The Holey Moley logo is almost as hectic as the actual show.
The Holey Moley logo is almost as hectic as the actual show.

TelevisionFebruary 8, 2021

Holey Moley might be TV’s weirdest reality contest yet

The Holey Moley logo is almost as hectic as the actual show.
The Holey Moley logo is almost as hectic as the actual show.

You’ve seen the ads, but you’re still unsure what on earth Holey Moley actually is. Here’s what you need o know about Three’s new ‘extreme mini golf’ reality show.

So what’s the show?

The elevator pitch is that it’s Wipeout meets mini golf. The longer pitch is that it’s much stranger than even that sounds.

Wait, it’s mini-golf?

Yes, but it’s not the kind you play with your mates because you’ve got nothing better to do. Instead, in some distant pre-pandemic era, a group of TV execs decided it would be a great idea to give the widely tolerated family pastime some higher stakes.

Because Holey Moley isn’t mini golf. It’s extreme mini golf.

So where does Wipeout come into it?

It’s mini golf with obstacles, and we’re not talking about a little cheap windmill that might stop the ball from going in. We’re talking a massive legitimate windmill that will knock the contestants into a body of water.

So imagine Wipeout, but not just water-based obstacles. There are fire-breathing dragons, portaloos with opening doors, and of course, windmills that rotate with such fervour that you would think they’d somehow been possessed by SkyNet.

What are the rules, though?

As with these sorts of games, the rules are ridiculously complex. If you’re expecting it to be a gentle counting of strokes and ticking off on a tiny pad with an even tinier pencil, you should temper those expectations now.

Each episode sees eight contestants paired off and pitted against each other in a two-round elimination tournament. The final three compete in a final round, with the winner of that proceeding to the grand final where they’ll compete for the cash prize. Every time they get hit by an obstacle, they get a ‘one stroke’ penalty.

Having watched one episode of the show, I can promise you it’s quite easy to follow: the person who falls over the least tends to win. It’s that simple.

So who’s on it?

Greg Norman, who was the number one golfer in the world during the ’80s and ’90s, serves as the golf expert, which seems wildly excessive for a show where the main obstacles are… actual physical obstacles, rather than golfing skill. The show makes him say that being the resident golf pro is the “greatest honour of his career” and look, I’ve said less embarrassing things to pay the rent.

Rob Riggle, who you’ll probably recognise from countless supporting roles in comedies, brings his characteristically unsubtle talents to commentating and he’s joined by Australian TV presenter Matt Shrivington in a booth above the obstacle course. Australian reporter Sonia Kruger is down with the plebs, the obstacles, and the balls. I don’t know why this show needs four people to host it, and fair warning: there’s a lot of commentary so I hope you’re a fan of the comic stylings of Riggle or you’re a goddamned marksman with the fast-forward button.

What about the contestants?

The contestants are divided into people with genuine golfing experience and people who are literal windmill fodder. For example: the first pair up is Montana, a 25 year old professional golfer who is on the LPGA tour, and Donna Sheehan, a 48 year old stay at home mum “who happens to be able to putt”. The second pair is Collette, Australia’s queen of mini golf (literally ranked first in the country) and Vincent, an aspiring rapper who goes by Vincent Van Gogh (pronounced wrong). So that’s what we’re working with here.

Unfortunately for the professional golfers, nothing in their training has prepared them to flying fox across a body of water and grab onto a rubber pole. More fool them!

How badly do they get hurt?

We don’t exactly see anybody get taken to the emergency room, but they get hit by the obstacles pretty damn hard. At one point in episode one, as you’ve probably seen in the ads, Donna gets absolutely bodied by a windmill and slams into the soft cushions below. She seems perfectly fine afterwards, so I wouldn’t worry too much.

When and where can I watch this ridiculousness?

7.30pm on Three, every Monday!

Image: Tina Tiller

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