CLC instructor, mom to compete on 'Holey Moley'
A College of Lake County instructor and his mother will be contestants on "Holey Moley," a new series on ABC-TV that showcases mini-golf lovers from around the country competing through an epic obstacle golf course for a $25,000 prize.
Antioch resident Mick Cullen, 42, who teaches human services at CLC in Grayslake and described himself as a lifelong mini-golf enthusiast, will compete on the July 18 show, according to a news release from CLC. His mother, Dianne Cullen, 62, Grayslake will appear July 25.
The competition involves 10 episodes, each with 12 contestants, with the top weekly finisher receiving a $25,000 prize. While Mick Cullen promised the network he would not divulge results before to the July 18 air date, he said Thursday he "couldn't stop giggling" about the mini-golf course created for the show in California.
Including a giant windmill players had to hit the ball through, then run through without being knocked over by the moving blades, he described it as a course "someone would build with no budget limitations -- it was a spectacle."
Cullen has been playing mini-golf since he was a child. He said its appeal is the combination of skill, luck and fun for all ages, sizes and abilities, regardless of gender.
"You don't have to be particularly large or a superior athlete to play, but having some athletic skill helps," he said in the news release. "Age and gender don't factor as much. My 5-year-old son can beat me on a hole. You can be as competitive or noncompetitive as you want to be."
He heard about the show last October from a friend and submitted online applications and videos of his mini-golf skills. That led to phone and Skype interviews with show producers and a background check. Cullen said he received a phone call in March from the show's production company, asking him to come to Los Angeles in April for a week of filming.
In his interviews, Cullen mentioned he achieved a world record in 2011, for the largest number of rounds of mini-golf played in 24 hours when he played 5,040 holes (280 18-hole rounds) at an indoor mini-golf facility in Waukegan.
His feat raised $2,500 for Parkinson's disease research, in memory of his wife's late grandfather who experienced the disorder. Cullen's record is recognized by www.recordsetter.com, he said.
For the taping, Cullen flew to California with his mother. She will not compete with Cullen, who put in a good word for her when asked by show producers to recommend other contestants. She also had to complete the application and interview process.
Cullen said a couple of hundred people were in the audience for his episode, which was taped at night, but he wasn't affected by the crowd.
"When you're putting, you're used to people watching. It's easy to tune out," he said.
But the cameras and the big lights made it clear there was more at stake, Cullen added.
"Who doesn't want to look good on TV?"