Young Otago golfer Parker Aluesi has just won an award he does not think he deserves.
Aluesi (16), a year 12 pupil at Otago Boys’ High School, has been named All Abilities Golfer of the Year 2018. He received the award, along with a trophy and certificate, at the NZ Golf Chairman’s dinner at the Remuera Golf Club in Auckland on Monday night.
But he does not think his disability hampers him at all.
Aluesi had an accident when he was 6, losing the sight in his left eye, but has overcome his handicap, and achieved considerable success last year.
He was named the Otago Eagles Junior Golfer of the year in 2018 and has represented Otago, with distinction, in age-level golf.
Aluesi, a member of the St Clair Golf Club, is also a member of his club’s senior A pennant team, as well as being one of his school’s top golfers.
He first started playing golf nine years ago with his dad, Mike, and instantly loved the game.
He said, as he was a right-hander, his glass eye made it virtually impossible for him to see what he was hitting when he took his stance. But he had become used to it, and it had not stopped him becoming a plus one handicap golfer.
He hoped to make a career out of golf and spent plenty of time developing his game.
The National Golf Awards
Over one hundred high-quality submissions across 13 different categories were received for the 2018 National Golf Awards and it was the new-look Mount Maunganui Golf Club who took home the prestigious club of the year award.
New Zealand Golf CEO Dean Murphy was excited to be able to celebrate this year’s recipients and ensure everyone involved in the game is recognized from not just our elite players, but everyone behind the scenes at club level too.
“Historically we’ve always focused on the playing of the game and while we’re keen to make sure we keep those awards alive and recognize those that perform on the playing side, we’re really keen to recognize those people who deliver the sport, whether that’s in the volunteer, administrator or service capacity,” said Murphy.
An independent judging panel including sport administrators, media, professional golfers, golf administrators and sport governors came together in February to select the finalists and winners of each category.
Club of the Year – Mount Maunganui Golf Club
Manager of the Year – Michelle Campbell (Hastings)
Administrator of the Year – Des Topp (Golf Managers Association, NZ Golf Industry Council)
Volunteer of the Year – Pire Wehi (Rangitikei)
All Abilities Golfer of the Year – Parker Aluesi (St Clair)
Community Coach of the Year – Mary Gard’ner (Paraparaumu)
Professional Coach of the Year – Marcus Wheelhouse
Professional Player of the Year Female – Lydia Ko
Professional Player of the Year Male – Ryan Fox
Amateur Player of the Year Female – Wenyung Keh
Story ODT/NZ Golf