GOLOCAL

What started as a crazy idea during lockdown will come to fruition when a trio of friends putt their way across the country.

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Over three weeks, from June 20, Auckland friends John Middleton, Zac Roberts and Kyle Sutcliffe will play every minigolf course in New Zealand as a fundraiser for the Mental Health Foundation - and as a reminder to Go Local.

Middleton said the team had hired a campervan for 21 days and their efforts would include between 80 and 83 courses, adding up to almost 1500 holes of minigolf. That includes three courses in Tauranga, four courses in Rotorua, two in Whakatāne and two in Taupō.

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"It's a bit of a crazy idea, I'm not going to lie. Before lockdown, Zac wasn't having a good time in his personal life and to cheer him up we started going out and playing minigolf with some of our friends for a bit of a laugh," Middleton said.

"Of course, lockdown came around and we all flatted together, just for level 4. To be honest, it was just a ridiculous idea Zac came up with, he said 'Why not try and do every single minigolf course in the country?'."

THE PLAN

Just a quick intro as to what we're planning on doing. We'll be uploading new content just as quick as we can film and edit it, so stay posted! In a nutshell, we'll be travelling all of New Zealand in an RV, playing every single minigolf course and supporting local businesses as well as raising awreness and money for the Mental Health Foundation

Posted by Par four on Tuesday, 19 May 2020

The idea started as a joke but the seed was planted, and after a couple of weeks the trio started seriously planning.

The tour starts on June 20. They arrive in Tauranga on June 23 as they make their way down the country and plan to be in Rotorua on July 7 as they travel back up to Auckland.

Middleton said mental health was a cause close to all of their hearts.

"Each of us have had our own experiences. Kyle went through a bad patch at one point, one of my friends committed suicide and Zac has had his own troubles.

"It's a cause that means something to all of us, especially with lockdown. Once we got out of lockdown and started seeing how people were affected mentally, we felt that it was definitely a cause we wanted to promote."

The Par 4 team, Kyle Sutcliffe (left), Zac Roberts and John Middleton, are playing every minigolf course in New Zealand to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation. Photo / Supplied
The Par 4 team, Kyle Sutcliffe (left), Zac Roberts and John Middleton, are playing every minigolf course in New Zealand to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation. Photo / Supplied

Middleton said all three were competitive, which would make the trip interesting, but their skill levels varied.

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"Kyle is not exactly the world's greatest golfer and me and Zac are currently sort of sharing the honours. It's going to be very competitive and, with 80 courses, we expect to get quite a lot better - I'd hope."

To follow their progressgo to Par Four on Facebook, @par.four on Instagram and to donate go to events.mentalhealth.org.nz/fundraisers/ParFour/95-minigolf-courses-for-mental-health.

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Where to get help:

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

Or if you need to talk to someone else:
0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) (available 24/7)
https://www.lifeline.org.nz/services/suicide-crisis-helpline
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633

Need to talk?
Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 or TEXT 4202