Mini golfers of all skills and backgrounds will descend upon The Red Putter Mini Golf in Ephraim on Saturday, Aug. 5 as it hosts the 16th Annual Red Putter Pro Tournament.
This summertime tourney regularly draws mini golfers from across the Midwest anxious to compete for the first prize payout of $2,000 and The Red Jacket. Second place wins $500 followed by $100 for third and $100 for best single game. First, second, third and best single game winners also receive a trophy and pro-shirt.
Registration is $30 and includes three rounds of golf followed by lunch from the Mink River Basin. Participants must pre-qualify with a score under par (par is 42), and are encouraged to sign up early to receive free practice the week of the tournament.
Last year, Matt Stottern, with Peninsula State Park Golf Course, shared his best tips on taking your putting game to the next level. Sign up for the tournament, read up on these tips and hit the course in practice for what is sure to be another great Red Putter event.
Hit a putt on a straight line
The best way to acquire this skill is to find a straight uphill putt that is four feet in distance. Lay down a chalk line or use two aiming sticks that form a bowling alley effect with the hole being the pins. Then get five of your own golf balls and putt until you can make 50 in a row. Once you can do this you are able to hit a putt on a straight line.
Hit a putt the correct distance
Take four golf tees and place them in a line three paces apart. Grab three of your own putting balls and place them at the first tee. Putt all three balls toward the second tee, attempting to have them stop as close to the tee as possible without being short. Then, collect the three balls and turn around and putt back to the first tee with the same goal. Repeat and putt all three toward the third tee. Turn around and putt back to the first tee and so on.
Read a putt
This is the most challenging factor in putting and also the most important. If you don’t read the putt somewhat correctly it doesn’t matter if you can hit a putt on a straight line or the right distance. Reading putts is an educated guess. Look at the putt from both sides. Then, look at the surrounding area and identify the high area and the low areas. Find out if there are any significant features that putts tend to break toward, such as water or a valley. Lastly, imagine pouring a bucket of water where your ball is and visualize the direction the water would drain. These are just a few of the quick and common methods used to improve your green reading.
To sign up for the 16th Annual Red Putter Pro Tournament, visit the course at 10404 Hwy 42 in Ephraim or call 920.615.4787.