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France  Jeeb

13 Dec 2018 at 04:13

Hi Pat! Thanks for your answer. Yes, I saw both websites already, and I also already contacted Urban Crazy. Maybe I'm wrong but their products...

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United States of America  carl

14 Jun 2019 at 14:00

Thanks Pat for your updates totally enjoying what your experiencing. Enjoy play well go team U.S.A. Rick Alessi

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United States of America  PatPenguin | 175 views | 0 comments

13 Jun 2019 at 22:31

Practice is Over – Time to....


United States of America  PatPenguin | 248 views | 2 comments

11 Jun 2019 at 22:44

Sweden or Bust


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05 Jun 2019 at 14:01

This Penguin Melts in Heat


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POLL

If miniature golf was to be in the Olympics, which style of course would you like to see played?


- Miniaturegolf

- Concrete

- Swedish Felt

- MOS (Adventure Golf)

- Combination of 2 Styles

- Combination of 3 Styles

- Why not all 4?


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Total 16 votes, since 31 Jan 2018.

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United States of America Patrick Sheridan's blog« See all blogs

Been running The Putting Penguin website since 2001. Entered by first tournament in 2003 and have been hooked on those ever since, playing primarily in local tournaments and USPMGA tournaments. In 2016, I took over as Editor-in-Chief of Minigolfnews.com

Practice is Over – Time to Play for the Glory
13 Jun 2019 at 22:31 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 175 | Comments: 0
Practice is Over – Time to Play for the Glory
The past two days have been the perfect illustration of why I’ve done what I do with miniature golf so that I can have the opportunity to finally play in an international competition. Wednesday was the first official practice day, so it was really cool to see the teams starting to wear their official kits around the course. Unfortunately the weather ended up being cold and windy in the afternoon, gradually migrating to rainy by lunchtime, effectively washing out the rest of the afternoon for practice. So of course we moved onto more international relations (drinking with other teams) while we waited for the opening ceremonies that night.

Wednesday evening was one of the coolest things I’ve ever had the chance to experience. Starting just after 6pm local time, we gathered for an Olympic-style parade of nations. It was awesome to be in our kits, taking pictures with ourselves and the other teams and then getting a chance to walk through some of the old town of....

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Sweden or Bust
11 Jun 2019 at 22:44 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 248 | Comments: 2
Sweden or Bust
It’s hard to figure out where to start my World Adventure Golf Masters (WAGM) blog because it’s such a new experience for me. I guess the best place to start is that as I am writing this I have been in Sweden for approximately 60 hours of it and I’ve loved every minute of it. The “official” parts of the tournament haven’t even started yet and I’m just thrilled with the experience. My goal is to do three posts from the week so you don’t have to read 10,000 words all at once.

The team experience started in Amsterdam when I met up with fellow teammate Wade Sahmel for the second leg of flights over to Gothenburg, and we caught up a little not knowing each other very well before this. After a short hop and short taxi trip we found ourselves at Hotel Fars Hatt in Kungalv, our home for the next week and about a mile from the course we’d be playing and a hotel that’s been in business since 1684. If you’re a student of history you’d know that is....

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This Penguin Melts in Heat
05 Jun 2019 at 14:01 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 127 | Comments: 0
This Penguin Melts in Heat
I will start this by apologizing ahead of time for any self-pity or downer attitude some of this post might take. As I said after the 2018 Master’s, it’s much easier to write a tournament blog when you felt you met your expectations in the tournament and here I did not. I felt I had a lot of pressure to perform not only because I consider the U.S. Open to be the better of my major tournaments but also because I wanted to continue to prove that I belonged in that Team U.S.A. spot for the World Adventure Golf Masters (WAGM). I know past performance and support of the sport is what got me there but it’s hard to shed that seed of doubt when you’re still a relative “newcomer” to professional putting.

However, I also look at this as an opportunity to show why this sport is so great. It’s easy to be excited about something and want to keep playing it when you are doing well, but it takes a bit more mental effort to return to something when you aren’t. ....

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It’s Hot, Hot, Hot – 2019 US Open Practice
24 May 2019 at 03:54 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 263 | Comments: 2
It’s Hot, Hot, Hot – 2019 US Open Practice
“My blood is too thick for California: I have never been able to properly explain myself in this climate.” ― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

With temperatures in the high 80s/low 90s, the quote above came to mind as this New Englander tried to deal with the South Carolina heat during the opening days of U.S. Open practice this week. What’s worse is that the forecast for Friday is high 90s and potential record breaking temperatures, so I guess I’m happy I will have had some time to acclimate to the weather, coming from a place where it was cold enough to snow just a week beforehand.

As I was working on writing this I realized that it’s hard to accurately describe what a major miniature golf tournament week is like. You get pulled so far out of reality that, if you haven’t experienced it, it’s probably hard to get a feel for it just by reading my blog. I left my house before 6am on Monday morning (after a late night....

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Another Trip Down South – Looking ahead to the U.S. Open 2019
13 May 2019 at 21:24 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 192 | Comments: 0
Another Trip Down South – Looking ahead to the U.S. Open 2019
This year marks the 6th consecutive year I’ve had the opportunity to compete in the USPMGA U.S. Open and my 8th appearance overall in the event’s 22-year history. In this post I’m going to set the stage a little for the tournament, with it coming up in a little more than a week. My plan, as it has been the past few years, is to provide at least a couple “real time” posts from the tournament week, which kicks off for me May 20th, with the actual tournament running May 24th and 25th. There’s still time to join the fun if you are interested!

I’m happy I’ve had such a good run in U.S. Open attendance and am thankful more flexibility in my work schedule and wallet have allowed for the travel, whereas in the past it hasn’t been as easy. (Not to mention a big thanks to Liz and my family for allowing me to travel for the tournament and/or traveling with me when possible). Of the two....

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A crazy 2019 already!
21 Jan 2019 at 13:42 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 746 | Comments: 2
A crazy 2019 already!
In just the first couple of weeks of 2019 there's been a couple of miniature golf items I saw fit to throw my opinion together for, so here you go dear reader.

The first is the really fun news. The USPMGA recently announced Team USA for the 2019 World Adventure Golf Masters (WAGM) to be played in Sweden. There are three teams of 4 playing (Red, White and Blue of course) and while I didn't make one of the core teams I was named the alternate player for the team this year. I have to say it�s one of the coolest things I've experienced in my miniature golf life. I don�t think that growing up I ever had a real expectation of representing my country in a sporting event and even when I found out about international miniature golf tournaments, I figured it was an outside chance at best or something that was way down the road with all of the great players in the US. I�m obviously hoping that....

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2018: A Minigolf Year in Review
31 Dec 2018 at 17:48 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 1078 | Comments: 1
2018: A Minigolf Year in Review
I find writing a year in review blog in some ways self-serving, almost as if Im bragging about all the cool stuff Ive gotten to do in the year, but its that diversity of events which drives me to want to write one for the site. Most of my blogs are focused on the competitive nature of our sport, rightfully so for the site, so I like to take the opportunity to highlight the expanse of experiences miniature golf has to offer. You may not be able to do everything that I have had the chance to but hopefully you will see something interesting and grab onto that one piece of minigolf to help further your own connection with the sport. I always feel incredibly lucky in that Ive been able to do a ton of interesting things in this sport and that my work/life/family have allowed me to participate in so many activities. In some years I would have tried to do a top ten or rank the things that happened but in a year like this I think its easier just to walk through the year. Its hard to....

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Not Quite Mastering the Master's
22 Oct 2018 at 14:51 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 711 | Comments: 0
Not Quite Mastering the Master
Its no surprise that writing this blog is much easier after a tournament when I feel like Ive met, or at least come close, to my personal goals and/or have finished in the money. That being said, while I feel a bit disappointed with my finish in the USPMGA Masters, I cant say that I played bad during the whole tournament and I definitely cant say that I didnt have fun. Having two beautiful tournament days on a miniature golf course can almost never be bad (especially when one of them is a weekday and the alternative is working my day job). If it was, Id stop playing, and I think a lot of players on tour feel the same way. You can never forget that our sport is built on a foundation of windmills and clown faces!

After all of the practice and Hurricane induced delays, I got to the Aloha course before dawn on Thursday, where Id be playing my first 4 rounds. In an interesting bit of grouping, I would actually be playing with Mark The Highlighter Novicki, my....

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Minigolf Madness and Going Tropical
11 Oct 2018 at 21:55 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 1343 | Comments: 5
Minigolf Madness and Going Tropical
Its quite interesting at times when things in a certain sphere just all come together at one time. That certainly seemed to be the case over the past ten days as they lead up to the USPMGA Masters happening this weekend in Myrtle Beach.

This past week work found me right in the heart of minigolf country in Orlando, Florida. I wasnt sure if I would have time to sneak away for some putting but after a team event, 6 of us headed to Pirates Cove on International Drive. I never seem to have a problem getting people to come with me since at this point several of the people I work with are always looking for their chance to beat me straight up on a course. Upon arriving, one of my co-workers felt the need to point out they were there to take down a pro-minigolfer. Im not one to usually announce what I do when Im at a course (especially when reviewing for The Putting Penguin) but sometimes people figure it out from a shirt or hat. This time, however, the clerks....

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Climbing the Mountain Again
28 Sep 2018 at 13:35 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 1292 | Comments: 2
Climbing the Mountain Again
Success! Thats the theme of this post. Part of it is personal, but more its the success of the wider concept of the Matterhorn International Pro-Am. As I had noted in my previous post, I was concerned about having a sophomore slump for the tournament and overall it didnt turn out that way as we had 31 people compete (compared to 34 in 2017). I was hoping to have a few more on the pro division, which is something well work on for next year, but the competitive nature of that division made up for the lack of numbers.

The morning starts early on Saturday versus a regular tournament day as I spend an additional 30 minutes making sure I have everything packed to run the tournament as well computer, printer, things like that. Autumn (owner of the course) is providing some extra help this year on the administrative side which means we can get the score totals out quicker to the crowd. Since we havent moved fully electronic yet, and I know the suffering of waiting....

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Making it Annual
22 Sep 2018 at 04:11 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 795 | Comments: 0
Making it Annual
One of the most difficult things about success is following it up with more success. Thats true when both playing in miniature golf tournaments and running them. Last year we had the opportunity to run the 1st Matterhorn International Pro-Am, over at Matterhorn Mini Golf in Canton, CT and we had a beautiful day of weather and over 30 people play between the two divisions. This is a fair amount for a local tournament, running for the first time. The question on our mind this year was if we could replicate those types of numbers or even exceed them.

As of the time of this writing, it looks like well have a slightly smaller field than last year (we had a lot of sign-ups the day of last year so who knows what Saturday will bring) but the pro division looks like its going to be super competitive. This year we expanded the paying places to 8th and it looks like we got a couple of people to jump from amateur to pro as a result. This is awesome, and the same exact path....

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Time for Lobstah Part 2
17 Sep 2018 at 13:24 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 739 | Comments: 0
Time for Lobstah  Part 2
This is Part 2 of my trip to Maine for the 25th Maine State Dolphin Open. You can see part 1 in my blog archives.

Day of the tournament is finally here and Highlighter gives me a ride to the course. The pairings are drawn that morning and Im playing with Terri Lawson from Pennsylvania, who I know from many years at this tournament. Im feeling good but immediately shank my first putt. Luckily its not too bad as I watch it hit off the brick and careen towards the hole and gods be praised I get a lucky double bounce and its in for an unconventional ace! I hope thats a good sign of things to come. It would be on that hole at least as I would ace it four times in a row (the last three being more traditional in style).

Im feeling good about my round, especially when I ace the double-decker 13 (which is all about speed to the small center hole up top) to go one under. Then disaster strikes on the loop at 14. I swear Im good for this once a....

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Time for Lobstah Part 1
15 Sep 2018 at 13:24 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 770 | Comments: 0
Time for Lobstah  Part 1
Hard to believe it has been a bit over three months since I took part in a miniature golf tournament but thats kind of how it goes in New England. As a result, to catch up Im breaking this post up into two sections, I hope you enjoy.

While there are some tournaments that are popping up over the summer, most tend to be in the fringe of the season (May or September) to take advantage of slower times at the courses. Unfortunately I also missed the most local tournament to me, the Farmington Miniature Golf tournament in August, due to a death in my extended family. That ends up being a double downer because I tend to find that miniature golf, especially tournament prep and play, if one of the ways I use to pull myself out of the rough stuff of everyday life and have something positive and fun to focus on.

However, since it was a two-day tournament I did get a chance to visit day two and support my fellow penguin Mandy (who came in second in the lower....

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On the Big(ish) Screen!
11 Jun 2018 at 15:07 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 838 | Comments: 0
On the Big(ish) Screen!
When I started my minigolf journey in 2001, I had no idea where it would lead me. Since our first reviews were posted online, Mandy and I have been in numerous newspaper and magazine articles, Ive been on the radio a few times, including PGA Tour radio, and the name Putting Penguin", has become more recognizable in the miniature golf world than Pat Sheridan. About four years ago we were contacted by filmmaker Amanda Kulkoski for a documentary she was working on called Through the Windmill. Her goal was to showcase why people loved the sport of minigolf, focusing on the US, through talking to course owners who live and breathe it as a business, to those of us who have it as a driving hobby, to the professional/competitive side of putting. We spent a good chunk of a day with her team at Saybrook Point, a local course, shooting us playing and being interviewed.

We kept in touch....

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Sheridans March to the Sea (or the Flood Streets of North Carolina)
28 May 2018 at 14:03 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 958 | Comments: 0
Sheridans March to the Sea (or the Flood Streets of North Carolina)
Its funny sometimes how an actual tournament can be so disconnected from your practice rounds. To say I was pleasantly surprised with how I ended up at the 2018 U.S. Open is an understatement. I did much better than I thought I would and am very happy for it.
It was no much of a surprise when I woke up on Friday to pouring rain since it had been doing that all week and it was forecasted for the morning. Nonetheless I was at the course by 7:15 and the rain let up enough for me to get in a few holes of practice. Then the heavens opened up again and we all went running for cover and the start of the opening ceremonies. The rain would push the start time back by about an hour and the big question was going to be how would the field react to it.

For this years tournament the threesomes (and two twosomes) were set by random draw and I would end up playing with Justin Seymour, one of my CT putting buddies, and Tommy Ellis, a local player. I was the 8th group....

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Snakes on a Minigolf Course!
18 May 2018 at 03:48 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 929 | Comments: 0
Snakes on a Minigolf Course!
I want to start this blog with a quick correction from my last one. I mistakenly said we were playing 8 rounds with a cut after 6 at this years U.S. Open. I was thinking of the last Open here and 8 rounds stuck in my mind. We are actually playing 10 rounds with the cut happening after 8. My bad. Now on to my long pre-tournament post.

The past couple of days have been an interesting time of practice. First, the weather has been iffy and at times has played some havoc. Wednesday morning it was particularly bad. Usually on a practice day I wake up around 7am and try to be at the course before 8:30am. On Wednesday I woke up to a torrential downpour and decided that I would not be going to the course too early. It would be almost 10:30 before the rain broke and even then it was only long enough to get in about 27, very waterlogged, holes. On the plus side, I figured out how to float a few putts into the cups if it comes down to it. During the next rain break I....

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Making the Trip to the U.S. Open
16 May 2018 at 04:20 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 2264 | Comments: 1
Making the Trip to the U.S. Open
After 8 states, 13 hours of driving and quick stop to sleep a few hours, I made it from Connecticut to Hendersonville, North Carolina, home of the 2018 U.S. Open. The tournament returns to the Par Tee Time course at Champions Golf Center, where it was last held in 2015. I rather liked when the U.S. Open was a bit closer since making the trip down to the Carolina's twice in one year (as the Master's is held in Myrtle Beach) is a bit of a haul, but you do what you need to do for one of the majors. I wouldn't recommend this for people looking to get into the sport (try something closer at home) but hopefully once you get the bug for tournaments you won't think twice about traveling around the country to play. I had briefly considered flying down but for this year I opted to drive, leaving the family at home for the week (for better or worse). The flexibility of being able to throw all your stuff into your own car and not worrying about whether or not the airline will actually....

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Introducing Our Newest Writer - Mathieu Labrie
04 May 2018 at 14:06 | Posted in: General | Views: 2608 | Comments: 1
Introducing Our Newest Writer - Mathieu Labrie
Editor's Note: It's always great to see our family growing here at Minigolfnews, so I take pleasure in introducing a new blogger/writer for our site from Canada, Mathieu Labrie. We haven't had much content on the sight from my neighbor's to the North so really looking to get to know about the minigolf scene there. After this first post, he'll be posting under his own username, so keep a lookout for them! If anyone else is interested in providing their viewpoint or helping the site cover other parts of the world, please let me know. Without further ado, let's get to the good stuff...

It is with great pleasure that I accepted Minigolfnews' invitation to report this summer about the minigolf activities in Canada. More precisely, I will focus on the tournaments organized by Mini-Putt.net which is the organizer of the provincial tour across multiple courses in my home province of Quebec.

A little something about me:
As far as I can....

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London Calling
02 May 2018 at 13:37 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 1036 | Comments: 0
London Calling
Im happy to have a job that affords me the ability to travel as it usually means I can loop in some personal fun as well, which was definitely the case with the latest trip to London in late April. I arrived on Saturday with two work friends and after checking in at the hotel in the middle of Leicester Square we immediately moved onto Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a pub that was rebuilt before my country even existed. After a bit of fishnchips and a few pints in the historical basement, we were off for a tour of some London sights and pubs. Given that, its a bit surprising that I was able to rouse myself at 7am to start my trip on Sunday out to the British Masters. Nothing quite like waking up early for minigolf.

I had given a thought playing the tournament but I didnt know if I would be able to dedicate a whole day to the tournament. As it turned out, I was but it ended up being enjoyable getting to watch a tournament from end-to-end versus worrying about how I was....

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Almost That Time
19 Apr 2018 at 14:36 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 744 | Comments: 0
Almost That Time
Yikes, its a month away!



That was my thought when I turned the calendar the other day and realized that it would soon be May, the month home to the U.S. Open for the past couple of years. This meant a few things: 1) I better start preparing for it, 2) I better start writing about it and 3) oh crap, Im that much closer to having another tiny human being running my life (and weve found out this one is going to be a girl hopefully good for upping the gender diversity in the sport soon).



This year the U.S. Open returns to Hendersonville, North Carolina and the Par Tee Time course at Champions Golf Center, which held the U.S. Open in 2015. This course got the best of me last time there but Im looking to avenge those scores this go around (more on the course in a later discussion).



In preparation for that, Id like to say Ive been preparing but my offseason work has beenwell not lacking entirely, but....

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A new minigolf year is upon us!
05 Jan 2018 at 13:33 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 2343 | Comments: 2
A new minigolf year is upon us!
With 2017 now in the rear view and 2018 laid out before us like a brand new lane, I wanted to take a few minutes to look back on my year as a minigolfer and Editor-in-Chief of the site. 2017 ended up being one of the busiest minigolf years for me in a long time. It was one of our slowest years at The Putting Penguin, getting in just about 15 new reviews between our own travels and visitor reviews, but we expected it to slow down as we conquered more and more of the easily drivable courses. Mandy and I have both done our best to hit up courses when work or other vacation plans take us out of the Northeast and that has helped to expand our reach as we got into some new states and played some more internationally. Its also been a challenge to run both that site and Minigolfnews at the same time but its been worth it.

While we didnt get a whole lot of reviews done for The Putting Penguin I did play in the most....

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Finishing the Master's on a Strong Note
30 Oct 2017 at 12:55 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 2854 | Comments: 3
Finishing the Master
Once again, there was a long time between me actually finishing the tournament and getting to this post but I think the extra time was good, being able to think through a few things.
The earliest I had to get up during tournament week was Saturday, the last day of the Masters. Since I wasnt in the top 35, I was in the first wave of players to hit Hawaiian Rumble and we teed off by 7:30am. It was actually nice to play a bit in the dark with the lights on at Rumble but its tough to play tournament minigolf before the sun comes up. Usually any round before 8am and a bit of coffee is a disaster for me!

Upon getting to the course I try to hit a few balls on some of the easier holes in the attempt to dial in some aces on the final day. Its during that practice when I hear of a controversial decision that ends up compounding itself and angering quite a few players. In the next few paragraphs, I will warn you that I will be critical and a bit negative so if....

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The Heat is on...
14 Oct 2017 at 02:58 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1474 | Comments: 0
The Heat is on...
Day 1 of the USPMGA Masters starts like most tournament days and Im up by 6:30am and at Hawaiian Rumble by 7:15am for the player check-in and opening ceremonies. Everyone will meet at Rumble first before splitting into their respective courses for the first five rounds. Instead of doing any practice, I decide to chat with various folks that I havent seen in a while, or just met, and go about the business of talking tournament and expanding the sport. The weather is warm, but not hot, and at that point the sun has stayed behind the clouds.

The opening ceremonies are great with honor guard, national anthem, and a speech by the mayor. All of the stuff you would expect from a major tournament. The only thing I dont like about the morning meeting (and Im not being disparaging, just telling it like it is) is that there is virtually no explanation of the rules of the tournament. While most of the players have either played in the Masters or another USPMGA event, I....

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Mastering the Masters...
12 Oct 2017 at 03:14 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1556 | Comments: 0
Mastering the Masters...
This is the first year that I will play in the USPMGA Masters after many years playing in tournaments. The October time has never seemed to be good for me to get to Myrtle Beach and this year was almost no different as I ended up having to go to Missouri for a wedding the weekend before. So instead of heading down early for a few days of practice I was up at 3am on Tuesday morning to make the 14 hour drive to South Carolina from my home in Connecticut. Lucky for me I was armed with plenty of podcasts, audio books and music which I could sing along to in order to keep myself company on the drive (Tom Petty and the Hamilton soundtrack kept me pretty occupied once I got to Virginia).

I was actually pretty happy with the trip as I only hit a bit of traffic around Washington D.C. and the rest was smooth sailing, even if it was lonely at times. By 6pm I was checked into the hotel and meeting with Mark The Highlighter Novicki for a quick bite of dinner and a pint (if you....

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Conquering the Matterhorn
09 Oct 2017 at 18:01 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1173 | Comments: 0
Conquering the Matterhorn
Apologies upfront for the lateness of this blog post. While I had pretty much completed it two things got in the way of me finalizing it: 1) the computer on which I wrote it crashing and me being an idiot and not backing it up and 2) life. But here I am having re-written this lengthy post for you and I think it was true to my original thoughts!

Its over! Thats what I was thinking about 5pm on September 23rd as we finished passing out all of the rewards and taking the final pictures of all the winners. What an exhausting day it was between the stress of playing and the stress of running the tournament but I was happy with how both turned out. The 1st Matterhorn International Pro-Am got a great reception by the players and we had some great play to kick off what will hopefully be a multi-year tournament.

The day began at 6am as I got up, grabbed a bit of coffee and headed over to pick up Mark The Highlighter Novicki who asked for a ride the night....

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Setting off For Switzerland (sort of)
23 Sep 2017 at 04:22 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1391 | Comments: 0
Setting off For Switzerland (sort of)
Im barely done documenting my last tournament when its time to turn around and get ready for the next one. I guess this is the life of a touring pro! This one will be a little different, though, as Mandy and I are running the tournament via The Putting Penguin. Its the first time in 4 years weve run a tournament so were excited to bring a tour date back on the schedule, even if its just a local at this time. This does mean a whole other set of challenges on top of preparing for the play, which Mandy and I will both be taking part in.

First, the course. Matterhorn Mini Golf is the result of a lot of hard work put in by Autumn Sutherland who determined the theme after spending many years living in Switzerland. The love affair paid off as the course is one of the best Connecticut has to offer. Its been open for 3 years now and we were involved a bit in the beginning as a sounding board for Autumn to pitch some ideas. The result was a course where all 18....

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Defending a Title - Part 2
18 Sep 2017 at 13:45 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1391 | Comments: 0
Defending a Title - Part 2
Now its game time! Im up at 6:30 AM and I quietly shower and get out of the hotel room without waking the wife or son. After grabbing a bagel and coffee at the hotels breakfast I make my way over to the course. Its a beautiful late summer day in Boothbay with a slight chill in the air and sunny skies. Im not the first one to the course, with John and Highlighter beating me there. I have time to sneak in two more practice rounds, shooting a 35 and a 39. I was as ready as I will ever be.

As the tournament has gotten smaller in recent years and registration a little more lax we dont really know who will be playing until its time to tee off. Its a small group this year, just 10 of us, but they are almost all contenders including Lee who has actually never won his own tournament. Im paired with Randy Rice, one of the largest people on the USPMGA tour. You may also have seen him in commercials or on the show Smartest Guys in the Room that was on the History....

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Defending a Title Part 1
17 Sep 2017 at 14:11 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1273 | Comments: 0
Defending a Title  Part 1
When tournament blogging Ive been trying to do at least one post pre-tournament with some stuff to look forward to and then one post-tournament as a wrap up. However, with a crazy travel schedule leading up to the Maine State Dolphin Open, I didnt have the chance so Ill be doing a two-part blog after the event. Hopefully both parts will keep you entertained as you read it on your commute, while waiting in line or while using the toilet (I know thats where most of you are reading this). Im going to try to sneak another post in prior to our upcoming Matterhorn International Pro-Am.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this years Maine State Dolphin Open is the first time I will be rolling into a semi-major tournament as the defending champion. My goal this year was not necessarily to defend the title, although that would be nice, but to have a strong showing to prove that the prior year wasnt just a fluke. The difficult thing is that I wont be getting much....

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Getting Pummeled on the Course
25 Aug 2017 at 13:27 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1471 | Comments: 0
Getting Pummeled on the Course
It was after the first day of the Farmington Miniature Golf tournament that I realized sometimes one can have too high expectations when one takes minigolf tournaments as seriously as some of us do. Most people would have been very happy to be tied for 3rd after two rounds, yet there I sat annoyed at my play during the second round and wondering what could have been. Not that it mattered though, a beat down was in place and Ill get to how badly we all got smacked later.

The first day started earlier than any Saturday ever should. My alarm was set for 5:45 but I ended up being woken up quite a bit earlier than that by our cat. She finally decided to catch the mouse that had been running around our house this week and woke me up at 3:30 that morning by crunching loudly on the mouses head next to my bedside. After removing the rest of the headless mouse from her (it was my estimate that she had enough of the fresh meat) I slept off and on until the alarm went off.....

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Just a few practice rounds...
19 Aug 2017 at 04:03 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1267 | Comments: 0
Just a few practice rounds...
My plan was to hit a few practice rounds this afternoon as my last preparation for the tournament tomorrow. A few turned into 8 rounds over 4 hours! Luckily the heavy stuff didnt come down for a while, so all I was left with was incredibly humid air and a few sprinkles. Overall I was content with my rounds, bringing the total practice rounds for this tournament to 15. Its sort of the same feeling I had prior to the U.S. Open rounds. I had done ok, but I knew I could do better. Im hoping perhaps to get a repeat performance from the Open where I did just that. My average for the rounds was 39.8 which is about a stroke higher than I would have liked to seen it. Depending on the round a different hole seemed to kill my score though for the most part I was finding a decent amount of aces to offset the bogies (and in some cases double and triple bogies), even if some of them were rather lucky. I ended practice with only one hole below par and one at even not exactly what Id....

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It's Time for Locals!
16 Aug 2017 at 14:18 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1374 | Comments: 0
It
Now that the U.S. Open its time to turn my attention to a busy couple of months of tournaments. August and September is when I do most of my tournament playing given the availability of events local to me (within a few hour drive). If I were a single man and could do crazy road trips I could play two tournaments in one weekend about 8 hours apart from each other. Alas, I am happy with my family and am not that completely insane when it comes to tournament play.

My upcoming tournament schedule features the Farmington Miniature Golf (FMG) Tournament (August 19 & 20), the Maine State Dolphin Open (September 9), the Matterhorn International Pro-Am (September 23) and hopefully the USPMGA Masters (October 12-14). Ill save the Masters talk for another blog but want to talk briefly about the other three, including the start of my preparations for the FMG. Each of these tournaments brings a different set of challenges that set them apart from each other and a tournament....

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Welcome Cameron Couper!
31 Jul 2017 at 13:28 | Posted in: General | Views: 1224 | Comments: 0
Welcome Cameron Couper!
Minigolfnews: We'd like to welcome Cameron Couper from New Zealand as our newest blogger on Minigolfnews. Cameron is a relatively new competitive minigolf player and will be providing some local perspective on the growing miniature golf scene "down under" as well as some thoughts on playing the major international tournaments. His first post is below and future posts will be under his username.

Who knew that there was a mini golf world championship, that you could play the game as a competitive sport as well as a fun activity while on holiday in the summer time with friends.

I certainly didnt, well I kind of knew vaguely that there was some sort of championship somewhere in the world, but not to the extent that Ive now come to find out about.

Late last year I found out that the New Zealand mini golf federation were looking at hosting the first ever New Zealand open, I thought to myself that this could be something that would....

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Down the Stretch They Come...
24 Jul 2017 at 23:34 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1361 | Comments: 0
Down the Stretch They Come...
I was so exhausted from the weekend I had to take a bit of break before getting back to my last post from the U.S. Open. It's amazing what up to 12 hours of putting, in the 90 degree heat, over 5 days will do to a person. It was probably as much mental exhaustion as physical given that over 350 putts all called for concentration and mental acuity to get them made.

To kick off day 2 of the Open I was up at 6am and at the course just after 7am. I was surprised at how calm I was. Normally when I do well in a tournament, especially of this caliber, I've got the jitters and am constantly thinking about how do I keep my place. This time out, however, I was only thinking about the fact that I knew I could deuce every hole and get a few aces as well, which would be good enough for some good scores.

Practice was simple - just a short walk around the course, hitting a couple of balls and testing out the speeds. I wasn't changing any shots at this point.....

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US Open Day 1
22 Jul 2017 at 04:17 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1369 | Comments: 0
US Open Day 1
Its finally here the first day of the 2017 U.S. Open. Time to put all that practice to work. I arrived at the course around 7am and a great many of the players were already there practicing. I was surprised to see how good a condition the course was in after last nights storm but in talking with John Forbes (who is co-running the tournament) he mentioned the grounds crew as out there cleaning up early this morning. Kudos to them on doing an amazing job. I also was pleasantly surprised to see my mug on the giant board with some of the best players of the tournament. Not sure I will ever get that level of infamy again until I get to winning a major tournament. I practiced a few holes where I wanted to try my best to get some aces but didnt overwork myself. I felt I had what I needed to get the tournament started.

At around 8:30 everyone came in for the opening ceremonies. They went all out this time. We had the National Anthem, a few speeches, a ribbon....

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US Open Eve
21 Jul 2017 at 02:48 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1439 | Comments: 0
US Open Eve
Well here we are on the eve of the tournament. Today was a very sweaty day of practice as the temperatures were in the mid-80s by 8am and settled around the low 90s the whole day with some intense humidity. Most of the rounds were brutal for the middle of the course that was in direct sunlight.

I spent the first part of the morning charting shots again with Danny Baddeley, then we turned our attention playing a few more practice rounds. The first few I was playing cleaner than yesterday but with less aces. However, that brought my overall score down a bit before sliding up the rest of the day. During the afternoon, Matt Bellner (who many of you know for his bright outfits and wonderful personality) arrived and I played a quick round with him on his first go-around for the course. Overall, including the North/South rounds below, I will have played 24 practice rounds at around an average over just over 38, which I was happy with. It's about where I ended up in 2014.....

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US Open T-Minus 2 Days
20 Jul 2017 at 04:05 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1178 | Comments: 0
US Open T-Minus 2 Days
Today at the not-too- early hour of 8am as I swung by Dunkin Donuts for a quick bite and a coffee before kicking off the putting. I was bit surprised to see the volume of people on the course at 8:30 but perhaps it was because people were trying to get in as much putting in as possible before it got too hot. By the time I took a break around 2pm, the temperatures had reached into the low 90s and as I've mentioned before there is very little shade on the course. I saw that most of the Connecticut crew had arrived and were already out working on a few shots. While most of the Europeans, including my friends in the UK, often talk about which minigolf club they belong to, we really don't have the same concept here in the States. So mostly we just align ourselves by geography when it comes to side hustles or bragging rights. Theres already some discussion of a North vs South bit to be had and usually we played for the Connecticut cup at these tournaments where a group of us our....

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US Open T-Minus 3 Days
19 Jul 2017 at 04:12 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1146 | Comments: 0
US Open T-Minus 3 Days
Today it was time to return South for a few days of practice leading up to the two day event of the US Open. I left about mid-morning from Connecticut and made the trip to mid-New Jersey in a comfortable 3 hours and 30 minutes, listening to recaps of Game of Thrones the whole way. I checked into the hotel first before heading to the course. The past few years my wife, dog and then child have been traveling with me to the US Open and we were undecided about the plans for this year. They decided to stay home (at least for the practice days) but I still had booked a rather spacious suite just in case so I get to enjoy a multi-story room with a full kitchen. It's a Marriott and getting the upgrade to the way-too-large room is just one of the perks from all of my travels for work. While I enjoy having my family around to provide support, putting in hours of practice is a bit easier when you just have to worry about your own welfare.

It was a quick stop at the hotel....

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And So It Begins...
04 Jul 2017 at 14:26 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 1308 | Comments: 0
And So It Begins...
I'm taking a bit of a break from writing articles for the site to hit up a few blog posts around the 2017 U.S. Open. Previously I had done this on The Putting Penguin site, but have moved over here to keep in line with our other blogs. A bit later I'll also be talking about the tournament we are helping to run and what goes into both sides of getting competitive minigolf off the ground.

This year the U.S. Open tournament returns to Bluegrass Minigolf in Oceanport, NJ for the 2nd time and the tournament will be held on July 21st and 22nd. It will be a 10 round tournament. The last time it was held here, Matt McCaslin took the top spot.

The U.S. Open has been the one USPMGA event I've played fairly regularly, especially over the past four years. The last time it was at Bluegrass, I finished my best to date (12th) and was actually pretty excited to move up from 20th on the last day of the competition. I'm hoping this year to do even better but I'm not....

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Taking on the Competition in Cardiff
03 Nov 2016 at 13:04 | Posted in: Personal | Views: 2673 | Comments: 0
Taking on the Competition in Cardiff
Editor's Note: We welcome back Steve Lovell who is bringing us another post, this one from the Welsh Open in Cardiff.


Thursday: Part of me is delighted, almost elated, to be heading down to the second ever Welsh Open in the morning. Another chance to be shut off in my own little putting bubble, forgetting about all the worries of the world. Part of me almost questions my sanity for wanting to get to Cardiff for opening, which means waking up at 5.15 am. Also at this point, I would like to add that I have involved someone else in these plans, a tour veteran named Terry Exall. My idea of an early night is scuppered by staying up to watch TSN Top 10 plays videos on YouTube. Just one more can't hurt and then, I see the time. Blast.


Friday: I feel amazingly fresh ahead of the four hour drive to Wales, punctuated by meeting Terry around 75 miles from the venue. Bearing in mind we both have around a journey of 120 miles from differing....

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A Player's Look at the British Open
30 Sep 2016 at 16:42 | Posted in: Competition | Views: 2346 | Comments: 0
A Player
Editor's Note: We're posting this blog on behalf of Steve Lovell who was kind enough to volunteer his insight as a player at the 2016 British Open held in Hastings. It's one of several items we are posting about the British Open and hope you enjoy the coverage.

It's that time of year again, those without international commitments have to wait nearly two months to put right what went wrong last time. I'm Steve Lovell, a touring minigolfer on the British tour and this is my British Open story.

Wednesday: Coming home from work and rushing down a meal, this is my only night of the week to myself, having received a guest from out of town for a few days. I throw a number of clothes in the direction of the bag and print off my notes for the Pirate Course in Hastings. I had only previously visited the track ten days earlier but had no practice due to an accident on the way down. 'The notes. They'll be fine,' I thought. I try to get an early night. No luck.

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UPCOMING EVENTS   More »

 22 Jun 2019 (1 day)

Star City Open


 22 Jun 2019 (1 day)

The David Mitchell-Roanoke Valley Open


 23 Jun 2019 (1 day)

18. Wendelstein-Pokalturnier


 23 Jun 2019 (1 day)

The Virginia Putting Classic


 23 Jun 2019 (1 day)

15. Anton-Obermüller-Gedächtnisturnier


 28 Jun 2019 (4 days)

Swedish Championships


 29 Jun 2019 (1 day)

Essex County Open





LATEST RESULTS   More »

 16 Jun 2019

65th Trofeo di Fondazione

 14 Jun 2019

World Adventure Golf Masters (WAGM)

 09 Jun 2019

LLoyd Wood Memorial Open

 09 Jun 2019

Trofeo Città di Sanremo

 09 Jun 2019

Trofeo del Sole

 09 Jun 2019

35. Sieben-Keltern-Turnier

 08 Jun 2019

Trofeo Roberto Fermi




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Portugal 20 Apr 2019 at 13:47 | 
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