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September 26, 2006 > Putt your way through Niles

Putt your way through Niles

by Linda Stone

Golfers and non-golfers alike are invited to Niles' "glam slam event" to play for prizes and have a "hole-lotta" fun at the 2006 Pink Flamingo Pee Wee Golf Tournament held this Sunday.

The brainchild of Laurie Manuel and Julianne Pagan who started this event in 1998, each year, Niles residents start planning in August for the October game. Themes and names of the holes are created and a series of homes and yards become a miniature golf course like no other.

The winner of last year's "Best Hole" was "Holy Matrimony," where the players' balls could end up either in "Happily Ever After" or "Divorce Court." Around 250 to 270 people participated last year.

Popular themes in the past have included the "Port Hole," a pirate-themed course with players putting the plank. After the ball had dropped off the plank, the players had to putt their golf balls into port, past water hazards, sharks and sand. Another favorite was "The Nat King Cole Hole" that challenged golfers to drive the ball into a waste can, suspended in the air. If you got that far you could hear the ball traverse a irrigation pipe and watch it drop at the foot of the bigger-than life musician.

Putters are provided at each hole for this fun family event; however, you can bring your trusty favorite if it can take some abuse on a course that has no aspirations of PGA status.

Tee time is noon and the game runs until 4:00 p.m. as mini-golfers go through the nine holes set up around Niles, ending up at the "Watering Hole" (open until 5:00 p.m., for complimentary refreshments donated by families in town. Awards include best-dressed duffer, best score, best and worst hole, and best hole design. There are "wonderful tacky flamingo prizes, donated by townsfolk's," said Nancy Haylock, one of the event organizers.

This year, players will be challenged on a course that includes such obstacles as the "Hole Southwest" a take on a Niles merchant's turquoise shop, "The Hole-some Household" themed like a "Leave it to Beaver" perfect family-type hole, "The Sink Hole," "The Worm Hole," and a possible reprise of the "The Aristothole" where you can share your philosophy of putting. This will be the third year that the Niles Elementary School will participate.

This is also the first year that the train will run between Niles and Sunol offering an alternate way to the tournament for Sunol residents.

Tickets are available at The Nile Cafˇ the day of the event, 121 I Street, in Niles, Fremont. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12, toddlers are free. For more information call (510) 795-8670 or visit Proceeds benefit the Niles Main Street Association a 501(c) (3) corporation.

"Kids love it- everyone wins when they play," said Nancy. "Putt your way through Niles and get some exercise. There is something for everyone." Fore!

2006 Pink Flamingo Pee Wee Golf Tournament
Sunday, Oct. 1
Noon - 4:00 p.m.
Niles District, Fremont
(510) 795-8670

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