Course: Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf
Location: 2205 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Price: $9 for 18 holes before 6 pm; $10 for 18 holes after 6pm.
Review: Now this is more what I expected from the mini golf capital of the world. Located a few miles away from Hawaiian Rumble, Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf finally tells the story that J.M. Barrie never had the balls* to tell. The story where Peter Pan smashes a putting iron against Captain Hook’s titular hook and sparks fly like a kidnapped child hopped up on fairy dust; the story where Tinkerbell chokes on a mini golf ball and the audience is too distracted by the high production value of the course to clap her back to life again; the story where Tiger Lily is still kind of a racist caricature, because some things will never change. And so, after almost driving my car into the ocean (I was too busy rubbing my hands together in delight), I was quickly on my way to Never Neverland… after, of course, a delightful conversation with the course’s cashier. A conversation that has been transcribed below:
ME: I’d like a round of mini golf please.
CASHIER: For how many (pause) or just for one?
ME: (long pause) Just for one please.
CASHIER: (pause) Ok. (pause) Which course do you want, we have a ‘Lost Boys’ course that goes through a skull-shaped cave, or a ‘Hook Challenge’ course that goes over Captain Hook’s boat.
ME: I like boats.
CASHIER: (long pause) Ok.
And let me tell you, if you’ve never played mini golf on a real boat before, you are missing the hell out: the wind whipping through your hair like the breath of an old, wise man. The saltwater speckling your tongue like the perspiration of an old, wise man. The warm embrace of the sea, grabbing you tighter than, well you get the point. What I’m trying to say is that it was quite nice. And this niceness extended to the rest of the course as well. The high budget animatronics and holographic Tinkerbell, the complex multi-level holes, and the pristine Neverland environment made me feel as if I were Dustin Hoffman in the movie Hook (which is nice because I usually feel like Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer). But, as I said before, the high point of this course was, without a doubt, Captain Hook’s pirate ship, where an animatronic Captain Hook hung from the rigging of the boat yelling taunts at the dastardly Peter Pan while an animatronic crocodile lunged out of the water. There’s no other word for it… it was cool. Like a life-size model of James Dean made entirely out of Belgian Chocolate Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Cool.
Sure, were some of the holes a little simplistic? Was the layout, while beautiful, a little unimaginative? Yes, I suppose. But while Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf failed to completely drop my jaw, it remains an incredibly fun course. Moreover it is still only the second highest rated/most popular course in Myrtle Beach. And so, after putting a delightful 18 holes, I was forced to leave Neverland, get back into my mother’s Subaru, and become a man again. But, after all, if I stayed in Neverland and remained a child forever, how could I be expected to summit the crown jewel of Myrtle Beach… Mount Atlanticus.
*Pun intended if only because the other kind of balls are icky.
Course Score: 47; par – 42
Pros: Great animatronics/storytelling; high budget; great upkeep; each course was equally impressive/expansive; several challenging holes; holographic Tinkerbell; fun commitment to the Peter Pan universe.
Cons: Some of the front 9 holes were a little simplistic; the course lacked personality at times – despite the source material, it seemed a little unimaginative.