Mini Golf and the Magazine

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The Woodcraft Magazine crew tops off a day of issue planning with some blistering competition at the putt-putt course.

It was a hot day Monday, July 13th. A summer heat wave was sizzling most of the country, including Woodcraft Magazine’s headquarters in Parkersburg, WV. But the magazine team stayed cool for most of the day, gathered for an intensive week of planning, pitching, and predicting what our readers will want to build, learn, and buy for the next year. We covered a wide range of topics – from reader mail, toys, and videos, the new website, and even who has the better shop. Chad’s new workshop (Issue #66) now puts him in competition with the editors Joe, Paul, and Tim.

I wanted to be a fierce competitor, but I don’t have a workshop to actually put me in the running. I had to prove myself in some other way to let everyone know who was really boss, so we decided on a more even playing course. We planned to go at it with clubs and golf balls at our local miniature golf.

Even though we spent all day discussing new ideas and more efficient ways of working, the excitement was building for our twilight competition. At one point, as Joe was discussing a project idea, I caught a glimpse in Paul’s darting eyes – I knew he wanted to win, badly. Our circulation expert, Kim, even told me she caught Shayne, our graphic designer, Googling putting tips on his phone. We all had the thirst for victory, but whose thirst would be quenched?

As 5:00 o’clock rolled around, the tension was high. Kim decided that the competition was too stressful, so she dropped out. “Perfect,” Chad whispered under his breath (unaware that I’d overheard). “Another step closer to victory.”

With optical illusions, water hazards, and seemingly spring-loaded holes that instantly ejected your ball, the course was difficult. A few of us ramped shots over brick boundaries, landing in bushes, gravel, and even other greens. Chad was par or birdie for the front nine until his confidence was shattered with an 8-stroke hole. This is where Shayne, Tim, and I saw the opportunity to take the lead. Unfortunately, Joe and Paul were never in contention, proving that golf clubs demand different finesse than chisels.

As we progressed deep into the back nine, it became clear that Shayne would have to choke if Tim or I were to take the lead. Despite the heat, pressure, and Paul’s commentary, Shayne kept his cool, parred his holes, and came away with the win. Demands for a rematch were made before we stepped off the course to turn in our putters and multi-colored balls, even though Paul was thirty over par. I feel good about my second place finish, and also about the improved magazine and website we’ve teamed up to create. Still, I have a sneaking suspicion Kim didn’t want to humiliate us with her perfect putts. We’ll see next time.

Check out this photo of the staff outside of the workshop. Though five losers and one winner, we were all grins.

L-R: Paul, Kiah, Joe, Chad, Shayne, Tim

What do you do out of the workshop? Let us know in the comments below.

– Kiah Harpool, Administrative Coordinator and Advertising Sales Representative


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