Golfers dressed in colorful, mismatched clothes and wore plaid golf socks with bucket hats or visors. One group decorated their faces with rainbow paint and purple lipstick while wearing vibrant tutus and “Make America Gay Again” shirts.
The miniature golf tournament is Cannon Beach at its most quirky. The event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Tolovana Arts Colony, a nonprofit organization that provides workshops, art classes and cultural programming.
Nancy Teagle has been on the Arts Colony board for eight years. “This (Puttz) helps us continue,” Teagle said Tuesday. The annual golf tournament is held on Tuesdays so local people and some tourists can enjoy it, she said. “The enthusiasm grows every year.”
This year, Puttz generated more than $5,500 and had a record-breaking number of golfers with 75, about 10 more than last year.
Thirteen merchants sponsored the event by designing creative golf holes, which were inside and outside of the businesses. One hole required participants to putt the golf ball up a ramp and into a kiddie pool of donut floaters.
Watt Childress, the owner of Jupiter’s Rare and Used Books and the chairman of Tolovana Arts Colony, has participated in the Puttz event for six years. “Time flies when you’re having fun,” Childress said.
The purpose of the Puttz tournament is “celebrating the community together and having fun in advance of peak tourist season,” Childress said. “We welcome tourists to come. It’s just not our emphasis.”
The “Pink Bible Horn” mini-course was set in the grass in front of Jupiter’s Rare and Used Books. A bench with branches on top and chairs on either side blocked Hole 7, forcing people to find a way around the obstacles.
Mike French, of Cannon Beach, has participated in the Puttz tournament for four years for two reasons. “No. 1, it’s fundraising for the arts and No. 2, it’s way too much fun,” he said. “Every year it’s different.”
The Wine Shack’s hole required the Puttz participants to putt the golf ball down two flights of stairs.
“This is a lot of fun,” said Lee Roberts, who works at the Wine Shack and has participated in the Puttz for four years. “Word of mouth is probably one of the best advertisers, and people hear this is fun.”
Donald Conner, who works at Land’s End Motel, hosted Hole 5. Conner said players had acknowledged it was the hardest hole. Three upside-down beach buckets served as barricades while plastic foam pool noodles were stripped across and outlined the course.
This is Conner’s third year working at Land’s End Motel and his second as a participant in the Puttz event. “It’s a blast,” Conner said. “It gives us a chance to extend our hospitality, and we always enjoy that.”
Most people who participate in the Puttz tourney live in Cannon Beach or nearby. However, visitors were welcomed. Jon Lawry, a Portland native, was in Cannon Beach for work-related meetings when he asked friend Tim Davis if he wanted to play golf Tuesday.
Davis then invited Lawry to join him in this year’s Puttz. Lawry was not disappointed. “It’s fun to see the businesses and see the surrounding areas.” Lawry also said he might make the Puttz tournament his new tradition.
This was Davis’ eighth year participating. “If someone goes through the effort of something off the wall like this, it needs to be supported,” he said.
A raffle and auction followed the conclusion of the mini-golf festivities. Basket weaver Debra Carnes, who donated one of her baskets to the auction, has participated in the Cannon Beach Puttz for all 11 years, “This is so much fun,” Carnes said. “This event brings community together.”