Mini-golf memories

One of the most underrated forms of entertainment is the humble game of mini-golf. After many years away from the sport (and it is a sport, no correspondence will be entered into), yesterday I reaquainted myself with its pleasures at Sidetracked, an eastern suburbs establishment frequented mostly by bored schoolkids on holidays, and teenagers on a date. In my case, it was the former.

I have many mixed memories of my past as a mini-golf player. For years I was a regular patron each summer at the Top Fun, in Merimbula, which I was thrilled to see not only still exists, but has a website to extol its virtues, a feature which was absent when I last visited in 1992. My visits to Top Fun would usually begin with great enthusiasm for mini-golf, which soon became an unhealthy obsession. I was a stubborn perfectionist, which is not an ideal quality when playing mini-golf, and when things didn't go my way, I let the world know. Many was the game that would involve me kicking the water feature, or stamping defiantly on the raised bit of green, of swinging the club at the ankles of an unsuspecting stranger. Ah, happy memories.

Top fun to be had at Top Fun.
Top fun to be had at Top Fun.

More recently, I remember playing at the course on the corner of Lonsdale and Swanston Streets in the city (I think we ought remember back fondly to the days when the Melbourne CBD boasted both a mini-golf course and a skate park). The course is no longer, and in its place stands the QV retail monolith, which from all reports is struggling a little. Not enough mini-golf, I say.

Anyhow, back to my current escapades. Mini-golf at Sidetracked is no ordinary course, but instead takes place at the mysterious Castle Putt-a-lot, a medieval castle which contains its own guillotine, sword of King Arthur and alchemist's lair, as well as various other 12th Century mod-cons. The course is quick and competitive, although a little poorly maintained, if the cigarette burns on the greens are any indication. Cruelly, the green surrounding many of the holes are raised, leading to many a mini-golfer desperately trying to putt up the slope, only to find it roll straight back down the other side. No doubt many a strangers shin will be abused in anger.

Much fun to be had at Castle Putt-a-Lot.
Welcome to Castle Putt-a-Lot

Am I the only one with a hankering for mini-golf? Surely not. I would love to hear from other people about their mini-golf memories, and their favourite mini-golf course.

Comment away, fellow putters.


Oh, you are not the only one! We loves minigolf, we does, my precious.
Jeremy said…
Minigolf is evil. EVIL I TELL YOU.

It makes me cranky.
Anonymous said…
Yes I too have fond memories of Merimbula's Top Fun. Although there was one hole there (the 6th?) that had one of those annoying hills where the ball kept rolling back to the starting point. On one occasion I almost scored a century on that hole after constantly smashing the ball out of frustration.

On another Merimbula-related note, why no mention of this interesting piece of news on your blog?

Ari. I was at Top Fun about 3 weeks ago. I came last in mini-golf. Not happy. but just an update. Top Fun loox nothing like that photo in your blog. THere are far more little fucking bastards running around destroying mini golf for its intended playership...crusty bitter old 22 year olds
Anonymous said…
is it true that you are with ASIO ?
Anonymous said…
i miss the mini golf in the cbd..used to play during lunch hours at uni :( was so sad when they shut it down..

does anyone recommend any other mini golf places in melbourne?

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