Peter Chaney gearing up for an unmatched ‘inside the ropes’ experience

Wanaka’s Peter Chaney won the prized SBS Bank amateur playing spot back in 2020 when the New Zealand Open was last held in Queenstown and couldn’t be more excited to finally tee off next year.

All volunteers at the event go into a SBS Bank volunteer draw to win a coveted amateur playing spot.

Having been a volunteer in the 2019 and 2020 NZ Opens, Peter’s “stoked” to be back again next year and have a very different experience.

“I’m very keen to get onto the Millbrook course, I’ve been waiting long enough to play,” he jokes.

Peter began playing golf while living in Australia about 14 years ago and says he’s now a self-proclaimed golf nut, playing off a credible 18.1 handicap.

“I’ve been trying to squeeze in as much practice as possible at my local club in Wanaka, but at the moment that’s been about once a week”.

“I got the chance to meet and chat to the last volunteer player Mairi when she presented me with the spot at the volunteer drinks! She offered up some helpful tips and recommended getting my handicap down”.

“I’ve definitely taken on Mairi’s advice, but I haven’t managed to get it down as much as I would like.But I’m not too fussed, just excited to embrace this fantastic opportunity.”

Working as a chef in Wanaka, volunteering for a couple of days at the Open fit perfectly into Peter’s schedule.

“I loved volunteering, it was a great experience being on the course, spotting celebrities, just an all-round fun, social couple of days.”

He says his excitement is of course paired with a few nerves.

“I just don’t want to embarrass myself, I usually tee off using an iron but I’ve had a mate tell me there’s no way I can turn up and not tee off with my driver.

“It’s great that the event’s happening just over the hill, so my wife, kids and mates will be able to come over and watch. It will be nice to have them there but also puts the pressure on it a bit.

“I know All Black Damian McKenzie and have spoken to him about playing. He said it’s the most nerve-racking thing he’s done, worse than rugby.

“So it’s safe to say that I’m a bit nervous, but at the end of the day, it’s just a game!”

Having played on beautiful courses around Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Mullumbimby in Byron Bay and the highly-rated Lost Farm course in Tasmania, Peter says he’s thrilled to hit the new Millbrook nine.

“I’ve played at Millbrook a few times but not on the new course, so I’m eager to check it out. The views look incredible.”

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