Location: 1205 Airport Pkwy, South Burlington, VT 05403
Phone: (802) 862-7888
Hours: 10 am-9 pm (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday); 10 am-11 pm (Friday & Saturday); closed Tuesdays.
Price: 12 holes – $5 (adults); $3 (12 & under).
Review: I am trying.
Even if you do not agree with the ways in which I’ve selected each state’s “best” courses, I hope you know that, like a deaf aspiring court stenographer, I’m (arguably futilely) trying my hardest. Which is what makes this review so incredibly painful. Because, in many (if not all) ways, Pizza Putt, located in sunny South Burlington, was not the best course in Vermont. No. God no. But, infuriatingly, it was the most rated course in the state. By a margin of 20. So, while pristine-looking courses like the Stowe Golf Park located in Stowe, Vermont had two glowing Google reviews and fourteen votes on Facebook, Pizza Putt had 41 Google reviews and 764 votes on Facebook. And this was the case for every other mini golf course in the state – even for courses like the Mendon Mini Golf & Snack Bar (which, unlike Pizza Putt, wasn’t 3 hours out of my way). Pizza Putt was just like that one guy back in High School who knew how to make fart noises by rubbing his inner thighs together: inexplicably popular. So, despite the fact that many of Pizza Putt’s actual votes were extraordinarily negative (one lady posted multiple times on at least 5 different social media sites complaining about how her child had been gravely wounded at Pizza Putt), it was, in a statistically important way, the single most popular course in Vermont. I had to go there.
Trust me. I researched this for five hours.*
Now, by this point in the review, I could easily write a few halfhearted jokes about how Pizza Putt was the mini golf equivalent of a domestic triple homicide. But I don’t want to give Pizza Putt the dignity of a comedic burial. That would be a grave disservice not just to my readers, but to the the very concept of truth itself. Pizza Putt was dirty. It was scuffed. There were at least 30 uncleaned soda stains on the carpet. It was sticky. It was cramped. One of the holes didn’t even have the lights turned on so you had to putt in complete and total darkness (which, if we’re being honest, was probably better). There was graffiti on the walls. The paint was peeling. And, to top it all off, my camera ran out of batteries halfway through the course, so I had to stay in this purgatory (no, this hell) for an additional thirty minutes charging my camera so that I could get more pictures of the soda stains that were the course’s most prominent decoration (see photos below).
And perhaps the worst part about Pizza Putt was that, when it was first built, it was probably an alright course. Featuring an “around the world” theme, the course had decently high-value props (like Mt. Rushmore and Egyptian pyramids) and an alright layout (the “castle” hole was two stories tall). But the course’s high level of extensive disrepair seemed to be almost be intentional. I could say that Pizza Putt was the miniature golf embodiment of “not caring” but that’s too nice. There was a real sense of malice to this course. Pizza Putt wanted its customers to know just how little it cared about them. Just how little work they had to do to get the customer through the door. Just how insignificant and ant-like they were beneath the sole of Pizza Putt’s inexplicably popular boot. I don’t have anything more to say about Pizza Putt. I mean, I do. But I’m tired of trying to analyze how it feels to be slapped in the face.
Given that I was in Vermont, the land of maple syrup, after I finished golfing, I decided to make like a tree and get the hell out of Pizza Putt. Driving away, I rolled down my car windows to get the lingering smell of Pizza Putt out of my nose. And while the freshly fertilized Vermont fields and skunk roadkill smelled slightly better than Eau de Pizza Putt,** I was still forced to roll up my windows relatively quickly. As I crossed the Vermont border and escaped into the safety of upstate New York, I’d like to say that I didn’t flip Vermont the bird while I was leaving.
I’d like to say that, but my mother didn’t raise me to be a liar.
* For once, this is not a hyperbole. I tried to avoid going to Pizza Putt for five hours. And I failed. Miserably. All roads led to Pizza Putt.
** “By Calvin Klein.”
Course Score: 27; par – 31
Pros: Cheap; years ago it probably used to be merely mediocre.
Cons: Scuffs; stains; lack of lighting; sticky; dirty; in a state of extensive disrepair; I would not wish this course on my enemies.