A world-first? 


Gap Filler’s Gap Golf project came from humble beginnings – a thin strip of donated, used, artificial turf, some wood and waratah off-cuts, an empty baked beans tin and a bit of land from a Greening the Rubbleproject – and “Skinny Limits” was born in mid 2012. It is a short par 2 between the first Gap Filler office site (404 Colombo Street) and Coffee Zone in Sydenham.


With the grand plan to launch a multi-hole course around the city by the end of 2012 delayed due to the construction and activation of the Summer Pallet Pavilion, Gap Fillerare now pleased to announce the official opening of the Gap Golf project. Later this month The Central City Mini-Golf Challenge event will launch a nine-hole urban golf course. Each hole is located on different sites around the inner city.


Community involvement has been critical in the realisation of this project.


After the Gap Filler crew installed “Skinny Limits” and “Czech Mate” (456 Colombo Street, around the outdoor chess set) members of the public, businesses, Gap Filler volunteers and community groups were invited to design and install mini-golf holes to be located on vacant sites around what was once the CBD.


Students from Lincoln and Canterbury Universities, volunteers from Peregrine Adventures and Telecom, SCIRT and CCC employees, a team from Spiire, and Gap Filler friends and family have all contributed to the design and construction of the mini-golf holes across the city. Newly formed charitable entity, Life in Vacant Spaces provided invaluable support in securing sites, as well as offering a real grass ‘green’ for one of the holes, beside their office at 200 Tuam Street. The ongoing generosity and support from many landowners has enabled this world-first project to develop and become a reality.


The turf was donated to Gap Filler by Sydenham Hockey Club, removed after their post-‘quake undulating playing surface made for challenging hockey games. And other materials have come from Mauger’s Cass Street Recyling Project, Southern Demolition and items left over from the Pallet Pavilion build.


In the true spirit of reusing and recycling the majority of materials have been repurposed, right down to second-hand putters and golf balls. Some of the holes even reused screws and nails!


“The wonderful thing about this project is that it is for everyone”, says Richard Sewell, Gap Filler project coordinator and Gap Golf enthusiast. “Kids, their parents, the young at heart love mini-golf and we see this as the perfect invitation for people to return to the city together, to play and discover new places whilst travelling from hole to hole. It’s a great project too because it can easily move and grow as sites become available or unavailable.”


Each hole is named by its creators and numbered based on the street address. Each hole has information that includes an image of the building that was on the site, a tangible reminder of what once stood on the land, pre-quake. In this way it is to help locals remember and visitors or tourists understand what has happened in Christchurch. Holes are located on Tuam, Manchester, Kilmore, Colombo Streets and more.


The Central City Mini-Golf Challenge will be held on Saturday 20 April – the first day of the school holidays. The family-friendly, fun competition will start at the Gap Filler Summer Pallet Pavilion (Cnr Kilmore and Durham Streets) and run from 10am – 2pm with a prize-giving back at the Pavilion at 2.30pm. Players are encouraged to go by foot or cycle around the course so as to get a feel for the city as it is now. Some putters and balls will be available but people are encouraged to bring their own if they can.



$5 will get entrants a scorecard and put them in the draw for spot prizes. In the event of rain The Challenge will be on Sunday 21 April. Further details, including a course map, will be available on www.gapfiller.org.nz/gap-golf from Monday 15 April.


The holes will remain in place for as long as landowners are happy for Gap Filler to use their sites. The mini-golf holes can be used by anyone at any time. Where possible nearby businesses will put a club and balls out each day during the week for the public to borrow, otherwise come prepared with your own putter and ball.

For more information contact:  Richard Sewell,  richard@gapfiller.org.nz