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Holey Moley

Seven's new mini-golf show is grand-scale silliness -and crazy enough to work.

“You might be wondering, ‘Why is some American down here talking to us Australians about mini golf?'” asks Rob Riggle.

“Well, it’s because Channel 7 paid me a lotttt of money.”

And with that Rob Riggle won me over as a commentator on Seven’s new Holey Moley.

He is joined by “professional handsome man Shrivo” and Sonia Kruger, “host of Holey Moley, Big Brother, My Barista Rules and these 42 upcoming Seven shows.”

Ok I will stop giving away all the gags, but as you can see Holey Moley has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek.

The series is created by Chris Culvenor of Australia’s Eureka Productions, which has produced two seasons for ABC America to much acclaim. After Seven abandoned plans to shoot a local version on the US course, another was rebuilt in Brisbane, “designed by Greg Norman” (don’t believe it).

But this is no mere putt-putt by your local esplanade. It is a grand-scale, burst of colour and storybook under TV lights, with all kinds of thematic holes.

Naturally this gives rise to gags both deliberate, “Everybody’s favourite hole, Uranus!” and unintended, “Let’s go down to Sonia to take us through the hole.”

Matt Shrivo Shirvington is the straight man to Riggle’s daffy Americana, both donning jackets possibly dusted off from Seven’s World of Sport days.

To the game play: there are 4 x 2 players who each compete in a knockout round on separate holes, whittled down via a second stage to a three-way final. The winner of each episode will proceed to a Holey Moley final for $100,000.

But this is a course designed to thwart, so the contestants -both experienced putters and seasoned amateurs- will be tested by whatever showbiz chicanery can be thrown at them: fire, water, windmills that injure, celebrities in show-me-the-money cameos and even an embedded ad for Fetch TV. Random.

Sonia Kruger grabs a mere few quotes from hopeful players at 1.5m, while Greg Norman phones it in from the safety of an armchair in a studio (he didn’t set foot on the course in the premiere episode).

But it’s the course hijinks paired with Riggle’s pitch-perfect commentary we are here for: a giant rotisserie, a polar bear atop an icy ramp that may be left over from Game of Games, fake sharks, angry birds and celebrity pirates. Like Nine’s Lego Masters, kids are going to love Holey Moley and probably pester you to be dragged to the nearest putt-putt.

If I have any concerns it is the show length (yikes 62 minutes without ads) and whether it is compelling enough to draw me back for subsequent episodes -a personal choice, perhaps. The production elements are easily better than Wipeout, the dreadful Celebrity Splash and Cannonball (ugh), and even the hokey It’s a Knockout (which ran for over 100 episodes).

Holey Moley is defiantly silly and just crazy enough to work.

Begins 7:30pm Monday February 1 on Seven.

25 Responses

  1. Was wondering about previous actual golf course’s search results compared to Seven’s new show. Googled “Holey Moley Australia Review”, there was ≈ 9 for golf brand and 2 for Seven’s (One was 7 plus website). So I Googled “Holey Moley Australia” excluding heaps of Youtube clips much better ratio of 2 clubs and 7 for TV show, admittedly ≈ 4 are 7 Plus or 7 news.

    Was glad to see Agro in promo ads, gave impression he was “Behind The Wall…” of distraction, but turns out celebs are scattered round course to help/hinder and BTW is very last hole. Stands to reason, Agro is fun, slightly risque, but definitely not a great distration.

    Dunno, Holey Moley stunts look beeping dangerous, but only 1 shot penalty, I thought the celebs were actually playing golf – will watch first 2 eps to decide.

    Seven needs more actual watched sport, they lost rights to Melbourne Cup, Australian Open…

  2. Gee a few miserable comments. I think it is just what we need in these times, some laughter. Just some simple silly fun that we will giggle at if we try not to. Holey Moley I can’t wait !

  3. We fell in love with the US version when in Hawaii in 2019. It’s offbeat and funny. Riggle is perfectly cast. I was disappointed when I saw Kruger was included, I agree she’s over exposed. It’s enjoyable, light and entertaining – perfect weeknight viewing.

  4. So it’s supposed to be a mini golf competition! Wouldn’t have thought so looking at all the ads!!!! A lot of the time 5hey aren’t even holding a golf club!!!!!
    Looks more like a cross between Wipe out and Ninja Warrior with lots of physical stunts.
    Every review says episodes are dragged out and poorly edited.
    Expect it will tank against better produced shows MAFS and Amazing Race

    1. Why are you so angry? Just don’t watch it if you don’t think it will be good.
      “Looks more like a cross between Wipe out and Ninja Warrior with lots of physical stunts” : yes, that’s exactly what it is…where did they claim it was a straight golfing contest?
      “Every review says episodes are dragged out and poorly edited” : every review?

  5. If it’s as good as the USA version, I’m in. Rob Riggle makes the show. If the back and forth between him and shirvo is as good as between him and how it will be great. Shame about Sonia though. She is over exposed and just not that good.

    1. Ummmmmm Rob Riggle is one of the most renowned and funniest improv comedians in the world. The Daily Show, The Office, The Hang Over, Step Brothers, 21 Jump Street…

      I think you may be slightly out of touch.

  6. I’m really looking forward to this show, but god I hope it rates well! Every second ad when I watch Seven is promoting Holey Moley and my goodness, are they going to look like fools of the show tanks!

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