Around the World in Crazy Golf
Around the World in Crazy Golf
A hole-some adventure awaits
There’s something about crazy golf that makes a competitor out of just about anyone. Even those who show no enthusiasm to sport tend to throw away all indifference and play their best competitive golf through a gaping clown’s mouth. You may laugh or cringe at the thought, but whether you’re in Barbados or Bognor, crazy golf is an undeniably popular thing to do while travelling. Grown adults can go from rational and organised one minute to helplessly jittery the next, gushing with excitement as their ball disappears down a drainpipe, huffing in frustration at the mocking expression of a fibre-glass rabbit and gasping with tension as their ball trickles towards the blades of a bothersome micro-windmill. It’s a guilt-free pleasure that, to the delight of the world’s full-time young people, seems to be enjoyed universally.
So, if you were to go swinging your club around the world, here are six courses to start you off on your tour. Surely there’s no finer way to spend an hour in each destination?
If the idea of cosying up to Honolulu’s surf crowd is too hectic for you, mini golf at Jungle River might be that bit more palatable. Its 18 holes wind through a rainforest-esque setting, which is encased in bamboo and wood fencing designed to make you feel that you’re somewhere more tropical than an inner-city crazy golf course. The landscaping of the course includes a tar pit with animal bones in - whether that adds to the jungle theme or not, it certainly develops the character of the course. Although an afternoon of putting isn’t why most people go to Hawaii, a round of crazy golf in Honolulu is a sound way to mix up the beach lifestyle.
If the idea of crazy golf isn’t quite farfetched enough for you on its own, all you need is a course that mercilessly commits to a theme. Step forward Pirate’s Cove, which has gone all out to make mini-golf as swashbuckling an experience as possible. It’s the full pirate experience, decorated with footbridges, waterfalls and a sunken ship – there’s even a pesky skeleton which occasionally fires a cannon towards any little kids or big kids on the course. It might not be an obvious choice of activity in Orlando, but if the mini-golf impulse strikes, Pirate’s Cove would be a good choice of course.
On the strength of the pun alone you can be confident that time will be well spent in Putting Edge. True to their wordplay, they’ve done something unusual and created a glow-in-the-dark course that more resembles a deleted scene from Tron than somewhere to spend a leisurely afternoon. It plays up to the age old question: What came first, the pun or the concept?
There’s more to Putting Edge than the gag though, which would be enough to get the My Destination office through the door in itself. The course is unusual enough with its in-your-face neon design to make it more exciting an experience than merely just swinging a stick. If you have a free afternoon and are looking for an activity in Toronto, it’s well worth glowing down for a game. Alright, enough is enough.
Jungle Rumble brings the tropics to the middle of the city in South West England. On the top storey of the Cabot Circus shopping complex, Jungle Rumble lays out two 18-hole courses – one jungle themed, one swamp themed – and visitors can play either or both. Brilliantly, there’s also a bar which makes Jungle Rumble an alternative to traditional evening entertainment in Bristol, and as such pulls in a healthy crowd of students from Bristol’s two universities.
Pinned to a wall by the bar is a list of notable people who have played on the course, almost like an incentive to make you play your A-game. Surprisingly, rather than just being a list of local weathermen and well-known sandwich sellers, some fairly famous people have crammed in a round during their time in Bristol. Jack White, of White Stripes fame, posted a decent but beatable score, and beating him at crazy golf is quite a thing to be able to brag about. If you’re after a more modest target, you shouldn’t have too many problems beating British weapon of maths instruction Carol Vorderman.
You’re in Phuket, surrounded by soft shore and shimmering ocean. It’s warm, warmer than you’re used to, and everybody around you is fanning themselves lazily by the beach. It’s peaceful, blissful. What more could you want? That’s right, dinosaur themed crazy golf.
This 18-hole course has a different dinosaur watching over every hole, and a volcano which ‘erupts’ and covers the place in fog every half an hour. Add on top of that a moving T-Rex, a waterfall and a lava cave and you’ve got yourself a primeval party. If that isn’t enough prehistoric mayhem for you, on site is a Flintstones themed restaurant, with ‘rocks’ as furniture and such. It’s one of the more uncommon activities in Phuket.
If you land in New Zealand with a yearning for pirate themed fare, Treasure Island gives its players the chance to fulfil their ambitions to putt across pirate ships, through so-called haunted caves and beside shark infested waters. Similar to Jungle Rumble in Bristol, Treasure Island boasts two different 18-hole courses - Blackbeard’s Course and Captain’s Course - and those with time to spend can play both. In having a steadfast theme and the option of two courses, Treasure Island is the obvious choice if you find yourself giddy at the thought of playing crazy golf in Auckland. With a picnic area available, if you don’t fancy the on-site catering you can take your own hamper, use the BBQs and make an afternoon of it.
Main image coutesy of Putting Edge, Toronto.
Jungle Rumble brings the tropics to the middle of the city in South West England
By Themes (All Destinations)
- Central America
- Middle East
- North America
- South America
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step" - Lao Tzu