Short Drives and Long Putts

I’ve been shuffling books around my study lately, hoping to eventually finish painting the bookshelves. As you can see from this photo of my golf books, the frame of the shelf is still raw wood.

Golf Books And A Stray FM Antenna

I have fantasies of the day when that raw wood matches the trim in the room, but I also have fantasies of being a scratch golfer. Regrettably, an afternoon painting wood is the more likely fantasy to come true.
If you look closely at the lower bookshelf you’ll see a book is missing between Golf My Way and Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible. That missing book is one of my favorites.


The cover of Miniature Golf is made of artificial turf, and that’s just one of the highlights. The book is an illustrated history of miniature golf and is full of odd photos, news stories, and historical tidbits. For example, did you know that the first true miniature golf course was built in Pinehurst, N. C. in 1916? Or that the game was a major fad during the 1920’s and became so popular that the USGA stepped in and decreed that anyone who accepted cash for tournaments or gave miniature golf lessons lost their amateur status?
Cities enacted blue laws to stop Sunday play and passed curfews to ban night play. Will Rogers commented that miniature golf was keeping people from doing their fair share of work in the depression, and said “millions got a putter in their hands when they ought to have a shovel.” The fad died away in the early ’30s and returned in a more manageable form in the ‘50s. I can remember Putt-Putt tournaments on Saturday afternoon TV in the early ’60s, but I haven’t heard of any serious competitions since then.
Anyway, if you ever see this book in a used bin somewhere and need a little weirdness in your life, I heartily recommend it.
So what does this have to do with events such as MGA shambles? Not a thing, other than the miniature length of our drives compared to the pros and the importance of putting for a good score. There was a time we got pin placements that needed a windmill and a dragon’s mouth, but those are rare now.
Three teams carded a net 64 in the September 14th MGA 2-man shamble. Roy Rodriguez and Van Tom “Coach” Whatley claimed first place after Whatley’s birdie on #18 made them the winners of a scorecard playoff. Jim Martin and Bob Bashaw claimed second place, while Larry Henson and Randy Lawlis took third.

The next MGA event after the Cowboy Classic will be the Club Championship on October 19-20.

4 Replies to “Short Drives and Long Putts”

  1. They had a great mini course in SA on Fredericksburg Rd. It was called Cool Crest. It was nestled in some trees and actually had a hole that you had to hit it over a pool of water. There was a little slope to help get the ball up to hit it over the water. Come to think of it that was my first water ball. At least I did not lose it. Thanks for the memory.

    1. I remember hearing a few years ago that someone was hoping to rehab and reopen Cool Crest, but I haven’t heard anything more about it. It’d be worth a little detour to see about it next time I’m down that way. Most of my mini golf was played in Houston in the heyday of the official Putt-Putt franchise. They had a 3-course, 54-hole franchise near Westheimer and Chimney Rock that I played.

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