MiniatureGolfer asked Heinz Weber (Austrian team silver medallist and super-finalist in the recent World Championships and two time British Open Champion) some questions on the recent British Open Minigolf Tournament.....
Did you enjoy the event?
I like remembering it. The Superfinal round was a very good idea.
How do you think the event could be improved? Format ie number of rounds; more rounds?
In Austria it would be usual to play such a big tournament over two days. Maybe three rounds on the first day, two and the superfinal round(s) on the second day. Usually non-participants are not allowed to play on the course at least one day before the tournament starts (getting better training conditions for the participants). But I think you shouldnīt orient to other countries. Find a format assuring most British participants.
Did you enjoy the Super Final?
Yes I did. It would have been much better if more participants would have stayed until the end. Maybe this can be achieved by barbecuing afterwards? (Iīll get something to eat this way also ;o))
Did the TV cameras and media make the event more enjoyable?
By all means. I felt much more important and accepted as a sportsman.
You have experience of playing on both adventure golf and European competition courses. How do you think they compare in terms of the skill-factor? Which do you prefer?
I prefer the ones giving prize money ;o). European courses need a lot more knowledge of ball material and technical skill like playing with spin or slice. Itīs also mathematically computable as a result of geometric forms.
What was the most important single thing you learned from the championship?
That there is enough potential to develop GB players to central-european strength.
What was the highlight?
What was the low point? Was there one?
Giving 50 pounds of last years prize money to second place Thomas ;o)
Which was the player that impressed you most and why?
Not a player but an organiser, Peter Parr, because he would have paid the Ģ500 prize money for a sub-30 from his own pocket.
Will you be coming back next year?
Of course. I would even think of playing left-handed ;o)
Do you have any tips for players from GB headed to the European Championships next summer?
Buy at least 5-10 different balls and get to know them very well. See what they do when cold or warm. So if 6 players buy 8 different balls your team can select between 48. Force playing using the curbs and obstacles. On practice days learn by looking at the leading nations On the days of the tournament concentrate only on yourselves.
Editors note: There is no truth to the rumour that the British Open 2002 will be played at the same time as the Austrian championships or indeed that any Austrian would automatically give everyone 5 shots per round or that they would be forced to play left-handed ;o)
British Open 2003 details