Golf + people = booming activity

What started out as a simple business venture combined with a passion for people and a love for golf has turned into a full-on boom for Bill Perry.

  • Monday, June 2, 2008 4:01pm
  • Sports

Bill Perry built a special putter that lets people in rolling walkers still enjoy putting.

Just Putt’n Around helps seniors enjoy the game

What started out as a simple business venture combined with a passion for people and a love for golf has turned into a full-on boom for Bill Perry.

Perry, 67, and a long-time Bellevue resident, has been an avid golfer his entire life. After attending the Butch Harmon Golf School in Nevada and the United State Golf Teaching Federation in San Diego, Perry became a certified professional golf instructor.

“Someone told me you can make a lot of money teaching golf, and well, that’s not true,” said Perry, formerly the property manager and director of retail operations for the Factoria Mall. “When I worked at the mall, I was the go-to guy. I thought ‘if you still want to be the go-to guy, why don’t you just go to the people?’”

As a result, Just Putt’n Around was born.

Perry began to take his favorite part of the game, putting, to the people. He combined that with his other passion in life – being around and helping seniors.

“There are over 85 active adult communities in King County,” Perry said. “It all started by me just going to them and giving my putting presentations.”

The programs, Perry said, were a hit from the beginning with the seniors. But it was a trip to a active adult community – Madison House in Totem Lake – that gave Perry an inspiration for the next part of his program.

“I was up there and there were all these wonderful little ladies that came walking down the hall in their rolling walkers,” Perry said. “I looked at them and said ‘gee, if they can’t stand up to putt, how am I going to teach them?’”

Perry went out and bought a rolling walker from Costco in order to create his newest invention: the patent-pending Active Adult Putter. A standard putter has a 71 degree angle on the shaft; Perry’s putter has a 45 degree angle, allowing seniors who sit in their rolling walkers to enjoy the game of golf just as much as others.

“The great part is that they really don’t care if they’re doing great or not; they’re just thrilled to be participating,” Perry said. “The most important thing for them is to be part of the group. They can participate now when they couldn’t before.”

The putter has been a huge success, Perry said, and the seniors have more fun than ever. The only problem Perry has now is what to do next.

“Everyday people are giving me great new ideas for the putter and it’s nonstop,” he said. “I’ve been blessed with lots of people that have helped me out. But where do you go next?”

Some of Perry’s new ideas include bringing the putter into children’s hospitals or promoting team-building activities.

“It’s all happened so fast that I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath and see what’s going on,” Perry said. “But I’m excited. I have an overall passion for people. That’s just who I am.”

Joel Willits can be reached at 425-453-4270 ext. 5060 or at jwillits@reporternewspapers.com.

Learn more

Just Putt’n Around

and Active Adult Putters

Owner-Bill Perry

4429 156th Pl. SE.

Bellevue, WA 98006

425-641-4886

www.justputtnaround.com

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