I need your help telling the story of Professional Putting.
It’s not my nature to ask for help because I don’t like to bother people. Most of the time do things myself.
This time is much different and time is running out.
I need your help raising at least $50,000 to complete a movie. This video gives a quick overview:
Yes, I’m talking about Pro Putt-Putt and Mini-Golf.
For new people: My name is Matt Bellner but most people call me “Mattie 5”. What started out as a unique nickname morphed into a trademarked logo and a company, Mattie 5 Films.
In May of 2011, a series of significant events over a 5-day period propelled me to start a new career as a Professional Putter.
It also put into motion a plan to start my own production company and film a documentary about the history of Putt-Putt, Mini-Golf and Pro Putting.
I also ended up in the cardiac unit of a hospital for two days but I’ll save that story for the movie.
I’ve done the best I can financing this project but the past few years have been difficult. Self-financing a film is rewarding but almost impossible without capital.
Traditional lenders wouldn’t take me seriously. If you want to meet the Manager, just tell the bank officer you need a loan to finish a movie and you earn your living as a Professional Putter.
Recently, I worked with a company to secure financing but in the end, they said no and even mocked me by saying, "Try GoFundMe".
Their mockery was my motivation to try any means necessary to make this movie materialize.
A while back a group of filmmakers followed me and my dad around for a few days for a 5 minute short film. My movie will be a much more detailed expansion of this story. You'll also learn about the famous "bounced check".
That amount of money will allow me to hire professionals, finish the film and get the project released. It sounds like a lot of money and it is. I've spent well over $200,000 working on the film since I started back in 2011. Yes, I've been grinding away for a while.
PPA National Championship (Played & Filmed)
Southwest Putting Tour Finals (Played & Filmed)
USMPGA Mini-Golf Masters (Played and Filmed)
More events (TBD)
Money is also needed to:
Digitize historical film footage
Record a soundtrack
Hire a qualified Producer
Enter Film into Festivals, etc.
Champion is a play on words. My goal is to be the "Champion" of Professional Putting by helping get the best players in the world gain exposure, grow the sport, raise prize money and secure tournament sponsors.
This Summer, I played in the 2019 US Open of Pro Mini-Golf. My friend, Olivia Prokopová, won the Championship playing in record breaking heat over multiple days. She broke scoring records but only won $3000 for her amazing performance. Sadly, I didn't have enough money to hire a film crew so footage from this event is limited.
The human stories about Professional Putting are there and that's why I'm going to give it everything I have to raise 50K.
What happened? Why are you low on money?
Short answer: I had a good run of bad luck.
Over the past 2 years, I've had some major health scares. I'm 100% healed physically but financially I'm on life support. Since I'm self-employed, I have high-deductible health insurance. Money I would put towards filming went to hospitals, doctors and medicine. I missed extended periods of time where I couldn't work, let alone putt and film.
I'm not sharing this news for sympathy but to let people know why I've rarely played events the last 18 months. Things were so bad in 2018, I missed the Putt-Putt National Championship, which was in Webster, Texas! That was my lowest point, physically and financially. I still feel horrible I wasn't able to be there for my friends.
Don't you work for a golf ball company?
No. In mid-2014, I started making golf ball advertising for Chromax. This was contract labor, I was never an "employee". I had a great run with Chromax and I'm proud of the work and exposure I helped generate for the brand.
The Thursday after Thanksgiving in 2018, Chromax told me they had no new golf balls planned for 2019 and they were downsizing the ad budget. We had brief negotiations but I did not renew my contract and became a golf ball free agent on January 1, 2019.
Part of my previous negotiations with Chromax supplied me with golf balls to sell in my eBay store to help Chromax get their UPC codes verified online purchases. It's a long story but I have extensive specialized knowledge when it comes to colored golf balls.
If you've made a purchase from Mattie 5 Golf eBay Store you've probably received a calendar that shows all the different golf balls I still sell.
Did you move?
For many years, I worked for my friend David and he provided me studio space at a fair price in downtown Longview. This is where I designed and sold over 300 golf putters with my dad. I also filmed numerous commercials for 5-hour ENERGY in that space.
Unfortunately, David's family recently sold the building to help pay for his medical expenses and his quest to walk again (more on that later from David). David tried to help but the new owners would not make the needed upgrades to the building and we were forced to move.
The last thing I filmed in that studio was the "Golf Ball Wall Video" which is connected to my purchasing, testing and selling of golf balls.
As you can imagine, an unplanned move definitely upset my finances and my ability to travel and film putting events. As fate would have it, during this time I was unable to work for almost 2 weeks after another major but successful surgery.
Who benefits from donating?
To be honest, everyone.
Film fans will get to see an independent film about people. You won't have to be a fan of putting to enjoy what I have planned.
Putt-Putt and Mini-Golf Course Owners will definitely benefit because I have their best interests in heart. I love putting and the people that play the game. I want courses to be profitable. I'm a promoter by trade.
Professional Putters and future players will benefit from the exposure a movie can bring the sport.
People I hire will also benefit because when I have money I pay a fair and competitive rate.
I also believe companies related to putting can definitely benefit. Competitive Putt-Putt and Mini-Golf are growth areas to sell golf balls, putters, lifestyle clothing and much more. Whenever I meet young people at Tournaments or Industry Trade shows and they find out I'm a "Professional Putter", they think it's the coolest job ever.
Thank You for taking the time to read my story. I truly hope I can be the "Champion" the sport needs to shine a light on the amazing people I've met on my journey!
If you prefer to donate outside of GoFundMe, you can mail checks to:
Mattie 5 Films, LLC
104 W Tyler St
Longview, TX 75601
All purchases in my eBay store go towards the film project.
I'm also a paid up member of SAG-AFTRA with extensive on-camera commercial acting experience. If you know a company that could benefit from increased sales, please send them my direction.
To see 100's of putting clips, please visit my Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/mattbellner/
I'm also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mattbellner
Mattie 5 Facebook Page is still a work in progress: https://www.facebook.com/Mattie5Films/
If you have any questions, please contact me via GoFundMe or talk to me on the putting course.
Matt "Mattie 5" Bellner