Glowballs go west, putters go down trou

03:25, Dec 05 2013
Shelly Hawke
WANTS GEAR BACK: Bowlarama New Plymouth manager Shelly Hawke says thieves are making off with sports gear.

Golfing burglars are ripping off New Plymouth's miniputt course.

In golf, the term "burglar" usually refers to players who doctor their handicaps to win prizes in tournaments, but at Bowlarama they're nicking the glow-in-the-dark balls.

Co-owner Shelly Hawke said more than 100 of the specialty golf balls and 15 pairs of bowling shoes had gone missing since the business opened in June.

She said the course's 18th hole did not return the ball when a player completed their round so people were avoiding it.

"If you don't put the ball in the last hole, it goes home in your pocket - by accident I'm sure," she said.

The balls, imported from China, cost about $4 each and Mrs Hawke said the cost of replacing them was starting to add up.

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"We are not overly upset about it but we would like to get one or two back."

She said the balls would not glow in the dark unless they were exposed to a black light.

Some players had also attempted to leave with putters stuffed down their pants, but were given away by the unusual way they were walking.

Mrs Hawke said the thefts were probably for souvenirs but she was considering providing an amnesty box to allow people to return the balls and shoes, no questions asked.

Taranaki Daily News