I might actually watch golf if it looked like this

Troughing of the Rich and Famous


Question:  Why would a golf event that is attended by some of the wealthiest people require $1.5M in tax payer troughing dollars?

A golf tournament hosted by Sir Michael Hill at his private course near Queenstown has received more than $2 million from the taxpayer over the past three years despite consistently failing to meet performance targets attached to the funding.

This year’s New Zealand Open pro am – which featured wealthy business people and celebrities such as former Australian cricket captains Ricky Ponting and Allan Border playing alongside professional golfers and business heavyweights at Queenstown courses The Hills and Millbrook – received $900,000 from the Major Events Development Fund (MEDF).

Organisers have applied for another $1.5 million to bankroll next year’s event, with the additional $600,000 to be used to fund live television coverage.

It is a private course.  It is a private event.  Why are your tax dollars going to this at all?   Read more »

Lydia Ko can’t wean herself from the taxpayers’ trough

Olivia Wannan at Stuff reports

Golfer Lydia Ko is asking for more taxpayer support since turning pro than she received when she was an amateur.

The 16-year-old prodigy can now reap big financial rewards from professional tournaments, as well as millions in management contracts and endorsement deals.

She pocketed NZ$181,000 for winning the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters tournament in Taiwan last year and so far this year has collected more than $280,000 in winnings.

As an amateur, she received $115,000 from High Performance Sport NZ in 2012 and $185,000 last year, chief executive Alex Baumann said.

New Zealand Golf’s application for this year is for $208,000 to pay for her coaching, physiotherapy and mental skills training.

The total includes $115,000 to pay for transport and accommodation to tournaments for Ko and her mother.

NZ Golf chief executive Dean Murphy said that, despite Ko’s new professional status, the funding was still necessary, and the application was lodged while she was still an amateur.

“There will come a time when Lydia becomes self-sufficient.

“Currently that’s not the case …

So what?

If Ko is now a professional, who says she has to return a profit for the first few years in business?     Read more »

Obama with unidentified guest

The NZ Herald has this photograph of Obama and an unidentified guest playing golf.

Might be good for a caption contest.


Take me to the 19th thanks Barry


If you pay to watch, then watch!


El Horrido deja caer una bomba grande

In deference to all the Spanish-speakers in New Zealand, the Horrid has decided to publish in another language.

I’m pleased to see that the Spanish for Lefty is still Lefty.

They were bleating on media watch yesterday about how the Heralds automated feeds from the US had US spelling, obviously the Spanish ones have a problem too…

El Horrido Read more »

Poofters can marry but sheila’s can’t join the golf club


The more things change the more they stay the same.

In the UK same-sex marriage is now legal, but up in Scotland the ladies aren’t welcome at the golf club.

It is ok for Labour to have a man-ban but not ok for golf clubs to have a chick flick.

The leader of the R&A, which conducts the British Open, said the matter of men-only clubs would be reviewed but added that the exclusionary policy was in no way comparable to racial or religious discrimination.

Peter Dawson, the chief executive of the R&A, said Wednesday during a news conference on the eve of the 142nd British Open, “When things are a bit quieter, after the championship, I’m quite sure we’ll be taking a look at everything to see what kind of sense we can make of it for the future.”  Read more »

Clay pigeon golf. No, seriously

Tiger trades in his cocktail waitresses and dirty girls

Maybe now he can go back to winning golf tournaments.

Tiger Woods may have found love again amid reports the golf superstar is dating American ski champion Lindsey Vonn.

Woods, 37, has been seeing Vonn for the past two months, according to US gossip website

While Vonn, who has won Olympic gold, initially denied a relationship, there was apparently no outright denial of a romance with Woods when contacted this week.

Read more »


Another Side of Troughing

This is an equal opportunity blog when it comes to putting the boot into troughers. It’s your money they are spending.

So as a bit of relief from exposing the crowd around the Ministry of Health’s lucky dip for the legions of Breast Feeding advocates, here’s an example of giving your tax dollars to rich folks.

John Key has just announced that he’s giving $650,000 to a bunch of people who want to have some fun whacking a small white ball around Michael Hill’s flash paddocks in Queenstown.

Good on you Michael for making millions and loving golf, but if you want some highly paid professionals who win millions having a weekend a of fun at your place, how about picking up the tab?

So in the scheme of things, $650,000 isn’t much, but the Ministry of Economic Development has blown $58 million (PDF 129k)through the Major Events Fund. Average spend per event $483,000; median $200,000. Golfers and TaeKwonDo enthusiasts among others are no doubt grateful.