|As Pebble Beach Championship Miniature Golf came into view, nestled below Stoney Creek trail near Canada Olympic Park, I was immediately impressed by the layout and the fact that it seemed to be packed even on such a blustery day. I took this to be a portent of happy golfing to come.
Walking past the well-kept course (which at the moment looked as if it was home to possibly four different birthday parties), I knew that this would be the site of another great victory over my younger sister Laura and her boyfriend Gordon, both of whom had come to challenge me on the greens. Inside the clubhouse, I paid my $12, took my rubber-ended club and selected a hideous mauve ball with which to pummel my opponents.
After a few practice holes, it was time to begin playing what claims to be one of Canadas premier mini-golf courses. The first hole was just a warm-up and the results of it neednt be mentioned here. The second hole features two different routes, one that goes over a bridge and another that runs underneath. As the underneath route was clearly for the weak, I chose the manly route and was punished for my bravery with a trip to what would have been a small pond later in the season (an impressive system of tiny lakes and rivers runs throughout the entire course, but unfortunately, the water is not put in until later in the year).
The next few holes were also cleverly made, one with a series of posts that were impossible to avoid, other than by the beginners luck employed by my competition one with a ramp that leapt a small gorge which unscrupulously grabs only the balls of skilled golfers like myself; and one with a tunnel that travels through a rock quarry, firing unsuspecting and trusting golfers balls off at wild angles.
Gordon proved to be an all-or-nothing kind of man, potting hole-in-ones at the mole-hill inspired seventh hole, and the obstacle ridden 15th, while failing miserably at the 10th and 11th (called Cliffside and Up, Up and Fairway). My fine skills were clearly flustered by what must have been unreadable greens and unfathomably placed objects. Laura played it slow and steady, never winning or losing a single hole until the serpentine 18th, where she somehow grasped victory.
Left beaten by my younger sister, I can only say that though this course may present a wealth of fun for the majority of mini-golfers, it is clearly built in such a manner as to flummox the skills of the expert. Or maybe it was that ugly mauve ball.
An overview of Alberta mini-golf
·Wackyputt at Kart World Family Fun Centre
(5202-1 St S.W., Calgary)
This 18-hole course is Albertas only computerized golf course. While testing your skills on this outdoor course, watch out for pranks and surprises that these mechanized holes spring on you.
·RCGA Golf Centre
(710-15 St S.E., Calgary)
Located in Calgarys southeast, RCGA 18-hole putting green is a beautiful all-grass par 72, complete with water and sand traps. This challenging course features difficult par five holes and a view of the Bow River.
·Stone Creek Adventure Golf
(999 Country Hills Blvd N.E., Calgary)
Harvest Hills golf course is home to this 18-hole outdoor course, which is fairly simple.
·Mulligans Island (Calaway Park)
(245033 Range Rd 33)
This theme course, constructed in 2005, features 18 holes of sand traps and water hazards, giving any serious golfer a good chance to dry off after a soaking on Calaway Parks log ride.
·Puttz Miniature Golf Course
1710 Mayor Magrath Dr South, Lethbridge
Puttz features an 18-hole, par 47, black light golf course. This indoor course is a mix of music, lights and mirror-balls.
·Funland Amusement Park
(901b North Dinosaur Trail, Drumheller)
After taking in the sights of the Hoodoos and other dinosaur themed exhibits, play 18 holes at Funland Amusement park. Use the batting cage and bumper boats while youre there.
·Canada Grey Motor Inn
(612-2 Ave West, Hannah)
The Canada Grey Motor Inn has an impressive 9 hole outdoor course in its courtyard. This course is the pride of the town, and each challenging hole is sponsored by one of the small towns businesses.
·West Edmonton Mall
(8882-170 St, Edmonton)
Begin with the Putting Edge Phase III, a black light course that is not as easy as it looks. Then move on to Putt nGlow Golf, a second black light course that is a little easier, but has some very inventive holes. Then the big course Professor Wems Adventure Golf, a mix between science class and Alice in Wonderland, where its 18 holes run down the centre of one of the malls huge hallways. Its a little more expensive, but well constructed, with a lot of atmosphere.
·Canada Putt miniature golf
(4705-47 Ave, Alberta Beach)
Just east of Edmonton sits Alberta Beachs Canada Putt Miniature Golf, a solid course built next to a beautiful lake, and a great place for a golfing/camping trip.
·Trickle Creek Mini-Golf
(Seba Beach, Alberta)
Trickle Creek Mini-Golf sits on the edge of Seba Beach. This course contains 19 holes, each constructed to represent a different Alberta landmark. Trickle Creek holds championship tournaments on July 30 and 31. Drop your ball off the Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump hole then enjoy a rest next to the lake.