Following more than a decade of diligent efforts to create a uniquely challenging and thrill-packed putt-putt golf experience, Grand Haven’s renowned waterfront course has been named a Top-3 Finalist for Midwest Putt-Putt Course of the Year, the annual award to be presented in July by Putt-Putt Monthly Digest. “It’s some long-overdue recognition for us”, says Bud Geezerman, course greenkeeper for the last seven years. “It’s a brutally hard 18-holes, and I know some professional putters who train for weeks on this course before a big tournament.”
Long known by serious Putt-Putt enthusiasts for being one of only seven ‘Feng Shui Certified’ Putt-Putt courses in the country, Geezerman says the average amateur doesn’t appreciate that the course’s minimalist-simplicity was by design. “The average putter probably likes all the flash and bling at Craigs Cruisers, with their elaborate hazards and all that fancy landscaping, but it’s the outward appearance of simplicity and nothingness that makes our course so deceptively difficult and addicting.”
When first unveiled in 2003, the Chinook Pier course was praised by professional putters and civic leaders alike, and lauded by Putt-Putt pundits as a masterstroke of zen-like minimalism. The course has also taken on historical significance, as one of only three courses designed by legendary Chinese Putt-Putt Champion Zhinan Zhen Tang (the ‘Zen-Putter’), and the only Feng Shui Certified design he completed before his untimely death in 2008, while constructing a 36-hole Putt-Putt course in Tucson, Arizona. When the chi-energy flowing between the 14th green and the 22nd fairway collided with a local gas main, the resulting explosion left the Zen-Putter both annihilated and enlightened in the same instant.
Greenkeeper Geezerman, reading from a statement by the Putt-Putt course’s Board of Governors, said, “We are very grateful to be considered one of the top three Putt-Putt courses in the midwest, and a victory next month would be major public vindication of our Putt-Putt philosophy, not to mention a great sign of respect to the memory of Zhinan Zhen Tang. We thank our many fans and supporters, and we look forward, with great anticipation, to the Awards Banquet being held at the Indianapolis Cracker Barrel next month.” (38th Ave & Interstate 465) Putt-Putt fans unable to attend the event can watch the live video stream at grandrivertimes.net on July 18, at 9:00 pm EST.