So, just the other day, I was wandering around the so-called world wide web, as I am wont to do, and I came across something so great, so awe-inspiring, so so so surprising, that I had actually raised my arms over my head, waved them around wildly, and shouted egads!! Okay, I didn't really do any of that, bit I did find something quite intriguing. That quite intriguing thing was a place called the US Pro Mini-Golf Association. Who knew this even existed? Now I pride myself on knowing a lot of things, including obscure things like this, but damn if this didn't take me by surprise. There is a series of tournaments, a tour if you will, over the Summer months, throughout the Eastern half of the US, culminating in the Mini-Golf US Open, in Oceanport, NJ, just this past week, and then the Mini-Golf Masters, in Myrtle Beach, the self-proclaimed Mini-Golf Capital, in October. And I'm thinking to myself, I can do this!
Registration fees to join this group are a mere $25 a year, and anyone is allowed to sign up for any of the tournaments, as long as they pay their registration fees, which are also quite reasonable. Now granted, no one is going to become rich on the miniature golf tour, but there is prize money to be had...and trophies! So count me in, baby! Upon further research, I discovered a second mini-golf organization, this time called the Putters Association. They too have a tour, and theirs is even longer and full of more events, and more money (though you still aren't going get that Tiger Woods money, of course). And remember, this ain't your daddy's mini-golf. These tournaments are more serious than mere putt-putt of old. There be no windmills or dinosaurs here. Graded greens, and slants and slopes, and twists and turns are the thing in the sanctioned pro courses. Not that there is anything wrong with a good dinosaur-themed mini-golf outing. Or maybe a jungle adventure style course, where the giant giraffes seemed to have magical powers for my lovely wife, who kicked my proverbial ass one time in Myrtle Beach, hitting hole-in-one after hole-in-one. Crazy man, crazy. But yeah, there's a miniature golf circuit out there, so yeah, count me in, baby! There's just the one thing, though. I really don't play mini-golf all that often, and therefore am not up to the level of the pros I have been reading about on the interwebs. But hey kids, I have until march of 2015 to get better. I'm not about to jump right into the Masters in October, so I will practice practice practice over the Fall and Winter, until I can compete with these aforementioned pro miniature golfers.
So, in order to get my training underway, I ventured out to the closest mini-golf course I could find, which is a place called Water Golf, on City Island, in my homebase of Harrisburg, Pa. Along with Amy, my lovely wife, and Cate and Ed, a pair of visiting friends from Philadelphia, we took putters in hand and went eighteen mini-holes of golf. And, upon my first outing after deciding to become a professional miniature golfer, I scored a 51, which was two over par. Granted, this ended up as a second place finish (losing by one measly stroke to the aforementioned visiting Philadlphian, Eddie boy) but still, a two over par is not bad for someone who hadn't picked up a mini-golf putter since labor Day of the previous year, and hadn't played before that in well over a year. I think it might be all the different coloured balls. Of course, in order to compete with the big-wigs of the mini-golf world, that two over par needs to be whittled down to at least a ten or maybe even 15 below par, by Springtime of 2015, when the pro mini-golf circuit, supposedly involving over thirty possible tournaments within a reasonable distance, gets underway. So, of course, more practice in order. And yes, I believe I can compete when the time comes. Yeah, baby!!
And just what does this training include? well, for starters, it involves me getting ahold of some quality professional putters with which to practice. And yes, you can take your own putter to any mini-golf course. So, I did some more research, and found three quality putters online, and again, all for a very reasonable price.They should be here in September sometime. And that is pretty much it, kids. After that, and after the purchase of some sort of practice putting green, mini-golf style, it is just practice practice practice. There will also be the occasional trip to the many local, and semi-local, putt-putts and mini-golf courses around. My first official bit of training was the aforementioned Water Golf outing, overlooking the wild and wonderful Susquehanna River. Next up will most likely be a course about thirty minutes from my homebase. A place called Putt U. Great name. After that will be a late September voyage to just north of Philadelphia, and a rematch with ed, at a place called Monster mini-Golf, an indoor glow-in-the-dark course. There will be other mini-golf outings throughout the Fall, and weather permitting, winter months - many, I am sure, involving my so-called home course at Water Golf on City Island. Then, next year, some tournaments in and around Virginia (there are a bunch in the state for lovers) as well as some her in Pa, and over in New Jersey as well - all hopefully, culminating in a trip to Myrtle Beach in October, for the miniature Golf masters.
So, go ahead and wish me luck, and all that jazz. I will still, of course, be posting here on a regular basis, and back on my usual pop cultural bent. I will also still be writing my book, Forgotten TV, for hopeful publication in the Spring of 2015. hmmm, maybe some of the money made from that book, can go toward travel expenses on the road. After all, I do really believe that, by this time next year, I will be able to support myself and the lovely little missus, on royalties from my writings. Sure, it may not be a best seller (what TV-related book is?) but it should be able to find a big enough niche audience, to catch on. Here's hoping. Anyway, I digress. As I was saying, I will still be doing all that I do, writing-wise (both here, as well as Facebook and Twitter, the former of which will still be having my TV countdowns), but will still keep my faithful readers up-to-date on my budding mini-golf career. But for now, it's probably better to get back to the pop culture ramblings for which I am known. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.