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Putt18 League - The Sequel
25 Apr 2021 at 13:30 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 1290 | Comments: 0
Final scoreboard for the Putt18 Season 2
At the end of last year, I wrote a bit about the Matterhorn drop-in league as well as the first season of the
Putt18 World League
. As the calendar for 2021 has now moved beyond the 1st quarter, there’s been a lot of activity about minigolf leagues across the country, some new and some returning. Minigolf does seem like one event we can mostly bank on here in the US with everything else going on, especially when it comes to keeping locals busy. We know that O-Street Mingolf, Greater Baltimore Minigolf, Maine Minigolf, Swingtown Germantown, as well as Putt Putts across the country all are holding some form of leagues this year. You can check them out but also just keep an eye on your local course’s social media pages as you never know what else is out there.
For me locally, the Matterhorn league will be starting again this summer and I’m hoping to get to as many weeks as possible. It’s a good way to ensure some practice rounds before our tournament in September and I want to do what I can to be there to support the league and talk minigolf with some of the folks who randomly drop by. For the more casual minigolfers reading this, one thing about a local league is that there is very likely someone playing in it that has some competitive minigolf experience and it’s a great way to chat them up to learn more about that broader world. We’re like moths to light when we hear leagues are forming!
In terms of more recent adventures, we just completed the second season of the Putt18 World League. With it starting in the dead of winter here in New England and with Covid restrictions still heavily in place, it was again nice to have something consistent that connected putters from around the world. It was a similar format to the first league in that we’d play 4 rounds every other week for a total of seven weeks, and the rounds were all streamed on Facebook. This year after streaming on Facebook I also made a point of downloading my rounds and uploading them over on
The Putting Penguin’s YouTube site
This year the league grew a bit, which was awesome. We had a couple folks have to drop out from before but we picked up a few faces as well, especially from the UK and the US. While the accessibility of playing the league is pretty high (don’t even need to leave your house!), it still depends on having a Putt18 mat. I’m hoping that as Covid eases and people are more able to visit each other that we’ll get more friends jumping into the league and sharing mats. The only drawback to that is the administration required to review and score that many folks but I feel confident that we can come up with a more decentralized way of handling that for the organizers. Speaking of which, shout out to Matt Ansley and his team for taking care of the heavy lifting in Season 2!
I didn’t set a lot of goals for this season but I did have a couple. Despite having the luxury of the mat sitting at home, I actually wasn’t putting in a lot of practice on it, so I tried to be realistic when I thought about what I could achieve. This was also coupled with trying to find a time that was good for putting (and for providing graphics for Tom while he was putting) so a lot of my events were coming right off of work, etc – not exactly ideal mind frame to excel. But hey, you have to try your best!
This season 7 of the 20 competitors were from the USA, so my first goal was to be the top of that bunch. It was going to be a bit of varied competition, especially with some of the folks just getting the mat right before the season started, but I know I’d have a bit of heat from folks like Gary Shiff and Aaron Kaminiski who were both active in the competitive minigolf scene and had a lot of reps on the mat. Being the current US record holder on the mat, I feel like I have a piece of ground to defend. Speaking of which, my second goal was to try to come close to that record with a round this year. My current record wasn’t during a live, competitive, round and I really wanted to see if I could do something like that with the pressure of not being able to start over after looming over me. My final goal was to try to move up a couple of spots from the 8th I finished in the first league. I don’t know if I was thinking I’d get in the money, I just wanted to show improvement, which really should be the goal for every competition.
The league started out pretty well for me to achieve my goals. For the first few weeks I put up scores that were good enough to see me hanging around 6th and 7th place and had put some space on my fellow USA competitors. For those few weeks I had been using my standard head putter as it was my normal choice for playing on the mat. Because the overall feel of the mat was different than out on the minigolf course (e.g. you had to stop in a target and didn’t get the benefit of dropping in a cup if you had a bit too much speed), I felt like mentally I could get more into that zone if I used a putter different than what I was currently using out on the course. As anyone who plays anything competitively would tell you, so much is mental and I was looking for any little advantage that worked for me. However, I felt like I wasn’t putting out any excellent rounds that way. I was playing consistent but at times I felt like I was fighting the club. So during one point where I actually had some time to practice I switched over to my rubber-faced club that I’ve been using on the course for the past couple of years. I felt confident in the practice so that week I switched over to it – then set my high score the league!
Of course, this probably lead to over confidence with it and my scores the next three weeks came back to where they were the first three weeks, but I think I’m going to stick to it. I feel like I’ve found a groove with it and I tend to have less “wild” putts that end up in the sand or the water when using that club. I haven’t confirmed this with the video but I just feel like overall my putts are much closer to the targets in general and my “misses” for bogies are just outside the rings. Which is why I assume overall my scores have been pretty consistently around par since I’ve just been dialed into the target with some falling in and some falling out.
Otherwise there wasn’t much fancy this season. We didn’t do any big send off for the last week or anything crazy other than a few in-league competitions like a pairs battle and a teams competition for the last few weeks. Those were fun because the match ups were a bit random so we got to play together with some folks around the world that we wouldn’t have otherwise been matched up with. Again, going back to one of the mainstays of my blogs – the wonderful community of minigolf. At the end, I achieved some of my goals. I finished 6th overall, the “rest of the best” as I was just outside getting into the money with 5th place. I managed to stay atop the USA leaderboard but that gap started to shrink in the last few weeks. I’ll have a target on me for sure in season 3. Finally, I didn’t end up having a record breaking round (or even one that got to double digits below par) but I had some decent rounds. I think my favorite week was the one where I had like 8 eagles over the four rounds. I still managed to offset them with too many bogies but it was gratifying to nail the bullseye that many times in one week.
So that’s where we landed with this most recent few months of putting. As the weather has turned nicer some days, a few of the local courses have been opening up here and there to take advantage of it and almost most are now open at least on a part-time basis during the week. I’ve taken advantage of that with some family trips to the course and I’m looking forward to my first trips back where I’m prepping for competition, even though the first one of those is still a couple months off. Hopefully everyone reading has some access to the courses now (and more as the year moves on) – so be safe and happy putting!
The views expressed in this blog are solely the views of the writer and do not represent the World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF), Minigolfnews.com or any other organization that the writer may be associated with unless expressly stated in the blog.
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