Course: Matterhorn Mini Golf
Location: Route 44, Canton, CT 06019
Price: $9.77 for 18 holes
Review: After a truly hellish drive out of New Jersey featuring a punctured tire, a broken cell phone, a road-rage-filled driver who took both hands off the wheel to flip me the double-bird out of his skylight while going 70 on the Jersey Turnpike (which was, in many ways, the real New Jersey experience), and a car seat that was becoming increasingly painful to sit on,* I finally arrived in Conectticut. The “Constitution” State. The “Nutmeg” State. The “I’ve Spelled Conecticut’s Name Incorrectly Seven Times Already, No Wonder It Isn’t On the Map Yet No One Knows How the Hell To Spell Conneticut” State. And so, traveling across New England’s sleepy but pristine countryside, I sincerely hoped that Connetticut’s best mini golf course wouldn’t worsen my already horrendous day. But it did…
Matterhorn was sweet! Usually in these reviews I go off on some tangent, but not today. It’s all about Matterhorn, baby! You want a course that gives you the “real” Switzerland experience (albeit filtered through Conetticut’s** unbearably humid, coastal lens)? Well you got it! Like a pu pu platter of military neutrality, the family-owned and operated Matterhorn guided intrepid mini golfers through all walks of Swiss life. Wanna visit the Swiss Alps? Well guess what, Matterhorn used white turf to mimic a ski slope for one of its holes! Wanna learn about the famous Swiss tennis player Roger Federer? Matterhorn glued a ton of tennis racquets to the ground and said in a seductive voice “you’re going to love this course more than your own child!” (A child who, it should be noted, is currently learning about Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider on Matterhorn’s eighth hole!) Was there any sense of order to this course beyond “things that are Swiss?” No. But did I care in the slightest? Let me answer that question with another one: did this course not have a ton of goat statues with delightful and intricate designs, crafted by local Canton, CT artists?
Look at the pictures below, fool!
And sure, maybe this course had a smaller budget than the mini-mega-Goliaths of Myrtle Beach, but, like a chorine in a 1930’s Busby Berkeley flick, it had moxie!*** You could see the love and care behind every inch of the course, from its pristine surfaces to its “Toblerone hole” (hole 11) that actually smelled like chocolate; from its ever-present yodeling/polka soundtrack, to the fact that it actually sprayed refreshing water on you when you crossed the blue “lakes of Switzerland” hole (hole 15). There was literally so much exciting/unique Swiss specificity in Matterhorn that I can’t fit it all into this 700 word review (well, I probably could, but then I’d have to nix that gag where I misspell Connecticut and is that a world we really want to live in?)
Finally, after a fantastic round of mini golf, Matterhorn’s staff (decked out in lederhosen/dirndl-inspired aprons) collectively wished me “auf wiedersehen” which was as delightfully charming as it was culturally inaccurate (“Uf Widerluege” is the Swiss German pronunciation of goodbye – they just said the conventional German translation expecting me not to do 20 minutes of intense research on the subject for a blog about mini golf. Although, now that I mention it, 64% of the Swiss population speaks regular, plain old German so, if we’re being honest, I was in the wrong on this one. Oops.) And, leaving Matterhorn at 9pm, for the first time since I left New York, still deeply hungover from Bushwick, I let out a light but fresh and airy smile (like the kind you see in a Quiznos commercial, but this one wasn’t caused by a deranged Quiznos director brandishing a loaded gun at me from behind the camera in order to guarantee that I was acting as hard as physically possible). Amazingly, after the terrible day I’d had, Matterhorn proved that every cloud has the potential for an enormous silver lining. And besides, after a day like this one, how could my life possibly get any worse?****
* Why does it hurt so much to sit down???
** How the heck do you spell Connecticut? Oh wait, I just did it. That was easy. You just write Conetticutt. Shit.
*** I realize I just lost about 95% of my audience with that last reference, but hopefully the ones who didn’t switch to a different mini golf review guide in disgust let out a polite chuckle.
**** He said, preparing for a dramatic irony that would be made painfully apparent in his next review…
Course Score: 50; par – 45.
Pros: Great Swiss vibe; informative; wonderful upkeep; cool, interactive holes that used all 5 senses; exciting art placed around the course; a lot of love went into making this course.
Cons: Perhaps not as high production value as some of courses I’ve seen; several of the holes were simple straightaways (but not a whole lot of them).