|Interview with the
owners of M&G, Wolfgang Maier and Michael
NEWS: The name M&G reminds of "mg" an old name in the Minigolf
business. When did you start your company and how long have you been involved
in Minigolf personally?
WM: The brand "mg" started in
the eighties. M&G was founded in 2007.
I have been involved in
Minigolf since 1964. At that time I played in the Austrian Championships in
Salzburg. I was a national team player for Austria at six European
I was working in the Golf business and gained a degree in
England as a "Clubmaker".
MG: I started in
competitive Minigolf in 1986. I joined the Austrian National Team and played
several times. At the moment I am part of MGC Bischofshofen in the Austrian
NEWS: How did you start to work
MG: It was quite easy; Wolfgang needed a
new test player. That's how it all began. Between the two of us, I am the one
who socialises and is open to compromise.
WM: It was
quite easy; Michael wanted to play his own special balls at tournaments.
compromise-what's that? That is Michael's thing. Beside of that he is also
president of the Salzburg Minigolf Federation
"mg" retired from the business, i asked Wolfgang to continue the production of
balls together with me. He wanted to take some time to think about. After 60
minutes, he called me up and said yes (laughing).
NEWS: What does M&G stand for?
M&G stands for Maier-Golf-what else?
stands for Michael Gebetshammer. Don't listen to other people.
WM: M&G is a strong brand name. Of course it reminds you of
the tradition of "mg". My company Progolf was general distributor of "mg" for
25 years! M&G could also stand for Minigolf, as we cover the whole field of
Minigolf products and courses.
NEWS: How do you
split the workload?
MG: I am in R&D , production
and distribution of balls branded for clubs and elite players. Wolfgang is
searching for new lacquers and does the bookkeeping (laughing).
WM: My core business is the planning and building of Minigolf
courses. Michael is very helpful, especially when it comes to planning, as he
is a professional contractor.
NEWS: Why should I
buy an M&G ball?
MG: I know that it is getting
harder and harder to produce new material. I am convinced by the fact that
testing of new materials and lacquer is much easier for an active player, as I
am one. My biggest challenge is to find the best lacquer finish for the raw
material available. "Gebi classic series" is the best proof for that. It makes
no sense to me to design balls on a writing table.
WM: For me there are three reasons: Quality, quality and quality.
Michael never agrees with the second best solution.
NEWS: Why should I buy a M&G Minigolf course?
MG: From the very beginning of the planning Wolfgang cares for
the details. He listens very carefully to the needs of the customer. The
customers wish is his command. I know that well, because Wolfgang is driving me
crazy by endless phone calls discussing the smallest details.
WM: I don't know, if we are building the best Minigolf courses in
the world. But there is no one better than us out there. Plus we have a
fantastic team of craftsmen and workers. Ask our customers, they will
NEWS: What is your future focus in
Minigolf ball production?
MG: Increase the production
of balls that are lacquered without retaining a "nipple" on the surface.
Producing balls for customers in small quantities from 50 pieces each
Restoring old balls by sanding and lacquering
I also want
to a launch a ball series, customized for the Swedish market. The key to
success will be the fine tuning between raw material and a slightly sticky
NEWS: And when it comes to
WM: I have a new club in mind - Gun 2 . The
point of gravity in the club head should be moved forward to allow spin shots
to be made more easily.
NEWS: You are sponsoring
the WMF, other federations and clubs in the field of Minigolf. How do you see
sponsorship in general and the future of Minigolf?
MG: I think it is important to be present on the market permanently.
I would like to increase the quality of working together with WMF as a sponsor
from both parties. Of course from time to time there are problems coming up, as
in every partnership and both parties must compromise.
WM: As many sports these days, Minigolf has got its problems. I
can see that some officials in national and international federations have
listened to the signals and are working in the right way.
I don't think
we should focus on new rules, especially when it comes to attracting more young
people to the sport. We don't allow Jeans and straw hats on the course. Can you
imagine Golf legend Greg Norman without his straw hat?
To make our
sport more attractive we must evaluate many rules and structures, being brave
enough to skip some old traditions.
NEWS: What is
your contribution to promote Minigolf as a sport?
We will continue to establish the "Progolf long night of Minigolf" as an
international promotion for our sport. There are ideas for similar events
focusing on new players. There is still a lot of work to be done for
WM: I want to get more TV coverage in an
entertainment format. The problem is that you might not involve too many people
in the brainforce. This is not the best way. Entertainment is the keyword. If
you think people will watch other people playing strictly after the rulebook on
primetime TV then I'd say 'Come on and wake up!'
NEWS: Thank you for this Interview!