Crystal-clear memory of Allan's hole-in-one

PLAYING on the world-acclaimed The Hills course in New Zealand proved to be extra spectacular for Dubbo single figure player, Peter Allan, who watched from the 10th tee as his ball disappeared into the hole for a hole-in-one.

Allan was in the company of a group of Lexus owners on a golf tour to New Zealand hosted by Lexus dealers and Dubbo principal David Hayes.

But The Hills is not just any ordinary golf course.

It is owned by Sir Michael Hill of Michael Hill Jewellers fame and the course was designed by Darby Partners and opened in 2007 to host the New Zealand Open. Three Open championships have now been played there.

To mark Peter Allan's feat, the jeweller designed and made a very special mounted crystal golf ball which has been engraved and arrived in Australia recently.

Set on 500 acres of land across a glacial valley, The Hills is home to an incredible array of flora including native brown top grasses and wild native mountain tussocks.

Sculptures crafted by New Zealand artists complement the natural beauty of the course's lakes, waterways and wetland areas. Winter snow and frost conditions provide the ideal climate for the finest grasses suited to the modern day game of golf.

"I've played some great golf courses around the world but never seen anything like what is on offer at The Hills," Allan said.

"There were 18 players in our Lexus group and thanks to David Hayes and Lexus we had a wonderful time and we were well looked after.

"We also played two other top courses over there, but off course The Hills will be one of my favourites for the rest of my life and to have a hole-in-one made it extra special."

The course is par 72 over 6596 metres and the 150m 10th has players hitting off a tee to an elevated green with bunkering surrounding.

They say club selection is important and Allan got that right this time - a six-iron getting the job done.

That made it five aces for Allan, who currently plays off three handicap. He has two at Dubbo and two on the mid north coast at Forster/Tuncurry but the 10th at The Hills was extra special as it is the only one he has seen go in the hole.

What is also important is that Peter now has bragging rights over his twin brother Grahame who has one, while two other brothers Robert and Colin are yet to break through.

What makes The Hills unique also is that Sir Michael Hill last year spent a lot of money transporting to the course a three-tonne cast-iron statue of a warrior and 110 larger than life wolf figurines formerly displayed in a public courtyard in China.

The famous The Wolves are Coming exhibition by a renowned Chinese sculptor now occupies pride of place on the 18th hole and was unveiled by Prime Minister John Key.

In February The Hills will be back in the golfing spotlight when it hosts the New Zealand PGA in February.

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