You make your own luck in life and they’re making plenty of it


There’s a saying that you make your own luck in life – and it feels like Queenstown has been doing plenty of that lately. 

A shining example is the annual NZ PGA Championship golf tournament kicking off today, with its novel pro-am format. 

Sure, it lacks real star power in the form of a global figure like Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy, but outside of someone of that calibre is anyone creating more buzz in the world of golf right now than our own teen sensation Lydia Ko? 

The 15-year-old amateur played the event last year and had a decent profile then – but in the past 12 months her star has gone seriously stratospheric with major wins and results in big professional tournaments. 

You’d just about bet your house on the fact she’ll draw the biggest galleries at The Hills course near Arrowtown this weekend, no matter who her playing partner is. 

Back almost two years ago when tournament director Michael Glading and chairman John Hart first pitched the pro-am format idea to host Sir Michael Hill, Ko was just 13 and not really on the public’s radar. 

But her rise to prominence and capturing of people’s imaginations has coincided beautifully with the early days of this tournament – just in its second year. 

Hart, Glading and Hill couldn’t have sat down and made up a better great sporting story to parallel their event. 

This next example is not quite on the same grand scale, but it is in the ‘making your own luck’ category – and typical of the moxy of the people living here. 

When local lad and AJ Hackett sales boss Regan Pearce told Ko he’d love to caddy for her while she prepared to do a bungy last year, he would have doubted it’d actually happen. 

Out of the blue, Ko’s mum recently contacted Pearce to see if he’d be keen to hold her clubs this weekend. 

You make your own luck. 

Put Queenstown councillor Cath Gilmour in the same boat. 

When it was decided about $3 million was need to renovate Queenstown’s bedraggled Memorial Centre she never faltered in her belief the money could be raised – and it hasn’t been too big a burden on the ratepayer with about $2 million coming from fundraisers and grants. 

The fact is the $1m the council is tipping in would have been not far shy of the amount it needed to spend anyway just to keep the hall useable, without the upgrade. 

Gilmour and her working party gambled and – with the project scheduled for completion today – having seemingly won. 

And you have to hand it to Queenstown mayor Vanessa van Uden for the way she hasn’t bowed to public pressure to be too hasty with the convention centre process. 

That project took a major step forward yesterday with the announcement of a preferred consortium of heavyweights coming together to try and make it a reality. 

There’s a lot of water and community consultation to go under the bridge before what they come up with goes ahead, but it’s hard not to get excited about the potential for a great result. 

It seems new council boss Adam Feeley also happened to lob on the scene at the right time – he’s had previous involvement with some of the major players in that consortium when he led the redevelopment of Eden Park for the Rugby World Cup. 

And, lastly, in the spirit of this charitable mood that I’m in, best wishes to NZSki chief executive James Coddington who has announced his resignation after six years at the helm. 

He’s off to pursue his own dreams in business – and no doubt make his own luck.