Playing Miniature Golf After Adversity

2015-0530 Miniature Golf

Excerpt of Article by Joe Habina | The Charlotte Observer

Few people play miniature golf the way John Simon does. “Pirate Golf,” he calls it, is based on a version of the game he and some college buddies developed at East Carolina University about 30 years ago.

One rule requires players to always bank their shots. Also, because players take turns instead of finishing before the next player tees off, every ball can be hit by an opponent’s shot. “(Pirate golf) is a little juvenile but, for an adult, it’s fun,” said Simon, a south Charlotte resident. “The purpose is to have fun, not to get a low score.”


Simon likes the way pirate golf challenges players to solve problems that have more than one solution. 

Simon, who suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) during a bicycle accident in 1994, serves as president of the Charlotte Area Brain Injury Alliance . The effects of his injury include headaches and some learning loss. But those symptoms do not prevent him from being a leader and mentor to others in the group.

To read the complete article by Joe Habina, click here.


Thank you to John Simon for sharing his story; Joe Habina for writing the article; The Charlotte Observer for committing its resources to the article; Google for helping me mind the article; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text in this post. 



  1. I like the description of the “Pirate Golf” game. I believe it would be great for players like myself who are still learning to play and would appreciate a less stressful game of fun with practice.

    1. I like the idea, too. Pirate golf seems like a fun activity that encourages flexibility, learning, understanding, exercising, communicating, and cognitive processing.

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