Mini-golf as a contact sport

Last updated 11:17 11/09/2012

"We're not playing tiddlywinks here, mate..." - Tana Umaga to referee.

In our case we were not playing tiddlywinks either. It was much worse than that. It was mini-golf.

Smiles....but what drama awaits

It is a simple fact that I am not very good at mini-golf. The Silver Fox, however, being blessed with the "sporting gene", excels at anything sportslike. He even beats me at Scrabble. Indeed, the last two years have been an exercise in me learning how to lose if not gracefully, at least without pouting too much.

Despite the fact that he always wins, I do actually enjoy mini-golf and it's become a tradition when we go away for a weekend to play a round. Because let's face it, in a lot of tourist towns there's not much else to do once you've taken some photos (Alpine scenery! Lambs!) looked around the souvenir shop (Paua things! Possum Fur nipple warmers!) and had lunch (Pie! Chips!).

And so it was that on Sunday during our second attempt at a weekend in Hanmer (you may recall that the first Hanmer weekend ended with a corneal ulcer and a stressful drive back to Christchurch for urgent medical treatment), we played a round of mini-golf.

I would have preferred a water hazard, to be honestIt went well to start with. The Silver Fox was beating me by only a modest margin even despite his hole-in-one on the fifth hole (this being the first of two he would score that day - but I'm not bitter or anything). At the seventh hole I overcooked my shot and ended up with my ball sitting precariously close to a dip in the edging of the "green". It was only a millimetre or two from going off course into a bed of riverstones. Moreover I'd managed to hit the Silver Fox's ball in the process, which meant they were sitting quite close to each other.

I was so focused on the awkward position of our golf balls that I wasn't paying attention to the upper part of my body. Specifically the upper part of my body in relation to the themed set dressing of the course we were playing on. The course was full of rustic wooden structures, reminiscent of a gold mine, including an unfortunately placed fake gold mining sluice or chute that jutted out precisely at forehead level by the seventh hole. Naturally I walked straight into it, taking the full force of the collision at my left temple.

My sore-soreI'm going to be honest, I did cry a little bit. Mostly out of disgust at how stupid I'd been. I mean, who gets injured playing mini-golf?

Nevertheless I played on with a hot lump developing on my forehead and was only beaten by 8 points, which is practically winning by my standards. We got some lunch, took some more pictures of lambs and headed home.

This would be my second trip back from Hanmer this year and I had paracetemol on board for both of them. Sigh. Hand tip. The contoured shape of a Coke bottle fits nicely on the forehead and feels oh-so cool. I recommend this as a makeshift icepack during roadtrips.

Since then the Silver Fox has been diligently checking me for signs of concussion (since he has experience in this area) and I've been torturing myself with "is that a headache? Drink some water. Is that still a headache or am I just thinking too hard about having a headache?" which is almost as fun a game as mini-golf.

What's the stupidest "sports" injury you've ever received and has anyone else hurt themselves playing mini-golf or am I just special that way?

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Rubik's   #1   11:21 am Sep 11 2012

I once whacked my temple on a beam of the playground at Georgie Pie. Does that count?

KC the 2nd   #2   11:25 am Sep 11 2012

I've fallen over on a mini-golf course. Also when playing hockey, I was running "full speed" towards the sideline to stop the ball, which I missed of course. So I put a hand out to stop myself on the fence. But it was a gate. And it was unlocked. You can probably picture what happened next.

I've had several other injuries too - I could write a book about it. Just last night I walked into a table and smacked my knee.

So I can feel your pain. Thanks for writing about it anyway, amusing as always!

boxi   #3   11:26 am Sep 11 2012

Broke my arm and chipped my kneecap trying to do a backflip on the trampoline, does that count as sporting?

No mini golf related accidents though.

Lori M   #4   11:26 am Sep 11 2012

I've played a variety of 'competitive' sports all my life, and suffered a fair few injuries. Surprisingly, I've had no 'serious' injuries when playing rugby, but I did manage to dislocate my jaw playing TOUCH rugby (yes, thats right, not supposed to be a tackle happening). I've also broken fingers in netball, another non-contact sport. Once, I was so busy chatting to a friend at netball, I walked straight into a goalpost and knocked myself out, now that was a special time... Odd thing though, I've given up playing rugby, but still play netball and touch!

hontas12   #5   11:30 am Sep 11 2012

How's this for embarrassing - when I was learning to snowboard I got on a tow bar on an Italian Ski Slope. The rope did a massive jerk taking off, I got thrown about 10m away and broke my ribs. Yes, broke my ribs falling off a tow bar! Was mortified and didn't want to admit it actually hurt at the time so got back up and boarded the rest of the day with broken ribs. No more tow bars after that though haha.

morgan   #6   11:32 am Sep 11 2012

As a kid, I knocked myself unconscious playing marbles.

Nemo   #7   11:32 am Sep 11 2012

Scrabble? Sportslike? Just what sort of Scrabble (tm) do you two play? Pieces the size of paving stones requiring significant upper body strength? Having to balance on one leg as you place your tiles? The mind fair boggles.

Niri Tacen   #8   11:32 am Sep 11 2012

Possum Fur nipple warmers? I just... I...

Say, where could I get some of those?

You'd be surprised at the injuries that can be sustained playing mini golf. My personal best on one particularly frustrating hole was off the side, off a rock, off a sign, into my Dad's... uh... sensitive area.

You'd think hysterical laughter and mortification would be mutually exclusive, but they can manifest simultaneously in one person.

Dad got his own back, managing to whack me squarely in the arse with his golf ball on the 17th hole. He *claims* it was an accident, but I suspect it was about as accidental as a Briscoes sale.

gazza   #9   11:33 am Sep 11 2012

I ripped all the skin of the ball of my foot playing lunchtime basketball in bare feet at college. Left a trial of bloody footprints from the gym to the first aid station that wouldn't have looked out of place in a horror movie (ok, to be fair, it was only one foot so perhaps it would have looked out of place).

I also managed to stab myself in the hand with a pocket knife on a tramping/survival trip...which was particularly embarrasing because I was one of the instructors. I was trying to show some kids how to split small bits of wood to make pegs that can hold sides of an emergency shelter together. Thats a fiddly process so instead I ended up showing the kids why you should take a decent first aid kit with you into the hills.

Jackie   #10   11:40 am Sep 11 2012

My son badly broke his toe playing barefoot soccer. Cue supportive comments like "nice one, genius" from his brothers.

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