RUGG Golf Launches TIN CUP, “The Ultimate Indoor Golf Practice Chipping Game”

Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 6.35.52 PM.png

For Release Jan. 15, 2019

TIN CUP, “The Ultimate Indoor Golf Practice Chipping Game,” created by RUGG Golf founder Bill Van Arsdale of Naples, Florida, is now available through a crowdfunding campaign at Kickstarter.com.

“I’ve been playing variations of this game since I was a kid,” Van Arsdale explains. “I loved chipping golf balls around the house until I clanged a shot off the big picture window in the living room, fortunately only resulting in jangled nerves. I soon switched to ping pong balls and the seed of RUGG Golf was planted."

“The house I grew up in on Cape Cod had a long ranch-home style layout, where I would use cocktail coasters as holes, and the tiled areas between the carpets were the water hazards,” he says. “I would hit the first shot from the end of a narrow garage hallway down three steps into a small fireplace room, then the second through a wide doorway into the living room (with the now unthreatened picture window.) From there I had three options across several tile water hazards; a short flop shot to a small reading room; a medium length hook to the long entrance hall carpet, or a long pitch through two banks of a fern divider to a small landing area next to the dining room table. Then I would play the reverse layout back to the garage. These six targets allowed me to play about 30 different 1, 2 and 3 shot hole combinations for hours each week.”

“I was a golf nut as a kid. I spent much of my time in high school study halls designing golf courses on graph paper and playing them with spitballs and paper clips. Of course, I had to hide this from the teachers, so no one ever knew of this interest, and it wasn’t until decades later that I realized I wish I had been a golf course architect, a job I never really realized existed when I was younger.”

Van Arsdale went on to become an accomplished golfer in high school and college. “I would have to say that some of my best golf memories were when I made my dad so happy the several times we won his club’s Father-Son tournaments at the Oyster Harbors Club on Cape Cod. During one of these events, after an especially good chip, my father said to me, ‘That’s from all that chipping you did around the house.’ I had never thought of that. I had always been good at chipping.”

Having all of this family home space to set up the game was a luxury lost when Van Arsdale went off on his own. “I never really had room for more than one shot, and, frankly, chipping back and forth between two flat targets that are always the same distance apart is a bit boring.”

In his 40’s, still holding on to his love of indoor chipping, Van Arsdale provisionally patented custom cut carpets fashioned into golf holes, and built a long Par 4 to test the idea. “There was a 5’ x 5’ tee box, a long 23’ dogleg left fairway, complete with first and second cuts of rough and a pebbly sand trap, and a 6’ amoeba shaped green with a protecting sand trap on a two level plywood base and 2” hole.  It was super fun to play. The problem was just this one hole weighed about 200 pounds and it would have taken a hotel ballroom just to set up 9 holes.”

Now nearing retirement (he still works as a Realtor in Naples,) Van Arsdale took much of the last two years off to develop the idea of an indoor chipping game, trying many different carpets and designs until coming up with the final version of TIN CUP that includes shag sand traps and a nifty ball retriever. “TIN CUP solves the space and variety problem,” he says. “The RUGG Golf tee mat can be easily moved to create 3 yard up to 10 yard hole lengths. The TIN CUP target green has 9 target locations and 14 slope positions that require hooks, slices, flop and punch shots to get the trademarked RUGG Golf balls to stop near the small metal cup target. Players can roll a white, black and green set of dice to randomize the over 125 Target Rug set ups. Mutiply that however many hole lengths you can set up in your playing area, and you can have up to over 1000 hole setups.”

There is an extensive Game Setup and Instruction booklet “in large type for old folks like me,” notes Van Arsdale, with many different game variations that allow different skill levels to compete. 

“While the real purpose of this game is to make chipping practice fun and convenient so golfers of all levels can improve their short game, and gives family and friends a fun game to play together at home, I really hope that Tin Cup will introduce potential newcomers to the joys of swinging a golf club and expand the game of golf, especially to kids who otherwise might never take up the game.”

“For me, I have already achieved my dream. I am a golf course architect," says he says with wink.

TIN CUP launches January 15 on Kickstarter.com where you can order the very first edition of the game at significant discounts. For more information, and to see Bill Van Arsdale demonstrate the game, go to http://www.rugg.golf.

Bill Van Arsdale