Recently in the Queens Birthday Honours PGA Professional Phillis Meti was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sport particularly golf. Metil is a three-time World long drive champion winning the title in 2006, 2016 and 2018. In 2019 she launched a massive 414-yard drive to take the World Record. She was introduced to golf by her parents and her father Raz Meti starting at Chamberlin Golf club being born and raised in West Auckland. She is currently part of PGA NZ Bridging program with Rhys Bishop being her training member. .

We had a chance to catch up with Phillis and talked to her about where it all began for her, her highlights and what receiving such a prestigious award means to her and her ambition to grow the game for Maori and Pasifika.

Where did golf first start for you and who was involved?

Golf began with my dad falling in love with the game. I wish it was a glamorous story, but I was dragged to golf with my dad. We started at Chamberlain like most Aucklanders who have just started the game. My first coaches were Gillian Bannan and James Kupa. My first home club was Redwood Park. After turning 12, Heather Adam who was our junior convener then, would take some of us junior girls out to hit on a Sunday afternoon.

What is it that you love about golf? And working in it?

I really like the opportunities that golf presents to people involved e.g., social networks, competition, travel, events, teaching, operations…the list goes.

What are some highlights for you in your career so far?

I have many - following the pandemic, we don’t realise how good we had it pre-pandemic:

  • My 3 world championships and more so my recent ones. It was nice to see that after 10 years away, I still had enough speed and power to be the best, again.
  • Traveling the world playing Golf and competing on the World Long Drive tour has been a highlight. I feel I wouldn’t have had the same opportunities if I wasn’t playing the game.
  • Playing Tour Golf for 9 years.
  • Experiencing 5 different qualifying schools around the world and coming close to gaining a full card on the Ladies European Tour in 2013.
  • The many people I have come across.

Where do you see the game of golf evolving for you and beyond in general?

My goal is to increase awareness for Maori and Pacific Islanders to play golf. That’s how I would like to help evolve the game. I feel it would be appropriate to have more of a Pasifika representation throughout all facets in golf - be it in retail, undergoing their PGA Traineeship, playing elite level and becoming role models for the future.

What does the Queens award mean to you?

It is an honour to be recognised at the highest level in our country for my contribution to sport - particularly golf. I feel like I’m only starting!! However, this award also belongs to those who have helped me along my journey.

Who are your biggest influences on your life and golf?

My parents have been the biggest influencers in my life and golf - they set me up with some tools that allowed me to achieve the things I wanted to achieve whether it’s in sport, education or in life.

Both of my late grandmothers - they kept me grounded and shaped the woman inside of me - culturally, mentally and emotionally.

I have met many people that have influenced my life along the way. They say people come into your life for seasons and for reasons. I believe this has happened for me many times.

What’s next for you?

Whilst being in NZ, I have taken the opportunity to further my knowledge in the industry, improve on my teaching skills whilst completing my PGA Bridging qualification.