Course: Flatstick Pub
Location: 240 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Price: $7 for 9 holes
Review: Sports. America’s favorite pastime. The thing CBS broadcasts when The Big Bang Theory is done banging out all those big, bangin’ theories. It’s what Michael Phelps does when he isn’t busy eating the same amount of food that a Kenyan family of three eats in a week (I actually did the math on this one, if the average Kenyan spends $5 USD on food per week, and Michael Phelps, in his prime, ate 12,000 calories a day in a nation where the average daily food budget is approximately $21.50 USD, it’s more like eight and a half days – but, come on, if you’re reading a mini golf review guide for the accuracy of its math, that’s on you…) However, despite the popularity of sports in America, I’ve never really considered myself to be a very athletic person (unless memorizing the soundtrack to the musical Damn Yankees is considered “athletic”). And even though I’ve dedicated the past two months of my life to the undeniably fast-paced, heart-pounding, calorie-burning world of professional mini golf reviewing, I was still a little worried I wouldn’t fit in at this next course.
But, luckily, I was able to overcome these fears. Which is good because it’s been a while since I last had a really good drink.
Located in the very heart of Seattle, Washington, the Flatstick Pub is a dog-friendly mini-golf themed sports bar that has received an almost universal level of critical praise. With two locations in Washington state, Flatstick has a rotating tap featuring dozens of “Washington-only beers and ciders.” In fact, the only way this venue could be more Washington-specific is if they had a mural depicting native Seattleites complaining that Microsoft and Amazon were gentrifying their city while simultaneously, unironically drinking Starbucks coffee. (You can’t have it both ways, Seattle!!!) And, in addition to its local brews, Flatstick’s 9-hole mini golf course was equally representative of its home state – seven of its holes were letter-shaped, spelling out the word “SEATTLE,”* and more importantly, the last hole was a miniaturized mechanical version of the Space Needle (or, is the Space Needle just a really friggin’ huge version of Flatstick’s last hole?).
But most importantly of all, Flatstick was a very high-quality course. Of all the mini golf bars I’ve visited so far, this venue had the most consistent and high-quality turf yet (the “grass” was as smooth and unblemished as the mahogany desk of a businessman who never had time for his children). In addition, the course was challenging, filled with many pipes, water hazards, and beer keg/barrel obstacles which, working together, gave me a score that was, in many respects, higher than a marijuana enthusiast who had, against his will, been superglued to the top of the Goodyear blimp (double pun!). Fortunately, the course’s many cupholders were so convenient that I almost forgot my abysmal score (and the fact that Luke and I had just returned from 42 hours of driving earlier that afternoon…)
Of course, as a course, the Flatstick Pub was by no means perfect. The hard, sharp angles in the “SEATTLE” holes made them, at times, maddeningly complicated. And the fact that these holes were elevated some six inches above the ground made my golfing feel more gawky and ungainly than a giraffe wearing high heels and a low cut evening dress (despite my best efforts, “Zoo Prom” never really caught on… in America). But, as I already learned in Washington D.C., when you’re surrounded by friends that you haven’t seen for years, drinking local brews and reconnecting over a tight 9 on the mini links, these flaws are pretty negligible.
I had a good night.
* Or, instead, if they ever get tired of the whole “brewpub game” and become a regular restaurant, they could use those letters to spell out “let’s eat.” Conversely, if they built a golf-themed desalination plant, they could totally spell out “Salt tee.” How about a marine-biology-inspired tattoo parlor? “Eel tats.” A French-themed strip club? “Le teats.” The possibilities are endless!
Course Score: Byron – 36, Luke – 44, Dan – 47; par – 31.
Pros: Fantastic upkeep; everything was in a pristine condition; challenging, original holes; great barroom/Seattle theme; many other fun games to play in the bar besides mini golf; convenient cup holders on every hole.
Cons: A little cramped; only 9 holes; the “SEATTLE” holes had many sharp angles which made putting more difficult; the holes were elevated which made putting harder.