Minn. golfer has ultimate home course advantage

4:44 PM, Aug 21, 2013   |    comments
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ROCHESTER - Most guys would say a vegetable garden in their backyard is good enough.

Unless that guy is Randy Regimbal.

"If it's not the best," said Randy, "I'll take it out."

Regimbal was eating popcorn one night in his Rochester kitchen when he wondered where it came from, deciding from then on it would come from him.

"We just like to eat popcorn, so we thought, 'Why don't we grow it?'" Regimbal said. "(Now) we have this big popcorn garden in our backyard."

So imagine what happened when another thought struck Randy as he golfed.

"It's just grass," he realized. "Short, smooth grass."

And that is how the putting green named "Popcorn Ridge" was born.

"The idea was not (to make) just a putting green," Randy said. "But the best putting green in town."

But gardening's one thing, golf is another, especially when you tell your wife.

"I went, 'You've got to be kidding me,'" said Randy's wife, Patti.

Patti says she wasn't shocked when dump trucks of sand and gravel showed up in their driveway.

"That's just Randy in a nutshell," she said. "Emphasis on the nut."

Patti just got the wheelbarrow and reminded herself of one thing.

"Well," she said, "It keeps him out of the bar."

No, Randy's not tipping a glass, he's trimming the grass.

"That's the best 10 minutes of my day," he said.

And he's now got the world's most exclusive country club.

"I really just have one member," said Randy. "I mean, it's just me!"

And Pebble Beach has nothing on Popcorn Ridge: a four bedroom clubhouse, membership cards, even a mascot--a dog named Bogey.

And the grass?

"It's called A4," Randy said. "Jack Nicklaus uses it. It's the best."

It's the best because Randy ripped out the entire original green and redid the whole thing because he knew it could be better, a sort of putting green mulligan.

"I hit the jackpot big time," Randy said. "You get up in the morning, you look out the window and you say, 'That's cool. I've got a putting green in my backyard.' I mean it really looks cool."

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