Course: H Street Country Club
Location: 1335 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Price: $7 for 9 holes.
Review: Washington, D.C – a swampland of broken dreams where the nation’s stodgy elite “elected” fat cat political cronies sell their constituents to fat cat oil lobbyists for a song.* Where the Statue of Liberty’s American dream goes to die because our brave and bold bald eagles are too busy eating genetically modified gerrymandering filibusters to uphold the Declaration of Independence. Where the something something insert political satire here something constitution bill of rights take those fat cats in congress down a peg something something freedom of speech.
I apologize for that past paragraph. There are only two mini golf courses in Washington, D.C.: a pristine, but boring looking outdoor course that is one of nation’s oldest. And an ironic bar on H street that has a nine hole mini golf course and a seemingly endless amount of cheap PBRs. Seeing as I am currently dangerously hungover while writing this review, the course I chose should be pretty obvious.** Joined by several of my friends, the H Street Country Club provided me with something that few other mini golf courses could – namely large amounts of alcohol (which was a great way to forget that I’ve been playing mini golf for 3 straight weeks now and that every course is starting to look the same and that the “vacation” I gave myself is beginning to become a chore someone help me please).
Seeing as this was the first course I’ve been to that was inside an actual bar, I wanted to see how that changed the course’s dynamic; would the holes be more mature or risque to appeal to its 21+ target demographic? Would the tawdry thrill of mini golf be made all the more titillating with the addition of sultry adult entertainments? Not really, the course had a delightful Washington D.C. design though, featuring zombified presidents,*** a giant silver statue of ex-mayor Marion Barry, and a miniaturized King Kong on the Washington monument. And all of the holes featured artistically diverse designs, offering fun variations on a D.C. theme, just like a high school mixtape about American democracy (and not, like my high school mixtapes, about how Lindsay broke my heart and how I’ll never stop loving her and also “Katmandu” by Bob Seger because that song jams). In addition, there were a lot of flat spaces where you could put your drink, which was very much appreciated.
However, given the course’s “mixtape” feel, at times the holes felt almost Kafkaesque in their nightmarish disregard for the norms of mini golf. The H Street Country Club featured tight spaces, different hole widths/carpeting on a hole-by-hole basis, holes without set boundaries, holes that you couldn’t see while putting, an impossible Lincoln Memorial hole with (apparently) a “45 degree angle slope” theme, and a hole that either gave you a hole-in-one or just pushed your ball out-of-bounds arbitrarily. Had I not been there with friends, this course could have been as frustrating as watching a one-man show about how people never watch one-man shows anymore. But, seeing as I was pretty tipsy, hanging out with friends, and (most importantly) having a lot of fun, these design flaws weren’t so much exasperating as they were amusing. And even if it wasn’t “the best mini golf course in America,” I still had a great time at H Street Country Club. The morning after wasn’t that good (my head feels like I used an ice pick as a Q-tip), but the night itself was wonderful.
*Fortunately that song is “Katmandu” by Bob Seger.
**Also, after writing reviews for Virginia and North Carolina, I’m sick of retelling the storied history of mini golf. That’s not what y’all are here for anyways. You’re here to find the best mini golf course in America – history’s for nerds.
***Who would probably still achieve more than all those fat cats in congress amiright?
Course Score: George – 26, Dan– 27, Paddy – 27, Seamus – 30, Eric – 32; par – 21.
Pros: Lots of flat spaces to place your drink; cool designs; great adherence to Washington D.C. as a theme; really cool props; great upkeep considering how many drunk people were there; a lot of fun; nine holes was just the right length.
Cons: Kafkaesque designs; no boundaries for holes; the course used inconsistent materials on a hole by hole basis; several of the holes relied entirely on having a large amount of luck.