Kansas Man Celebrates 40th Birthday With 40 Rounds at Flamingo

By David Biggy | Aug 07, 2019
Photo by: David Biggy Trent Anderson (left) takes a break from his 40 rounds of mini-golf to accept a birthday present from Flamingo Golf course owner Kirk VanKeuren on July 22.

Ship Bottom — Trent Anderson considers Bill Burr’s Flamingo Golf in Ship Bottom to be a second home, right along with the family house in North Beach, which was built by his grandfather in the early 1950s.

“I’ve been coming here and playing mini-golf at Flamingo my entire life,” said Anderson, who owns real estate in Chicago and lives in Westwood Hills, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City. “Some people come here to find the perfect wave. I come here to find the perfect round of mini-golf. Every time I come to the Island, Flamingo is a focus. We love coming here, ever since Bill owned it back in the day.”

However, July 22 was a special day for Anderson. It was his 40th birthday, and he wanted to do something rather unique as a birthday present to himself.

“My wife asked me what I wanted to do for my 40th birthday while we were here, and I said I wanted to play 40 rounds of mini-golf at Flamingo,” he said with a chuckle. “So, here I am. I played 18 rounds during the past four days and today, on the 22nd, I’m playing the last 22, all in one day. I started at 9:30 a.m.”

After playing a bunch of rounds through the morning hours, a few of which included his daughter, dad and a few cousins as partners, Anderson took a break for a chocolate milkshake and a burger at Woodies on the opposite side of Fifth Street. By 2:30 p.m. – he was playing three or four rounds at a time, putting successively utilizing his own putter and balls – Trent was working on games 35, 36, 37 and 38, and course owner Kirk VanKeuren was waiting in the wings to play the 40th with him.

“Trent’s been coming here since he’s a kid and it’s always nice to see him when he comes back,” said VanKeuren, who gave Anderson a new Flamingo Golf putter sleeve as a birthday gift. “He loves this course, and for him to mark this special occasion in his life by doing something special here means a lot.”

As part of his birthday celebration, Anderson played in the Thursday morning tournament as well as the invitational money tournament on Friday, June 19.

“We were scheduled to fly into Philadelphia Wednesday night, but our flight was delayed four hours, so we didn’t get onto the Island until about 4 a.m.,” he said. “My wife asked me if playing in the Thursday morning tournament was worth it, and I said, ‘Yep. I’ve got to keep plugging along.’ It was all good.”

Anderson said he’s played Flamingo so many times, he even has data on every hole, where to hit the ball, and the statistical probabilities on how often a hole-in-one can be scored if you make the right putt.

“My best round here is 22 and the course record is 21, and I’m always chasing that record,” he said. “I’ve got this course mapped out to where I know if you hit the right putt in the right place, you can absolutely get a hole-in-one on all but four holes. If you get a hole-in-one on the others, that’s a bonus. So, to me, perfection might be 21, but I keep trying to beat it.

“The Island is a special place with a lot of memories. But we get one week a year to hang out by the beach and enjoy the ocean, and in between some body surfing, spending time with the family and eating some good food, there’s mini-golf at Flamingo.”

— David Biggy


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