It’s no secret that the Master of MiniGolf is a man dressed in all black that made it all possible for everyone here. That man, Bob Detwiler will be inducted into the USPMGA Hall of Fame October 12, 2017 during the twenty first annual Night of the Master’s in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Bob Detwiler attended the American Institute of Baking and Florida State before graduating from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where he majored in physical education and minored in business. Married his high school sweetheart Peggy in 1962 and had two children Melissa and Ted. Bob Detwiler taught school and coached in Hammond, Indiana five years after college. Detwiler moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 1975 and opened several Baskin Robins in the Myrtle Beach area and in 1985 his coaching career started back when he became the tennis coach for the boys’ tennis team at Myrtle Beach High until 1995.
In 1992 Detwiler thought how great it would be to build and own a miniature golf course, so in 1993 he bought his first Hawaiian themed course, Hawaiian Rumble and now it is rated the number one course in the World by Golf Magazine and Travel Channel. It wasn’t long before Detwiler bought two more courses and changed the name to Hawaiian Caverns and Hawaiian Village. Detwiler uses the Hawaiian themed because “everyone wants to visit Hawaii in their lifetime but can’t afford the high cost to travel to Hawaii, but they can get the same feeling of being in Hawaii by playing at one of his courses.”
Myrtle Beach is known as the golf capital of the World and with Bob Detwiler’s background as a coach, it was a given that he would begin to hold tournaments. The first was the USPMGA Master’s in 1997, the very next year was the US Open and the US ProMiniGolf Association, the same year Detwiler was elected to the board of World MiniGolf Sports Federation. The USPMGA Masters and the USPMGA US Open became the two national events for the USPMGA every year and the competitors steadily became better testing their skills against each other. In 2001 Detwiler formed USPMGA Team USA to compete in the World Championships in Vaasa, Finland. Detwiler added the coveted green jacket in 2003 to be awarded to the Masters winner, thanks to the convincing from his son Ted Detwiler. In 2007 the USPMGA US Open was held in different locations around the United States, the first was held at Dolphin Mini Golf Boothbay, Maine owned by Lee Stoddard. Vance Randall had a big influence on Detwiler’s decision to add the Hall of Fame and the first inductee was Bobby Ward, the first US Open and first Masters champion back in 1997.
Being in the miniature golf business for over twenty years, Detwiler decided to build the second best course in America. Planning for over a year, Detwiler settled on a location south of Hawaiian Rumble, on Lake Arrowhead Road, on what use to be an old gas station, and a vacant lot that was cleared for Aloha Mini Golf. Since his opening in June of 2016 Detwiler added Aloha Mini Golf as part of the USPMGA Master’s Competition. Every year the players and members of USPMGA express gratitude and how much they enjoy the association. Twenty one years later USPMGA would like to recognize the greatest of the USPMGA family, President Bob Detwiler for creating a first class tour and the inspiration and dedication he has put to make this bigger and better each and every year. Detwiler’s greatest vision is for all the USPMGA professionals to be able to make a living playing the sport they all love, just like the PGA players are able to do.