After traveling to 50 states, The Mini Golf Guys are bringing their mini-golf tournament to Richmond.
For several days, co-founder Michael Babcock and his two longtime high school friends, Alex Cram and Tony Haakenson, will be playing mini-golf matches in and around Richmond, at courses like Hotel Greene and Glowgolf in Glen Allen. The three have several other stops booked in Chesterfield, Williamsburg, and Newport News, before they finish their trip in Virginia Beach on August 11.
The story of The Mini Golf Guys began simply, when they first stumbled upon an abandoned course one day in 2009.
“We found an abandoned mini-golf course and played mini-golf… and from there, we played three or four more times that trip,” Babcock said. “We were really good friends in high school, and we learned the importance of making sure you spend time with your friends.”
According to Babcock, the three friends all live in different states now, which makes it more difficult to stick with the yearly tradition that’s been going more than 11 years.
“We’ve got to make sure once a year, we make a weekend to hang out,” Babcock said.
Babcock says that the research into courses in different states is extensive, involving cross-references across the internet and various platforms of social media. The guys pick their paths in ways that allow them to fit in the most courses.
“We decided to stay by the coast, where we have a lot more options,” Babcock said. “Hotel Greene is definitely one of the most exciting, and there’s also a course in Virginia Beach that’s open 24/7.”
During this trip, the Mini Golf Guys are raising money for the Children’s Home Society of Virginia, a Richmond-based non-profit whose mission is to find permanent adoptive homes for children of all ages throughout the Commonwealth.
“We’ve never done a fundraiser before,” Babcock said. “If we’re going to be out there putting our names and faces in front of all these people, we might as well try to do something good with that as well.”
According to Babcock, even just starting the dialogue and helping people learn about these organizations can be just as good as donations.
“They’re not just learning about us, but [getting] a chance to learn more about their own community,” Babcock said.
Babcock explains that The Mini Golf Guys aren’t just about the competitive side of mini-golf: they’re all about friendship, getting out of the house, and being a part of something other than a TV screen.
“We’re trying to motivate people to get out and do something, and we’re celebrating friends,” Babcock said.
The Mini Golf Guys will be in Richmond starting August 7, and will be ending their trip in Virginia Beach on August 11. In that time, they’ll hit around two dozen courses in five days, including 11 in the Richmond metro area. For The Mini Golf Guys’ full tour schedule and information on the fundraiser for Children’s Home Society, you can check out their website here.
Get your tiny clubs out, get your friends, and let’s get golfing.