Course: Adventureland Theme Park
Location: 3738 W Main St, Dothan, AL 36305
Price: $7 for 18 holes.
Review: What a fun course! I wish I was able to spend more time at Adventureland Theme Park, however this was perhaps the fastest round of mini golf I have ever played.* What we folksy westerners forget while planning a mini golf tour of the nation is that the south is storm country – a confusing labyrinth of palm trees and sea spray where the old Norse Gods still use meteorology to wage war upon the retired octogenarians that stole their lands and remolded them in their own image. What I’m trying to say is that it was rain o’clock down in the Heart of Dixie. At every hole I was afraid that a bolt of lightning would strike me down, while the rain sprayed down like the spittle of an overweight accountant eating a Reuben sandwich. But even though I spent my 18 holes desperately sprinting through Adventureland, pushing over any child foolish enough to get in my way, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the course!
True to its name, this venue really was an adventure… land! Using a fun safari vibe to its advantage, throughout the entire course, giant statues of African savanna beasts** stood statuesque, staring stonily over a wide river that flowed through a forest of palm trees. And while this safari had no tour guides, pith helmets, or big game poachers searching for precious pelts and ivory (with which they can craft their fine purses and high-end elephant tusk opera glasses), it still had a great atmosphere. Using its wide water features to its advantage, lengthy 20-foot-long rope bridges extended across the course, making the entire environment feel like a real land of adventure. And waving my putter like a machete, I felt like a British colonialist, making his way through the unexplored African jungle (but with more golfing and with less violent, hegemonic subjugation of the native peoples). Moreover, using its size to its advantage, this course had several complex multi-tiered holes that I had not experienced before. Which was nice.
And yes, were some of the holes at Adventureland a little simplistic? Sure. Had a few people written graffiti on the butt of the elephant that ruled over “Coconut Mountain”? Sure. Did I read some of this elephant-butt graffiti and feel the wracking, inconsolable pain of emptiness when I saw “KL + JN” outlined by a heart, knowing that the love they shared was pure and incorruptible while I was more alone than ever? Sure. But did I have a great time?
*However, not as fast as David Pfefferle, who has the world record for most mini golf played in a day, putting 4729 holes in 24 hours at Ohio’s Westerville Golf Center (a course I will be visiting by the end of July).
**Not to be confused with “Savannah Beasts,“ the 1950’s-era screenplay I’m working on featuring a plucky bunch of underdogs from Savannah, Georgia who create the world’s first co-ed roller hockey team, all the while solving the recent string of mysterious murders that have left the police baffled. But when their star player turns out to be the murderer, do the Savannah Beasts turn her in to the cops, or win the International Roller Hockey championship???
Course Score: 48, par – 43.
Pros: Great atmosphere/use of water features; good upkeep; several complex holes.
Cons: Several simplistic holes; a few broken twigs on the course; some graffiti on the elephant’s butt.