Calvin Owens experienced beginner’s luck at the First Annual Algonkian Classic Miniature Golf Tournament last year, when he came in five under par to win the individual event in Sterling.
Now, the 49-year-old landscaping business owner from Washington, D.C., is taking matters into his own hands for this year’s tournament.
"I practice about one to two times a week," he said. "I go all over. Upton and Laurel, Md. Even as far as Sterling. There are no places to play mini-golf in D.C."
Owens will participate in the Second Annual Algonkian Classic Miniature Golf Tournament Saturday, Sept. 22, at Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling.
OWENS GOT HOOKED on miniature golf while on vacation in Myrtle Beach, S.C. about a year and a half ago.
"Now, it’s a hobby of mine," he said.
When Owens returned from vacation last year, he searched the Internet for miniature golf tournaments.
"That’s where I found the tournament in Sterling," he said. "I wanted to qualify for the Harris Cup and I did."
The winner of the annual event will qualify for the U.S. Professional Miniature Golf Association’s Harris Cup National Miniature Golf Tournament. The Harris Cup event brings in competitors from all over the United States and Europe to compete for $10,000 in prizes, and the Harris Cup trophy and a national title.
Owens, who participated in last year’s event, placed 35 out of 160 participants.
"I think I did pretty well for my first time around," he said. "I’ve been practicing a whole lot for this one."
IN PREPARATION FOR THIS YEAR’S TOURNAMENT, Owens has been practicing his miniature golf skills one to two times at week at golf courses outside of the Washington, D.C. area.
Julie Kutruff, a spokesperson for Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, said Harris Miniature Golf designed and built the miniature golf course at Algonkian Regional Park, which opened in spring 2004.
The 18-hole golf course, which is open from April through October from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., is a moderately difficult golf course, Owens said.
"It’s not too difficult, it’s not too easy," he said. "It can be difficult for first timers."
The Algonkian Regional Park is located at 47001 Fairway Drive in Sterling.