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InsidePace Human Interest Story

Putt in the World?

On July 16, Pace’s Tommy Alderson, Kemp Allen, Emily Clancy, Eric Hughes, Curtis Kiser, Annamarie Tankersley and Erin Villareal, fearlessly project-managed by Harry Turfle, debuted their very own summer themed mini golf hole.

Photo by Chris Snow

Pace’s hole, a combination of paper mâché, digital illustration, carpentry and metalwork, is number five in “Gate City Acres”, a playable mini-golf course at the Greensboro Cultural Center. The course consists of nine holes designed by local artists and serves as a fundraiser for the Center for Visual Arts, a non-profit dedicated to supporting artists of all ages. The Pace team spent a little over 3 months on the project and utilized Pace’s Day of Service to aid in the completion of the hole.

InsidePace decided to get the tee on the hole’s production from the Pace putt-putt team.

Harry Turfle did a lot more than just encourage (and occasionally egg on) the team as their project manager– it was actually his idea that the Center for Visual Arts put together the mini golf fundraiser show.

“I used to volunteer at the Center for Visual Artists downtown and was experienced as a curator in another local art gallery,” said Turfle. “It’s a great cause for community and personal development. Art makes happier, better communities.”

So, what inspired other Pacers to be a part of this project?

“Harry Turfle made me do it!” said Annamarie Tankersley, a member of the team. “Just kidding, although my respect for Harry as an artist and wanting to support his project certainly figured into the decision calculus. But mainly I like to make stuff, and I feel strongly about supporting visual art in the community.”

“I’ve always loved building things,” said Tommy Alderson, another member of the team. “I used to build skateboard ramps years ago. This project brought back some of that nostalgia.”

However, the transition from ideation to building the tangible hole wasn’t easy. Traffic patterns, potential safety hazards and physical space were all important logistical considerations.

Fortunately, having a team full of dedicated and talented Pace people helps.

“When one of us got stuck on how to do something, a teammate would look at it with fresh eyes and find just the solution we needed,” said Tankersly.

The best part of working on the mini-golf hole?

“Being elbow deep in white glue and water mixture and laying up the paper mâché forms for the tree trunk sections, then peeling the dried glue mixture off my hands and arms afterward,” said Tankersley. “Yes, I’m 12.”

However, based on the completed project, all of the glue-peeling really paid off.

“Being a part of a creative build with work friends has been awesome, but on opening night seeing families having so much fun playing the holes was the payoff for me,” Alderson said.

Turfle has his own goals for the fundraiser.

“I hope people see art in a different way,” said Turfle. “That people get out of their house and explore downtown, discover their community, and get pleasantly surprised by what they find. That kids will see the golf holes and drawings and imagine their own creative ways of doing things.”

So, who would win in a game of mini golf?

“Not sure who would win, but I know who would not,” said Tankersley.

“Tommy,” said Turfle.

“Me,” said Alderson.

Want to give Alderson a run for his money? See the hole thing for yourself at the Greensboro Cultural Center (200 N. Davie St.) until August 18.

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