Nelson tries to putt-putt way to another title at Red Putter

Lion and tigers and badgers, oh my.

“To me it’s mainly fun. Some people take it so serious,” Paul Nelson says before taking his special ball and making a series of hole-in-ones.

This course in Ephraim may seem simple but looks can be deceiving.

“Today’s day in age, everything is new,” he continued.  “It is sort of neat and it’s an old school course.”

For the defending Pro Tournament champion and Fish Creek native, Paul Nelson has played at Red Putter hundreds of time in his life. He also won the inaugural tournament some years ago. It has it’s quirks and intimidating obstacles which make it a challenge every round.

He can glance over one of the 18 not-so-finely manicured holes (it’s not real grass anyways) and know how the ball will roll.

“I’d say that it’s a lot of luck too with this course. There are some breaks that you might know over the course of years,” Nelson stated. The bounces are inconsistent but that doesn’t mean he is. His smooth stroke is tuned through a lot of practice rounds – although he plays out of enjoyment, not perfection.

“I think once you play it one time through you’ll find the break because the concrete is not the most level and you come across them easy,” he finished.

The tournament is open to the public. All you have to do is qualify by shooting under par. With a prize of $2,000, the victory is worth just slightly more than bragging rights.

“You sort of take a little pride in when you do win it but it is more just competition and fun. I’m a competitive guy so you like to make a good showing,” he said. There will be about 100 people competing, some of whom are just in Door County on vacation and figured they’d try to play.

“I guess it was more competition between friends so now it’s this so there’s really no pressure,” Nelson said.

Hit it straight, avoid the obstacles, add a bit of luck and Nelson could be a back-to-back champion because there’s no place like home at Red Putter.

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