Torrey Pines doesn’t have a lock on the US Open in golf. As it turns out, there are two professional miniature golf circuits, and this year’s Open is being held in Boothbay, Maine, at the Dolphin Mini Golf Course. The New York Times reports on the sport:
Men and women are ranked nationally and travel to tournaments days in advance to chart the courses, practice eight hours a day and plot strategies for getting an ace on every hole. Some players carry their specially crafted putters in gold cases, and others keep their golf balls in boxes like humidors to regulate temperature and ensure consistent bounces off brick or stone railings.
There’s a 50-page rule book, which includes an antidoping clause, and a dress code: collared shirts and no sandals.
“I know it sounds crazy, but you can’t just walk out there and compete with the mini golf pros,” said Gilchrist, a 62-year-old restaurant owner from Maine. “If some guy from the PGA Tour came to one of our events and tried it without practicing for at least a month, he would be humiliated.”
The average player averages 30 strokes for 18 holes over six rounds.
Sergio Garcia doesn’t stand a chance.