by Kirby Lindsay, posted 13 August 2012
The first official PubPuttGolf.com pub crawl/putt putt golf tourney will stroll (plaid covered) through Fremont on Saturday, August 18th, between 11a – 8p. The Fremont Invitational 9-hole mini-golf course will cover nine of Fremont’s favorite drinking establishments, with locally designed and constructed holes. Interested participants (21+) need to sign-up soon (as individuals or as a foursome) if they want to putt through. (Putters provided.)
For long-time Fremont followers, this event may elicit warm memories of the ‘Miracle On 34th Street: A Celebration Of Life Through Miniature Golf.’
For a newer generation of Fremonsters, this charmingly packaged pub crawl offers a competitive, costumed opportunity for a really good time – while supporting United Way of King County.
A Simple, Yet Fiendishly Fun, Plan
Matt Johnson organized the Fremont Invitational for what he hopes to develop as a series of fun fundraisers puttering through several Seattle commercial districts.
The basic premise is simple, yet fiendishly fun, just like ‘Miracle.’ Participants – dressed in traditional, outlandish, or vintage golf attire (no clubs necessary) – begin ‘the course’ at the 1st hole at Nickerson Street Saloon, between 11a and 3p.
Participants can then proceed, at their own pace, among the 2nd through 7th holes in whatever order they desire. Red Door, White Rabbit, High Dive (possibly the hardest hole,) Woodsky’s (perhaps a half pipe hole), The George & Dragon Pub (see ‘the Dragon’,) The Ballroom, and 9 Million In Unmarked Bills will all have their own, hand-made golf greens. Each bar not only agreed to be on the ‘course,’ but also to construct its own green – the staff at Nickerson Saloon created a replica Fremont Bridge, according to Johnson. Check out the (sometimes rather elaborate) plans on the promotional videos on YouTube.
The game ends at 8pm at the 9th hole – located at The Dock – where the after-party will begin – with prizes for top teams and best golf attire, music, two free drink tickets, and the distribution of t-shirts and gift bags. Plus, an event sponsor, Uber, will provide rides home – even for non-subscribers to this mobile app car service – along with a $20 credit.
Another reason to celebrate? The after-party will mark the re-opening of The Dock for the first time since the sudden passing of previous owner, Jim O’Keefe, last April. “We’re real excited about doing this,” Johnson said, about bringing the golf mad crowd into one of Fremont’s landmark bars, “and getting people back in the door. I’ve been going there for years,” he proudly admitted, “back when it was just a dive-y bar.” Now, participants can come in for another, fresher look…
A Reason For the Fun-draising
The whole event promises to be a delightful summer’s day diversion, but Johnson also wants to emphasized the cause – United Way of King County. “They are absolutely phenomenal,” he exclaimed. He praised the work they do with early education programs, and the focus they give to the homeless and families. That focus on family and community, Johnson felt, made the United Way the best fit as beneficiary of the Fremont Invitational. “They’ve been amazing through all of this,” Johnson acknowledged.
The Fremont Invitational began as pure fun – the inspiration started with an annual trip to Las Vegas. When Johnson and friends planned their trip a few years ago, he wanted an alternative to the club scene, and he came up with the Las Vegas Players Invitational. The event required the group, in two foursomes, to visit nine specific casinos and do specific, detailed activities. “It was a lot of fun,” he recalled, and they established a tradition that Johnson then built upon. This year, he and his friends started talking, “why don’t we try to do this here,” he said, “to have fun, and share this with more people?”
When asked why they transitioned it into a philanthropic cause, Johnson shrugged. “I have an amazing and large group of friends,” he acknowledged, “we’re all just friendly people that want to do good by other people.”
Always The Time For (Mini) Golf
“We do feel this is a very good concept,” Johnson said, “I’d like to make this an annual event in Fremont.” He also wants to expand it – with a Ballard Avenue course being his next priority. Fremont gets to go first because, “I’ve been hanging out here forever,” he admitted. “As an early 20-something, Fremont was the place to be,” he said, “It’s an awesome community! People are willing to step out and be fun and get creative.”
Fremont does have one limitation. “When we decided on the date,” acknowledged Johnson, “we didn’t find as much going on.” Planning, and promoting, the first PubPuttGolf.com gathering began months ago, before the weekend of August 17th to 19th developed into such a busy time for Fremont. Still, nearly everything going on appears to be compatible with playing a 9-hole round of golf.
The Groundspeak Block Party at Solstice Plaza can be done simultaneously with the Fremont Invitational, and the Outdoor Cinema won’t project ‘Caddyshack’ on the wall until after dusk. The Friday special double-feature Outdoor Cinema screening of ‘Clerks’ & ‘Mallrats’ can only enhance the slacker spirit of 9-hole mini-golf – through 9 bars. And Sunday, participants can relax after such grueling athleticism with a stroll through the Fremont Sunday Market, playing audience to the jaw-dropping experience of ThingOut (and its electronics swap meet) at 3:30p on the Outdoor Cinema lot and as well as the intellectual enlightenment brought by Ignite Seattle 17 at 7:30p.
The Fremont Invitational offers a great way to crawl through Fremont, and check out the creations made by our favorite Fremont watering hole staff. So, register now, for $35 per person – as an individual or a foursome – get your greatest golf attire assembled, and go putt!
For those who want all the same perks as a participant (plus learning the ‘trick’ to each hole,) consider volunteering for a three-hour shift. Drop an e-mail to volunteer at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Technology And The Outdoors Met, And A Community Was Born
- by Kirby Lindsay, August 15, 2011
- A Night To Ignite, And Enlighten, Fremont
- by Kirby Lindsay, August 17, 2011
- Celebrate Vintage Spectacular-ly At White Rabbit
- by Kirby Lindsay, July 16, 2012
- Stroll Fremont For Good Cause
- by Kirby Lindsay, April 2, 2010
©2012 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.