I was shocked.
I stood there, pink putter in hand, with my mouth hanging open in astonishment.
I’d been beat by my cousin, Dale.
It was quite embarrassing. I come from a family of golfers, and though I would never claim to be of the same caliber of my father and brother, I should have been able to out-putt Dale in a friendly game of putt-putt Saturday afternoon.
He is not a golfer, but that is not event he worst part.
He beat me by one stroke.
It’s my fault, though, because he didn’t even want to keep score. He didn’t want to compete.
I should have listened to him and threw away the scorecard, but no. I kept digging it out of my pocket after every hole and filling in our scores.
I started off in the lead, and after he eight-putted the second hole, I figured I would be easily cruising to a victory.
Then everything took a turn for the worse.
He sank two or three hole-in-ones, and I could see my triumph slipping away.
The final nail in my putt-putt coffin was hole 17. It had a water hazard that sucked my ball in three times before I was able to maneuver around it.
I hate to lose. I really hate to lose.
But I had fun, though, and the whole ordeal got me thinking.
Wouldn’t it be cool to own a putt-putt course?
Think about it. After you have the course built, maintenance would be minimal because the majority of the grass is fake, and any aesthetic features would most likely be relatively self-sufficient, such as fountains or fishponds.
Of course, a person would have to employ someone to work the course, but all that would entail is sitting in a shack while taking money and handing out golf balls and putters.
It took Dale and I about 45 minutes to play 18 holes, and it cost us $5. Even if the course was only open on the weekends, an owner could conceivably cover expenses quite easily because numerous players could be playing at any given time, and with the total time to play being so short, many patrons could get the chance to play.
Design wise, I would have castles and Dutch-style windmills golfers would have to putt through, and there would be water hazards and boulders to navigate on the way to the hole.
I would have to pick a theme, obviously, and I am thinking a mythical and fantastical leprechaun motif would be fun.
Little gnomes, pots of gold and rainbows would be intertwined with more sinister components to create an adventurous putting experience.
Before I would ever begin venturing into putt-putt course ownership, I would probably need to improve my game.
Every course needs a club pro, and I just don’t think my ego could take it weren’t me.
After all, it’s my course. I should be able to play it the best.
However, all of these ideas hinge on one key stipulation.
I am going to get a rematch with Dale, and if he beats me again, I will hang up my fluorescent putter for good.
How would I have any right to be a putt-putt course proprietor if the likes of Dale can defeat me?
The answer is I wouldn’t have any business going into the mini-golf industry.
I hate losing.