Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

September 5, 2013

Mini golf course adds options — Providing reasons for residents to stick around any town is a constant effort no matter its size and many times it is a call answered by those who brought something they favored home.

This was certainly the idea that motivated Pauls Valley resident Margaret Welch to open Airline Putt Putt earlier this summer off of I-35 exit 70, both as a way to continue her own love of the activity and limit making anyone else travel to find similar fun outside of Garvin County.It’s also something to do alongside the other family business through her husband Otis, Welch’s Towing & Recovery, located on the same land with 18 holes to test one’s skill.

“I’d just like to keep people here or bring people into Pauls Valley,” said Welch. “We found there’s a lot of other people who love it too.”

For Welch, it all went back to something the family would do every time they went on vacation no matter where they went and for the past several weeks, the challenge has been letting people know they are open and how to find them.

Hoping to catch a bit of any person’s available free time, they have generally been open from 10 a.m. to dark, with most of her customers dropping by when temperatures have cooled down enough.

“Every time we go on vacation this is what we do,” said Welch, who also said it has always been the perfect way to relieve stress versus getting mad versus someone yelling and stomping their feet. “I enjoy putt putt very much and this way I can have fun and bring fun to everyone else.”

However, the business has developed a few regulars already and most of them cite the flexibility in how one is allowed to play. This adjusts for those who feel talented enough to tackle the professional level, avoiding simulated hazards like water or sand and just those who are fine if they can sink a hole in one after navigating the banks or curves.

There are even rewards for doing well on a couple of holes like the “Bullseye Club” where if one gets a hole in one on the last challenge, they both get their name on board announcing it and a free round. The same goes for what looks like the deceptively simple “Ant Hill,” which no one has been able to do in one putt.

Eventually the hope is to add outdoor lights and maybe even fluorescent paint to allow play to continue as long as weather permits until 10 or 11 p.m. each night. Any improvements will include suggestions on how she can make the course better, including areas to enjoy a meal or other games, with the goal of potentially adding elements like miniature models of items known around the town already.

The cost to play a game is $5 per person, though Welch is willing to negotiate prices for larger groups or multiple games.

“It’s however they want to play it… That’s really up to them,” said Welch. “It’s definitely not big city fancy, but it’s definitely fun and fun adds up no matter where you’re at.”

For more information or to check hours ahead of time as they adjust call Welch at 405-444-0831. To find the course, take exit 70 along I-35 and drive past the old Bedre Chocolate factory until one finds the drive across from the Wal-Mart Distribution Center.

The business also has a facebook page at

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