Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Putting for the Fences - New York Times: "Putt-Putt is not a generic name for miniature golf. It is the brand name of a company that builds and franchises a particular style of miniature golf course designed specifically to make competitive putting possible. For something that sounds as if it was named by a child, Putt-Putt has a surprisingly grown-up creation story. The first Putt-Putt course was designed in 1954 by Don Clayton, a 28-year-old insurance salesman trying to stave off a nervous breakdown. Clayton was otherwise successful and healthy, but one day he went to a doctor in his hometown, Fayetteville, N.C., complaining of a strange symptom: sometimes while driving in his car, he found himself crying. The doctor ordered a monthlong vacation. Clayton decided to relax by playing miniature golf, which turned out to be a bad idea, since there are few things more challenging to sanity than missing short putts, especially when the cause is poor design or an errant windmill."