Cool Spots

Check out this New Zealand driving range with an island green and a $10,000(!) hole-in-one prize

January 19, 2023

New Zealand is a beautiful place to visit (so I hear from my parents), but if you're traveling from the U.S. it's going to take a loooong time to get there. And it's going to cost you a pretty penny. But what if I told you there was a potential way to pay for your journey there? And all you have to do is go to a driving range.

Sounds like a sweet deal, right? Of course, there's a catch. A big catch. You just have to make a hole-in-one to earn the $10,000 prize.

Such is the longstanding offer at the aptly called Lake Taupo Hole-In-One Challenge. It's a range where golfers hit balls at a island green 111 yards (It's just a wedge!) away. And where making an ace will earn you $10K. Check out this video documenting one person's trip to the scenic spot:

OK, so as you can see, it's not cheap. You have to buy 50 balls to get the price down to $1 per ball. But again, just think of that 10 GRAND jackpot!

We also learned from the video that there are scuba divers constantly retrieving golf balls (Don't try to hit them, please!) and that you get an extra ball every time you hit the floating green. And there have been 1,200 people to pull off the hole-in-one over 30 years. That's 40 per year or about one per week.

In other words, you've got a shot! This isn't some carnival game that's rigged so contestants can't win. Plus, the former prime minister there, John Key, recently made a real hole-in-one at a charity event with the cameras rolling. And Steven Alker is the current King of the (senior) tour. New Zealand is just oozing with good golf vibes right now.

So if you ever happen to be in the area, you may as well give it a crack. At the very least, you'll get some good wedge work in.