National | Rangatahi

Tāneatua golf kids get clubs of their own to play the fairways of Aotearoa

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

The three young Māori golfers who won the Aims Games golf tournament and made world headlines last week playing with borrowed clubs have been given sets of their own.

The trio, led by Bayleigh Teepa-Tarau were gifted their sets of clubs, thanks to a number of generous sponsors, as well as ongoing coaching.

The trio, Bayleigh and teammates Pedro Robinson and Lincoln Reritito, from the small township of Tāneatua - which doesn’t even have a golf course - made headlines after strolling down the fairways of Mount Maunganui, Ōtūmoetai and Summerhills golf clubs wearing basketball boots, big smiles and playing with borrowed clubs.

Bayleigh won the individual title and the trio the school title.

Bayleigh, who had only ever played three rounds of golf before going to the Aims Games, was given a scoring handicap to reflect his newness to the game and won the overall title. Bayleigh, who has autism, until recently spent most of his time in class under his desk, not speaking.

On Tuesday a number of sponsors turned up at Tāneatua School to present the trio with gifts and aroha.

Waiotahi Contractors, from Whakatāne, bought Bayleigh a new set of clubs, along with a box of golf balls with his name printed on them.

Whakatāne Golf Club, which the boys are now members of, will be part of their future coaching programme and has pledged to host up to 20 more young keen golfers from Tāneatua School.

The Clubroom, from Tauranga, donated new golf clubs for Pedro and Lincoln as well as golf balls and golf gear.

Golf New Zealand and partners also gave the boys some apparel and Titleist golf shoes and balls.

Madewell Construction from Auckland has funded coaching and playing for the young golfers of Tāneatua School.

Bayleigh, Lincoln and Pedro were grateful for the array of equipment and the generosity from sponsors and NZ Golf.

“On behalf of the Clubroom, we’d like to donate these clubs to you guys on behalf of our sponsors as well,” Hayden Beard from The Clubroom said.

“So awesome. Get out there and enjoy it.”

The trio were almost lost for words.

“Thanks very much for giving us stuff so we can hit them and use them on the golf course,” the trio said.

Public Interest Journalism