Friday, November 4

Don’t Laugh—Pro Golfers of a Different Kind

THEY’RE POSTAL WORKERS, DENTISTS, criminal justice personnel and more, a cross section of America and beyond (like the Czech Republic). They’re also professional mini golfers.

Please don’t laugh.

“I think putt-putt is a sport,” says one.

“It’s highly skillful,” says another. “It’s a really technical sport.”

“We take it very seriously,” says Randy Reeves, a postal distribution clerk in Montgomery, Alabama. “I talk about how much fun I’m having. Sometimes if you see me on the course, you might not think I’m having so much fun because I made a bad putt.”

Dr. Brad Lebo: “When they give me a little bit of grief about being a professional miniature golfer, if it’s someone I know well, I say, ‘What have you been the national champion at?’

“My passion is playing professional putting tournaments,” Lebo adds. “If we played for larger purses, I may just go ahead and hang up my [dentist] drill.”

Reeves has won six figures in his career on the circuit, which includes as many as 50 events a year. Lebo has won about 80 titles, including three majors. Yes, there’s a U.S. Open and a Masters in professional mini golf.

It’s more than a summer outing or a hobby. The guys—and gals, too—love the game and competition. In fact, the 2011 U.S. Open champion is a 16-year-old girl from the Czech Republic.

Please don’t laugh.

The full story from The Daily.

−The Armchair Golfer


Charles Prokop said...

I remember watching pro putt-putt tournaments on TV back in the early to mid 1960's when I was a teenager. The tournaments were usually on before the real golf tournament on Saturday afternoons.

I found an entertaining book on miniature golf a few months ago and wrote about it in September on my blog in a post titled "Tee It Waaayyy Forward." The book is as odd as the thought of pro mini-golf: It has an astroturf cover.

The Armchair Golfer said...

That book sounds neat, Charles. I actually think the putt-putt pros and their tournaments are kind of cool. But then--what can I say?--I'm a golf geek.

Jay Mahal said...

Charles, I still remember that my father was an avid follower of putt-putt tournaments!!