Naturists get in the swing

CLEAN SWEEP: Wairau Valley Golf Course may never be the same again as about 25 keen naturists hit the green.
CLEAN SWEEP: Wairau Valley Golf Course may never be the same again as about 25 keen naturists hit the green.

You could say naked ambition drove a first time naturist's win at the Wairau Valley Golf Course on Sunday.

Twenty-five people, including some from the United Kingdom and Australia, took part in Nude Golf International at the township's nine-hole course.

Co-organiser Kay Hannam said a male first-time naturist from Christchurch won the tournament's trophy, but he wasn't too keen on his name being released.

Kay Hannam and Brian Williams from Wai-natur Naturist Park gets some practice in for Sundays Nude Golf International Tournament.
Kay Hannam and Brian Williams from Wai-natur Naturist Park gets some practice in for Sundays Nude Golf International Tournament.

Ms Hannam and partner Brian Williams, run a naturist retreat in the Wairau Valley called Wai-natur Naturist Park.

"It's a holiday camp where you don't need clothes – you have a small suitcase!" Ms Hannam said.

Among the golfers were English couple Margaret and Alan Taylor who were combining "naturism and family" while on a New Zealand holiday.

NICE SHOT: Kay Hannam and Brian Williams from Wai-natur Naturist Park.
NICE SHOT: Kay Hannam and Brian Williams from Wai-natur Naturist Park.

The Taylors got into naturism in the mid-1980s after Mr Taylor was diagnosed with psoriasis. The best cure is sun.

But too much sun can come at a price. Once Mrs Taylor got a burnt bottom, which she said "you only do once".

After initially being nervous prior to her first ever "stripping off", it's now old hat. "But when you actually do it, it's such a non-event."

It is their fourth trip to New Zealand, and Mrs Taylor said New Zealand naturist events had a greater feeling of freedom than those held in the United Kingdom, where the events are regularly locked and people cannot just drive in.

Ms Hannam believes being naked is healthier – both mentally and physically. "Once they get past that fear of uncovering themselves, they're more empowered."

The Marlborough Express