Golf’s a ball as Michael hams it up for Open

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Mega-jeweller Michael Hill sparkles in wacky new Sky TV adverts for the upcoming New Zealand Open golf championship.

Mountain Scene has had a sneak preview of the commercials for the tournament, being staged at The Hills course near Arrowtown from January 28-31.

Hill – known for bizarre TV ads plugging his jewellery chain – also plays it for laughs in the golf promos, which start screening next month.

In one ad, when an anonymous golfer is about to take a shot, his playing partner says: “You hit the ball like Jack Nicklaus” – then Hill appears from nowhere and asks: “Did someone say necklace?”

In another scene, the multi-millionaire businessman is also seen cleaning the tyres of a flash BMW car while a couple of partying golfers dance about inside to deafening rap music.

The commercials were shot at the Akarana Golf Club in Auckland and directed by John Tapu, who filmed two previous hit NZ Open telly campaigns at The Hills.

Tapu says they roped in Hill to front the ads because no top-flight golfing names have yet been announced for the 2010 event.

“Normally they have marquee players but this year NZ Golf can’t confirm anyone,” he explains.

“We needed Michael to add weight to our campaign and we are very happy with his performance.”

Tapu adds: “I’m the poor guy directing it – but some of the time I wasn’t sure if I was doing it or Michael.”