they’re bloody hard though”.
Williams has even hit the elusive hole in one not once but twice! The first was in 1996 at the Miramar golf course by the Wellington Airport. It was up the top by the sewage works around lunch time so some of the workers were taking their break. This provided Williams’ hole in one feat with both an audience and an enthusiastic round of applause.
The second was while covering the Rugby World Cup in 1999 at Pennyhill Park. Williams didn’t see it go in as he was looking in to the sun however with the location and surrounding event it was a special moment none the less!
Although a skilled player the 8th at Akarana Golf Club often trips Williams up. Akarana has a big lake on the right-hand side, if you give it a left to right it goes in to the water. This could be more difficult as Williams plays left handed or “as Bob Charles would say I don’t play golf left handed I play back handed.”
Williams has played all the courses he has wanted in New Zealand including Royal Auckland Gold Club beside Middlemore, Titirangi Golf Club, Millbrook Resort in Queenstown, Paraparaumu Beach Gold Club, Mangawhai Golf Club and Wairakei International Golf Course. Williams also counts himself lucky having played many courses the world over and has been fortunate enough to get in to some exclusive courses. Williams however would still love to play is the Old course at St Andrews in Scotland (he has played the new course but not the old course).
Although Williams has played golf on numerous international courses, he names the Wairakei International Golf Course as one of his favourites mainly because the owner, Gary Lane is passionate about how the course is prepared and has built a predator free fence around the course resulting in players enjoying spectacular animals and birds during the day. Williams also notes the beautiful condition of the fairways and that it is always special to play there. “Walking up the 14th and you’ve got conifers on both sides as you walk up, the sky is blue and you hear the birds whistling. Could there be a more perfect place in the world?”
Is there one thing Williams could suggest to another golfer to lower their handicap? “Practice putting on the carpet from 1-2 m away in to a cup or circle 4.5 inches wide or with a putting machine. 100 putts a day, 7 days a week. You will improve your game from anywhere from 2 to 5 shots a round. You’ve got to put the time in. It’s boring as hell but if you want to improve your score that’s the best way to do it.”
Magic Mornings with Peter Williams, weekdays 9am – 12pm