Ray Martin was the child of solo father Marty so he had no choice but to tag along with him when bowls competitions beckoned in Wellington.
"My old man loved the game and he played it every weekend so wherever he went I had to go as well," said the younger Martin after he beat Duane White, of Dunedin, 9-7, 9-1 in the world indoor singles final of the New Zealand Professional Bowls Association Finals Weekend in Hastings today.
The 28-year-old, who operates an indoor sport centre for myriad codes at Hutt Park, has booked a flight to the Potter's Leisure Resort in Norfolk, England, in January next year for his troubles.
Martin, whose proud father watched him compete before missing the final this afternoon to head back home early, got into competitive bowls at 12.
"It was pretty boring watching bowlers play and I can admit that so I chose to play myself," he said.
"It's quite a long day sitting there watching bowls for nine hours so I'd rather be involved."
The desire to improve incrementally saw him named the PBA rookie of the year last year, in just two years of competing, and his maiden trip abroad was an endorsement of that growth.
It helped that a brand-spanking new indoor venue had opened in the capital city this year so he could add value to his limited indoor experience from Hastings last year.
"Any holiday is good, I suppose, but a bowling holiday with a chance to further my career is promising as well," he said with a grin, considering any "profits" gained will add to the impending fun and challenges.
White gave Martin a good run for his money in the final today, holding the game until the latter's last bowl in the first set.
"I managed to play a really good last one to win that first set so I think that momentum just carried over into the second one where I knuckled down to play some good ones," said Martin who beat Clubs Hastings host member Dean Drummond 6-6, 9-3 in the semifinals while White eclipsed Chris Laurie, of Hamilton, 7-2, 8-7.
The weekend started with a hiccup after 11 players were stranded due to a mechanical fault to an Air New Zealand aircraft at Wellington airport on Friday.
However, the national airline put them a on a bus to the club doorstep, in time for a Shanghai singles qualifier although other competitors driving here had to negotiate floods and slips as well.
"We competed until just before midnight on Friday," said organiser Dave Porteous, as some players didn't go to bed until 2am.
Brent Webster emerged the winner among eight qualifiers on Saturday morning, beating fellow Invercargill rival and top-ranked rookie Kerry Heffer for the travel and five nights of accommodation at the Tweed Ultima Hotel on the Gold Coast for two.
Host club member Murray Glassey prevailed in the afternoon, beating Southlander Craig Tinker 9-7, 8-7 in the final to find Kiwi representatives to the Scottish and international singles world bowls tour events as well as earning a trip to Perth, Scotland, in November in a high quality tight match 9-7, 8-7.
Giant killer Tinker's quarter-final and semifinal wins eliminated all other finalists from the race for the fifth-ranked spot in the NZ rankings.
Dunedin's Elliott Mason survived a late comeback in the final of the international singles over Wellington's Lisa White to win 13-4, 7-0.
Mason jets off to Blackpool, England, in March.
Mario Sopp and Helen Carman, of Dunedin, beat Steve Cox and Neil Fisher 4-10, 11-5, after a 2-0 tiebreaker, in the world indoor pairs for a trip to Norfolk, England.
Drummond, Glassey's Heinz Wattie workmate, will represent New Zealand in the world under-25 in the same week in Norfolk as the highest-ranked player in that age category.