Beginning in the fall of the 2016 school year, Kalamazoo College will have their own varsity Mini-Golf team. Mini-Golf (often referred to as “Putt-Putt”) will be the school’s 19th varsity sport, and will be co-ed. The team will travel to Mini-Golf courses throughout Michigan, such as “Putterz” in Ann Arbor, and the various “Pirates Cove” courses in Petoskey and Traverse City.
The team will hold open tryouts say co-head-coaches rising senior David Smith and graduating senior Nick Marsh.
“We will consider all Putt-Putters on campus, but ideally we’re looking for those who can shoot an 18 on every course we play” said the coaches. Shooting an 18 is no small task, there are 18 holes on a course, so to shoot an 18 a putter must make a Hole-In-One on every hole on the course.
Both Smith and Marsh competed on the Hornets’ golf team that made the MIAA playoff this spring, but look forward to the challenge of leading the Mini-Golf team in the fall.
“People think that Putt-Putt is similar to putting in real golf, but in reality Mini-Golf is much harder,” said Smith who holds school records for the Golf team.
Unless there are some really serious Putt-Putters already on campus, the coaches said that they will likely compete as player-coaches in the team’s first season. Marsh will no longer be enrolled on campus, but the school does not believe that that will be an issue with the NCAA rules. The team will also offer full-ride scholarships (despite the Division III rules prohibiting that action) in the future in their efforts to recruit the top Putt-Putters in the country to Kalamazoo.
“Our goal is to build a dynasty here at K,” said Marsh, “We want to be the Alabama of collegiate Putt-Putt,” added Smith.
The team will play year round, including winter break trips to the North Pole to play the fabled Santa’s Workshop course. Spring break trips will alternate between Hawaii and the Bahamas each year, featuring the Volcano Peak course in Hawaii, and the world’s first under-water course in the Bahamas.