6/16/16 – Colorado

Course: Adventure Golf & Raceway: The Ultimate Adventure
Location: 9650 N. Sheridan Blvd. Westminster, CO 80031
Price: $8.25 for 18 holes; $12.75 for unlimited golf.

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Kyle and I went to Adventure Golf

Review: This is it!!! Adventure Golf! The first mini golf course on my three-month-long, 50-state road-trip! After today’s game, I’ll be spending the next three consecutive months of my life sleeping in the back of a car and (presumably) eating nothing but Big Macs for days on end. All for the sake of mini golf. And, if we’re being completely honest, the thought of doing something like this terrifies me… Seriously, I cannot stress how easy it would be to just give up and go home right now: it would be easier than breathing. Easier than the first level of Tetris. Easier than a prom queen in a coming-of-age sex-comedy from the misogynistic 1960’s. But, as easy as it would be, I simply cannot afford to give up! The world deserves to know where America’s best mini golf course is. No. The world needs to know where America’s best mini golf course is!* And (even though it’s still probably too early in the trip for me to make any sweepingly inaccurate historical over-generalizations) I’m pretty sure this is exactly how Neil Armstrong must have felt when he got onto the Apollo 11 for the first time. Sure, he was probably a bit apprehensive. But he was more excited that he had been given an opportunity to change the world!!

But enough of this boring personal narrative junk…  If you wanted to read the barely-literate ramblings of some random white guy, you would have purchased Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, not a book titled America’s Best Mini Golf. So let’s learn about some dang mini golf already!

Located in the heart of Colorado (the state that single-handedly turned the “marijuana cookbook” industry into a billion dollar empire**), you’ll find Adventure Golf & Raceway – the state’s highest rated/most popular mini golf course. And, all things considered, this place was a pretty great first course to review. Featuring three top-notch mini golf courses (“Adventure Cove,” Buccaneer Bay,” and “Lost Continent”), Adventure Golf was virtually indistinguishable from a Penn & Teller Vegas stage show: it was impressive, high-budget, and unexpectedly entertaining. In particular, the venue’s “Lost Continent” course was especially well done. Guiding golfers through a jungle adventure gone awry, this course was filled to the brim with animatronic Tiki heads, quicksand pits, alligators, hidden temples, and at least six different flame displays. It was cool. Hell, it was almost as exciting and terrifying Colorado’s very own Blucifer statue (the horrifyingly massive mustang sculpture kept eternally on display directly outside of Denver International Airport***).

However, while this venue was, overall, pretty great, Adventure Golf was not with out its share of flaws. Most pressingly, although (as previously mentioned) the “Lost Continent” course was quite good, the other two courses weren’t as impressive. Or intelligible. Consider, for example, its “Buccaneer Bay” course: sure, this course’s first few holes had a somewhat piratey Tex-Mex feel, with speakers that blared the theme song to Rawhide louder (and more enthusiastically) than Jim Belushi at a Blues Brothers revival concert. But, by around the 8th hole, the course immediately transformed itself into an ancient Dutch realm, filled with medieval castles, quaint windmills, and (presumably) the music from the film adaptation of Ivanhoe. What the heck happened? Did Adventure Golf just buy a bunch of mass-produced, unrelated props and assume that no one would be crazy enough to write a review guide dedicated entirely to the “sport” of mini golf?

Why would they do that?

But ultimately, even though Adventure Golf felt a little mass-produced/incoherent, I still really enjoyed this location. It was decently challenging, incredibly well-maintained, and impressively high-budget… But was it the best mini golf course in America?

I guess I’ll have to go to New Mexico to find out.

* …hopefully. Otherwise I just wasted three months of my life writing a coffee table book. But, now that I think about it, how sweet would this book look on your coffee table? Really sweet. Everyone would be all like “wow! Look at this book on your coffee table! You’re such an interesting person! And look at your arms, have you been working out lately? Oh, they just naturally look like that? Awesome! Your life has value!”
** Seriously, look around. If you’re reading this book in an Urban Outfitters, I bet there are at least fifteen weed-themed cookbooks nearby…
*** When you have some free time, definitely do a little more research on “Blucifer.” He is a 32-foot-tall, bright blue horse statue with realistic veins and glowing red eyes. Fun fact: Blucifer fell on his sculptor and crushed him mid-construction! Blucifer has killed, and he will kill again.

Course score: Dan – 55, Kyle – 56; Par – 43.
Pros: Incredible “Lost Continent” course; great overall upkeep; moderately challenging holes;  high production value; exciting fire displays/animatronics.
Cons: Unclear theme; several minor scuffs/leaves strewn over the course; mass-produced; not terribly unique.

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