Course: Viking Golf
Location: 38965 Virginia Ave, Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Price: $9.00 for 18 holes (unlimited play before 5pm; one play after 5pm)
Review: Oof. Right about now, I’m really regretting reviewing two courses in one day. Not because the strain of reviewing mini golf has overwhelmed me (that happened a long, long time ago). It’s just a bummer that I reviewed Viking Golf immediately after reviewing Old Pro Golf – the two courses had a similar feel, but like Vin Diesel in Saving Private Ryan,* Viking Golf was clearly out of its league. Moreover, it definitely did not do Viking Golf any favors being less than four miles away from Old Pro Golf; the Maryland border was actually visible from the course (with all of Maryland’s succulent crab cakes so tantalizingly close, but oh so far away). But it was the highest rated course in Delaware, so I was obligated to review it: without my fastidious professionalism, I’m just a guy who has played a lot of miniature golf alone in cities where he didn’t know anyone else… Without adhering strictly to the rigors of scholarly excellence, I’m just a guy who has been forced to reconnect with many of his friends on a purely superficial level over a contrived game of mini golf because he knows that in 24 hours he will be gone and they will continue to exist; he knows, deep in his heart, that he is merely a spirit, a transient spirit with the soul of a spectre and the substance of the inconstant ocean mist.
So I had to go to Viking Golf.
But it was still a bummer comparing the two courses so immediately. On any other day, I would have raved over Viking Golf’s cool Norse aesthetic and made a zany “Valhalla” pun** as I praised the twin-headed dragons Midgard and Kangar who ominously laid siege to the miniature town. And if I had reviewed this course right after visiting, say, a more subpar establishment,*** I would have lauded the interesting viking factoids that peppered the venue, and commended the dragon-slaying subplot that progressed throughout the course. But I had tasted the succulent molten lava cake of greatness and, with all that chocolaty lava still coating my mouth and trousers, I was too full to enjoy what was a perfectly adequate (if not above average) course. In short, on any other day I would have behaved just like Roger Ebert if he had engulfed the hand of his twin brother while they were still in the womb: had it not been for Old Pro Golf, I would easily have given this course three thumbs up!
Instead, looking through chocolate-lava-cake-tinted glasses, all I could see were the minor flaws that automatically excluded Viking Golf from claiming the mini golf crown in the name of the Norse Gods.**** In the end, I just couldn’t get over the copious graffiti that ruined this pristine Norse getaway; nor could I ignore the water damaged signs and tarnished holes that turned this course’s “po”tential into “no way in hell”tential. I don’t really have anything else to say about this course. It was fine. But in the way that turkey bacon is fine. It’s just a few steps away from greatness.
* Which totally happened by the way!
** “Cause I ain’t no Valhalla-back girl”
**** You know, all those famous, well-known gods like Thor and Loki and… Hawkeye? English majors never really had to study Norse mythology that much.
Course Score: 43; Par – 36
Pros: Good theme; unique holes; told a story; informative signposts about real vikings and viking lore;
Cons: Graffiti on signposts; water damage on signage; moderate upkeep; just “pretty good” when it was mere inches away from greatness.