OK, let’s do this like this.
What I need: Your help.
What I seek: An outdoor, 18-hole obstacle-based mini-golf course within a half hour of New York City, preferably with at least one colorful moving object somewhere in the field of play. Does that exist somewhere?
What I already know about: Various terrain-based mini-golf courses in New York City and its environs, many of which I have played, several of which I have strong opinions about, one of which I have been banned from for life. Technically, at least. I’ve actually been back there multiple times since the ban was enacted and no one said anything, probably because their so-called lifetime ban was half-hearted at best. Turns out you can snap a putter over your knee in quasi-kidding, quasi-real frustration and go back to the same course a month later without penalty.
What I fondly remember: Nunley’s, the tiny amusement park on the border of Baldwin and Freeport on Long Island, which featured an awesome-in-my-memory mini-golf course that had a spinning whirling thing, a loop-dee-loop, and various other hilarious distractions. Could it be that this type of course has always been the outlier, and I have just assumed there used to be more like it because it so happened the course I grew up playing mini golf on was that way? Or did the cost of operations on courses like that one drive mini-golf course operators to reconfigure their grounds toward the terrain-based courses that dominate the landscape today?
Why I care: Because mini golf is awesome, especially when there are obstacles. Also, I might as well practice for that bachelor party I’m going to in Lake George later in the summer, so when I get there I can be all, “oh hey guys, haha, maybe we should play a little mini golf” and then dominate my friends in mini golf thanks to rounds and rounds of practice. WHO’S ALWAYS LAST PICK IN PICKUP BASKETBALL NOW, GUYS? Oh it’s still me.
What you should do: Tell me about any course you know of that meets these requirements by email or on Twitter or in the comments section below.
What’s also worth noting: There’s a pretty awesome-looking terrain-based course on Randall’s Island, it turns out, right under the RFK Bridge. There’s a shuttle bus that will pick you up from the Upper East Side and take you there for $12. Seems like a good idea for a date, fellas. Also — and this is what inspired this post — a new seafood place in Red Hook has its own mini-golf course, plus bocce and cornhole. The seafood place also has a shuttle bus.
This also appears intriguing, though obviously it’s not outdoors.