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Course whispering – The counsel of miniature golf

26 Jun

Holidays. Queensland. Gold Coast. Surfer’s Paradise.

Spiritual home of mini golf.

Time to reflect. Time to pour a sharp whiskey and consider just why a loop the loop next to a plastic tiger is so thrilling. Mini golf, I tell ya, exposes you.

Upfront, I will admit to being shaken by Paradise hole theory. SP delivers MG  in quantity (There are three 36 hole courses within walking distance of our Hotel Aruba ) and is chock full of  the necessary fibre glass flare – monkeys, pyramids, T-Rex and one quite nice horse-shoe hole where a crocodile lunges at you as you line up for your second putt. All very nice thank you very much, but their hole theory, no,  hole mythology…..sucked massive balls.

Mini golf should brim with undeniable glory options.  A tiny blue tube next to a huge rubber band. A mysterious curling ledge beneath that there concrete mountain lion. Where you stand and must choose, that maybe if you can just squint your physics and tap the ball ever so,  will be rewarded with the smells like victory ker-klunk of your pink ball proclaiming hole-in-one history. For a moment, it could be, should be, as if the laws of physics have been altered in your very honour. God-like. Far above. Ker-klunk.

Of equal importance is a sense of judgment. That to aspire to glory is to risk hubris. That your ball shalt strike the edge of a strategically propped brick, roll five feet sideways, and then inch its way back towards you along a surprisingly gentle decline. You may rail your fist to the skies. You may re-walk the hole and stamp that f’ing decline trap with a subtle cuban heel. But there it remains, at your feet – zero gain. One and a half inches of flouro mockery.

Go On. Hit me again.

So, yesterday,  Leah and I played an Egyptian 18. Mini pyramids abounded. It looked terribly promising from giant’s eye view; but, after hitting the sweetest clipping shot off the Midget Pyramid of Giza on Hole 3, and finding my ball in fact not hole bound but in a loose and open second putt scenario, my belief systems bristled. What gives Anubis? If I want random failure, I’ll go to a Taberet and watch all the pretty pokie colours eat my savings away. This-is-mini golf!

Clearly, the Egyptians as a civilization were  over-rated.

What mini golf has taught me is, that unless there is a clear and defined glory option, an absolute death or diamonds rope bridge, I’m a gully-tapper. A creeper. A safety first setter-upperer. An everything that the game demands you be not.  It’s no good having holes where the ball hits the sphinx’s left paw precisely, but then slides to some-random-place for that crucial second putt. No, no!  Paw equals hole and ball as one. Paw equals Newton. Paw equals justice. Paw equals existentialist salvation motherfucker! And so it goes, if you miss the creaking  Tutankhamun sarcophagus, your next shot should be from a lava pit in the third level of Hell….or a diorama of one at least.

We , all of us, the course should command, are condemned to be free.

What I learnt about Leah is she is a go-hard-go-blind strategist regardless of the crevice before her. Smack the ball in the vicinity of the hole and that’ll do. No amount of stern mutterings from me about the crucial angle of the third ramp and pointing of putter in paternal counsel, nor climbing into the nearby landscaped gardens to retrieve her ball and mark up the appropriate penalty could sway her.

Smack! Yay! How can this be?

It was awkward fathoming if other couples’ philosophical souls were also on display at the foot of a miniature crypts. Staring and nodding is discouraged in any sport prefaced by mini. And plus, it’s off-peak tourist season, so there was just a few threadbares out on the links. Conversation beyond an embarrassed, yeah, we’re lame too greeting is frankly, off topic.

But hole mythology…. you see don’t you? Don’t you?!!

That choice should be distilled in the choosing. Process becomes the outcome. That for one moment, life is one tiny thing that bears all things. Is it too much to ask, is it, for a  narrow ramp and a leap over a pond full of tiny sharks, a rollercoaster car to be putted into and a fibre glass Evel Kneivel that salutes your hole in one as a pirate flag rises to the 1812 Overture?

Is it?


She’d be happy teeing off in an oversized pinball machine.

Like the universe is random or something. Godless. One choice is as good as another and no matter what you do there’s going to be a bunch of sound and fury, so hey, why not enjoy the show?

I see no place for male angst in such a world.  Where does one brood amidst such eruptions and clangy, clangy sounds brought upon by a random swing?

Mini Golf. You expose me.