Three Windsorites Install Their Own Mini Courses
Story by Michael Seguin
Photography by John Liviero
An anonymous author once wrote that: “Golf can best be defined as an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle.”
It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world. Some of the things we once enjoyed—as of the time of this writing—remain unfortunately out of our reach. Social gatherings. Leaving your bubble. And, to the ire of many, many local enthusiasts: golf.
However, three Windsor families are determined to get their strokes in. The Watorek’s, the Aldous’s and the Mailloux’s have each installed their own three-par putting greens in their own backyards.
So now, despite these endless series of tragedies, please enjoy these three miracles:
“The great thing about golf is that when you’re out there, you’re only thinking about golf,” Jason Watorek, the Owner of Seaton Sunrooms, explains. “You’re not thinking about work. It’s kind of relaxing. Golfing can certainly be stressful! But it’s a different kind of stress. And once you’re done, you can leave that stress on the course instead of taking it with you.”
An avid golfer, Jason’s wife surprised him on his birthday with the blueprints to his own backyard putting greens.
“She had contacted Paul St. Pierre at Landscape Effects,” Jason states. “They worked out a bunch of designs. Then, Paul came out and made it into one third of our entire yard. All the chipping and putting and sand traps. It was more than I imagined!”
Jason’s course contains an elevated tee box, six yards away from the putting green. It also contains a large 12×12 foot sand trap, right in the middle of the installation. The opposite end features an eight-yard decline, complete with artificial turf. The backend also features another chipping spot—from 26 yards away!
“It’s a little hilly, and it’s a fast green,” Jason explains. “You really have to get your shots dialed in. It’s perfect for your flop shots. It’s great for practicing your out-of-the-sands shots as well. The whole course is probably about 160×40 feet.”
Jason and his family could not be happier with their backyard putting greens.
“Having your own course is nothing short of amazing!” Jason states. “There is nothing better than coming home to it after a long day. I have the one tee box that’s shaded in the corner there. Usually when I come home from work at five o’clock, I can grab a beverage and be out there and just chip off! Smack 100 balls around just for fun! It’s like having your own par-three course at home!”
And while Jason has not yet been able to invite friends over to try his new par-three course, he has not spent much time alone out there.
“My little guy, Declan, is six years old,” Jason explains. “He absolutely loves the going out on green. He and I are constantly out there playing golf together.”
Dave Aldous, the Owner of Seminole Home Hardware, installed a backyard putting green after a round of tense negotiations with a 12-year-old.
“I live with my fiancé, Jody, and her two children,” Dave states. “And the story behind the putting green is that my fiancé’s daughter had a swing set in the backyard that I wanted to get rid of. I hated cutting the grass around it. I wanted something more low-maintenance.”
Unfortunately, Dave’s plans encountered some resistance. Jody’s daughter was fiercely attached to the swing set and refused to part with it.
So, like many men before him, Dave made a compromise.
“I said to her, ‘Tell you what, I’ll buy you a cell phone; you let me take care of that swing set,’” Dave reports. “She agreed. Right away.”
Once the swing set was removed, Dave was free to begin renovations.
“I got some ideas from some friends who had some,” Dave explains. “My Dad also has one in his backyard. So, he gave me a hand with the whole process. We did a lot of research online. I rented a small excavator and we dug it all out.”
After hauling out the soil, Dave brought in some three-quarter stone and installed packed screening on top of them. After installing drainage for the cups to prevent flooding, he tamped everything down and brought in the turf.
“It was a long process,” Dave admits. “The hardest part was digging it up. If I had to guess, we probably removed 12 yards of soil. And then you have to bring all that
material back in to fill it all up with gravel!”
Thus far, Dave’s three-hole backyard putting green has attracted a number of
“The kids have had some of their friends over, when it was safe,” Dave states. “And the dog likes to use it! It’s pretty hard to go out there and shoot the balls without the dog grabbing them and bringing them back to you.”
When Kirk Mailloux and his wife Kelly purchased a home in Tecumseh three years ago, they realized something was missing.
“The house had been built in the early 90s,” Kirk explains. “It needed some updating. That’s why I decided to start working on the backyard. We have a growing family, and I wanted them to be able to enjoy the outdoors. I wanted to create our own little oasis. A paradise at home.”
And no paradise, Kirk decided, was complete without a three-hole golf green.
“We went with a 26×14 foot putting green,” Kirk states. “All different variations of shapes and slopes. I also do woodworking as a side hobby, so I created a Master’s-themed sign that I put in the garden that goes beyond the putting green. It gives the course that Master’s golf type of feel.”
Kirk, his wife and their daughter, Thalia, are all currently enjoying their home’s new addition.
And speaking of new additions, Kirk will soon have a new league of players to compete against.
“My wife and I are expecting triplets in August,” Kirk reports. “So, for many years to come, we’re going to have many good memories on that putting green.”