Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Miniature Golfing at McGolf


By: Aileen Dewey
As a child growing up on the South Shore, many of my summer nights and weekends were spent at local miniature golf courses. These courses were filled with windmills, waterfalls, obstacles, and challenges. They were fun! Over the years though, all these courses were shut down. Now it seems like the only mini-golf courses around are small, flat, and quite unimpressive. It wasn’t until this past Saturday that I discovered McGolf in Dedham, MA.
As my six year old son and I pulled into the parking lot at McGolf we were impressed with the waterfall and landscape. We were eager to go check it out and have some fun! As we walked in, my son ran immediately over to the large Koi pond. As he looked over the rails he saw several different types of Koi fish as well as some turtles basking on the rocks. As he kept an eye on the fish, I went to go get our clubs right nearby. The staff was very friendly and helpful. For a first round at the 18 hole course, it was $7.50 for an adult and $5.50 for a child. The price goes down significantly if you choose to go for a second round.
Since it was a beautiful day, the course was pretty busy. So while we waited for our turn at the first hole, we went to the Practice Putting Green. This was great considering we got to play while we waited. In just a few minutes we were on the course.  Each hole was unique and challenging. The first few holes had different waves and divots in the course to throw us off. As we moved along to each hole there was sometimes a wait for a few minutes while the people ahead us finished up. This was no problem though. There were stone walls throughout the course to sit on and trees shading us on almost every hole.
As we rounded the first bend we saw two elderly couples on a double date, having a blast! I had fun just watching them! They were laughing, happy, and even took their time to encourage the children around them, such as my son, who were getting frustrated with the game. I asked them if they had been here before, “Oh yes, we try and do this a couple times in the summer. It gets us out, it’s nice and shady,” as she looked around, “and we have fun!” I let them be and continue their game. It was nice to see that it wasn’t just the young families playing mini golf.
Soon we began to ascend up toward the waterfall. My son got really excited here! Because we were on a hill, these holes had tunnels. I noticed my son was not the only kid completely thrilled by hitting the ball into a tube and watch it roll down to another level in the hole. At this point, my son ran up to the family ahead of us expressing his excitement for the tunnels. Their kids seemed to agree, but their mother looked at my son and said, “Excuse me. I’m trying to play a game.”  Later this woman’s son got a hole in one, we were waiting our turn on the wall and watching. I congratulated the boy then said to his mom, “This place is great!”  She scowled at me and said, “Don’t you see I’m trying to enjoy my time with my family,” then walked away shaking her head. Thankfully she was the only unpleasant person on the course that day, so we didn’t let her ruin it for us.
It took us an hour and a half to complete the course!  We didn’t feel the need to do another run of it. We were tired and hungry, and just on the other side of the McGolf parking lot was the Sweet Spot Café.  I went in there thinking we would just get an ice cream. Turned out they had a decent menu of finger foods. Considering I worked up an appetite, I got myself a delicious hot dog, potato chips, and a raspberry lime rickey. My son had the ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. The café was small but had enough seating for everyone there. It was modern, clean, and thankfully, air conditioned. It was a great way to end our outing before getting back in the car.
Also at this location, is a large driving range. It has 65 divided hitting bays, each with lasered yardages. Some of the bays are covered and have heat available when needed.  While we didn’t give that a try, it looked like a big hit for people of all ages. We had a great experience at McGolf and my son can’t wait to go back again. And I was thrilled to have found a miniature golf course similar to those I remember from my childhood.
For more information about McGolf and the Sweet Spot Café please visit: http://www.mcgolfonline.com/

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