Putt Putt

I Remember Distinctly

Garnet Carter built his first “Tom Thumb Golf Course” in Lookout Mountain, TN in 1927. Two years later, he drove to Miami to build another. By the following summer, mini golf courses were springing up around the USA along roadsides. Folks could stop and play on greenswards made of cottonseed hulls (Astro Turf was not patented till ’65) and roll their balls through the pipes. Living through The Depression may have stunk, but at least there was putt putt.

Vance Redfern Tees Off

Vance Redfern. Now THAT is a name worthy of an athlete, a news anchor, even a politician.

Those of you have visited The Blog of Funny Names already know my fondness for amazing names, and this ranks on the list of grand ones indeed. Have you ever met a Vance? It’s better than a Vince. Actually, the name Vance is of English origin, meaning “someone who lives near marshland.” I don’t think marshland when I think of New Mexico. I think Louisiana, which is technically where the Red Fern grows. But not where the Vance Redfern grows.

He graduated from Western New Mexico University in 1963 and still holds school records for his prowess on the golf course.  His 73.6 stroke average is the lowest single season mark posted by any Mustang player, a fact not lost on these hat-donning ladies who witnessed said prowess.

1963 Mustang Golf

Today we salute this awesome name. Together, we can encourage fertile young people to take this name from its current ranking of #838 in boys’ names and push it up where it belongs. And Vance (if you cannot surmise from the broad shoulders and the standard issue NASA astronaut flat-top) is second from the right.

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