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Putt-Putt Perfection: A Beautiful Short About The Perfect Game Of Mini Golf

Putt-Putt Perfection: A Beautiful Short About The Perfect Game Of Mini Golf
By Paul O'Hara

'Putt-putt Perfection' is a lovely short by Grantland, which tells the story of one man's perfect round of 18 in 'putt-putt' miniature golf - apparently just the third such round in the history of the game. Regardless of the authenticity of such claims, the skill and good fortune of Rick Baird's achievement will make you dramatically reassess the scale of your exploits on various mini golf courses during childhood holidays.

Shot in the fashion of a serious sports documentary on a historic event, with contributions by fellow players and animated depictions of each shot, the film captures the folksy charm and genuine dedication of the members of the adorably-named Virginia Putting Tour. The fact that such an organisation exists could be quite tragic, were it not for the fact that the men who make it up are of an older, more innocent generation and are so clearly passionate about their game.

While their putting strokes could easily give Dave Pelz a heart attack should he ever lay eyes on them, the guys' long hours honing their craft has made quite low scores the norm among competitive players. Putt-putt, as opposed to themed miniature golf,  favours simply laid-out, but fiendishly difficult-looking courses - a mastery of geometry and accuracy is key on the water- and windmill-less tracks. While this was only the third round of 18 ever recorded, participants aim to finish one nine with single putts on each hole. One fellow player made a 17 in 2006, and the anguish of the missed opportunity is still palpable.

Another interesting feature of the short is that it lists some other sporting achievements with which Baird's perfect round is apparently comparable - the 23 perfect games pitched in Major League Baseball, the 11 Triple Crown-winning horses. The most surprising of which, however, must surely be the assertion that there are 500,000 perfect games of bowling every year.

Each hole of Baird's career-defining knock is remembered in detail, as you might expect, and rendered in charming animation. Naturally, other players interrupted their games when word of Baird's hot streak spread around the course. One of them, Rick Rybaczek, who admits that he was moved to tears, had the presence of mind to record a video of the final putt. The relief of the moment provides a fitting climax to a lovely little feature.

H/T: Reddit, Grantland

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