If you’ve been to Door County it’s probable that, at the very least, driven past The Red Putter Mini Golf Course. Many of you who have vacationed here may have even stopped in the charming establishment. If you’re a DoCo Local like me, you might even frequent the course and have an unhealthy level of attachment to it, as well as the course owner Bob Yttri.

A chalkboard sign welcomes guests

Yesterday Door County was devastated with the news of Bob’s passing. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this difficult time. His absence is met with great sadness, as he truly touched the hearts of so many individuals – including my own. But alas, his iconic black bowler hat has been hung up for the last time.

To be honest, the news is still a little shocking; part of me is still hoping that these are alternative facts, as that seems to be a trend for 2017. But unfortunately, it is not “fake news.” This isn’t clickbait: A Door County Legend has left us and now we’re all feeling a little lost.

A mini golfer sits in the iconic giant rocking chair at The Red Putter

Bob gave us all the gift of childhood wonder by taking a beloved game and turning it into a monument of everything good. He was the most cheerful fellow I’ve ever met, hands down. I’ll never forget the way his eyes would light up and a smile would creep across his face as you walked up to the window. I can’t be sure if I’ve spent more time playing the course, or chatting with Bob afterwards, while guessing how many M&M’s are in those giant glass jars.

An m&m Jar Won (Finally -After years of guesses!)

Bob’s passion for being social and interactive within the community is something everyone can adore.  He made everyone who passed through feel like family, something we should all aspire to in today’s world.  Gone too soon, but it was always going to be too soon, wasn’t it? Bob’s spirit and kindness will live on, and we’ll always have the memories.