|By Paige Rentz, The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
<p>Putt-Putt began in
On Saturday, the
For many pro putters, being in a tournament so close to Putt-Putt's birthplace evokes fond memories.
"I got hooked on it, and I've never stopped," said Ward, who turned Putt-Putt pro in 1982.
Now a salesman for a construction materials sales company who lives in
"We're all close, and we're from all over the country, so if it hadn't been for Putt-Putt, we probably wouldn't have met a lot of these guys," Ward said.
Like Ward, many of the professionals began playing on nearby courses as kids, eventually entering local competitions that led to bigger tournaments. Many worked at Putt-Putt centers when they were younger, and some own centers now.
"I've never had a real job," said
He said kicking off this year's national tour in
"We wanted to come back to the birthplace of Putt-Putt," Aboid said.
While here, the association is giving back to the community in the form of a
Two more tournaments will round out the national tour: a
And the competition is fierce.
Former national champion
For him, the sport is as much about playing against himself as his fellow putters.
"There's a perpetual challenge to do better than last time," he said.
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