Lockdown Lift: Meet the man who has created an army of golf ball models

  • Report by ITV News Meridian journalist Will Walters

If you've ever lost a golf ball whilst playing at the Weybrook Park Golf Club in Basingstoke, chances are it now lives in Tony Amatruda's garage.

Or it's taken the form of a Teletubby, Paddington Bear or E.T.

Tony says: "I get called names some times because I walk around the golf course with me head down looking for golf balls and I've collected quite a few over the years".

Tony does plan to leave the models to the golf club, in a way reuniting them with their rightful owners. Credit: ITV News Meridian

The pandemic has meant that Tony hasn't been able to get to the golf course much over the past year.

But it has led to the discovery of this hidden talent. He's created over 150 models now and shows no signs of slowing.

Tony started small, using half a ball to create a ladybird. However with a little bit of clay, and a lot of imagination, he's created almost any character he can think of.

Ranging from Harry Hill to The Flowerpot Men to Yoda and Darth Vader. Finding space for all the models is becoming a bit of a problem.

He says his favourites are the two meerkats and the two bears: Pudsey and Paddington Bear.

Tony's modelling spree began with a ladybird and may finish with a huge statue in his back garden. Credit: ITV News Meridian

One day Tony does plan to return the balls to their rightful owners, although it's unlikely they'll recognise them.

But until then, he has a clear vision of where he'd like to take his modelling, saying: "I would like to get something that I could get a lot together. Maybe make some arty thing for the garden... some weird and wonderful statue or something.That would be my real ambition".

And with golf courses re-opening at the end of the month, he won't be short of balls to build it with.