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Interview with the owners of M&G, Wolfgang Maier and Michael Gebetshammer


Interview

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 Championships.
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 Bundesliga.

NEWS: How did you start to work together?

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.
To compromise-what's that? That is Michael's thing. Beside of that he is also president of the Salzburg Minigolf Federation


MG: As "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?

WM: M&G stands for Maier-Golf-what else?

MG: M&G 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 testify.

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 onwards.
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 lacquer.

NEWS: And when it comes to clubs?

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?

MG: 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 that.

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!


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