Course: Mac N’ Bones Golf & Grill
Location: 1 Mac and Bones Blvd, Pearl, MS 39208
Price: $7.50 for 18 holes; $10.00 for unlimited play.
Review: Oof. Going in, I knew that there were inherent flaws in choosing “the best mini golf course in each state.” Simply put, not all states have the same mini golf capabilities; Google maps listed only 3 major mini golf locations throughout all of Mississippi. And while none of these venues seemed particular noteworthy, Mac N’ Bones Golf & Grill at least had a high-concept pirate vibe, so I was very optimistic going in. I mean, remember when Pirates of the Caribbean came out? Everyone was like “a movie based off of a Disney ride, there’s no way this could be good,” but then their jaws dropped because Pirates of the Caribbean was an unparalleled adventure into a nautical paradise, featuring particularly iconic performances from Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Depp, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of the mischievous Captain Jack Sparrow (look it up, it’s true).
That being said, this place was rough. The course itself was scuffed and dirty; there were leaves covering many of the holes (making it harder to putt); there was maintenance equipment lying right in the middle of the course; their lake was clogged-up and mosquito-filled; and I was the only customer on the course (I had to take my own photo). And yet, there were still approximately five employees there on a Monday afternoon, standing guard over this empty, maltreated mini golf facility. Just standing there, doing nothing. It got to the point where, throughout my entire game, I kept wondering: “is this place a drug front? Is this whole mini golf course just a way for them to launder their ill-gotten gains from selling illicit drugs?” And after spending the better part of an hour there, my answer was a tentative “maybe,” which isn’t great.
Now, by this point in the review, it would be all too easy to write off Mississippi’s mini golf scene in general, saying something scathing like “Mississippi’s mini golf quality is as low as its high school graduation rate.” But that misses the point. The real heartbreaking problem with Mac N Bones is that it had the potential for greatness. The location was prime Mississippi marshland; the holes were complex and interesting; the pirate-themed props were high-value and numerous. But they had all fallen into a state of heavy disrepair. It was like looking at a particularly ancient Russian countess – beneath her heavy wrinkles and sadness, you can see the traces of her former beauty. But now you are both old and cruel and your hearts have been hardened by the world. And sure, you’ll always have the memory of St. Petersburg, but that’s the problem, it’s just a memory: fleeting, inconstant, and, in the end, illusory.
Course Score: 51; Par – 44.
Pros: Really fits into the Mississippi marshlands; with renovations, it has the potential to reclaim its former greatness.