As Tee & Putt throws open its doors, Kelly Crane steps up to try her hand at some particularly crazy golf.
Miniature golf, crazy golf or mini-putt. However you refer to the ‘honey-I-shrank-the-course’ version of the game, there’s no denying it’s a crowd-puller.
With a fanatical golfer husband, a regular on Dubai’s many manicured greens, I’ll admit I’m feeling the pressure as we set off on the space odyssey adventure that is the UAE’s newest crazy golf course.
Tee & Putt Mini Golf has just opened its doors at Wafi Mall and is well worth a visit, especially if you feel like some old-fashioned family fun [read: tension, competition and bad sportsmanship].
I’m opting for the title crazy golf. Mainly because that’s how it makes you feel when you miss a pretty simple Par 2 because a giant boulder from Mars has rather inconveniently landed in the middle of the otherwise simple putting green.
But also, and perhaps making it even more worthwhile for me, because if you beat said semi-pro golfer by three shots, the amount of crazy excuses and justifications for the loss are endless.
And that right there is the beauty of crazy/mini golf – anyone can play no matter how old or competent with a club. Better still, Dubai’s latest sporting venue is not only indoors, but has the added element of being one of the first glow-in-the-dark courses in the world.
Rashi Panjabi, 31, dreamt, designed and built Tee & Putt Mini Golf after falling in love with the sport while living in the US and gaining her under graduate qualifications.
‘People from Dubai travel all over the world and many have played mini golf courses so are aware of the concept,’ says Panjabi, originally from India. ‘Those who haven’t played will definitely want to try it. Golf and mini golf are associated with outdoors so we thought we’d try something different.’
Set among spacemen, aliens and undiscovered planets, Tee & Putt Mini Golf comprises 18 lovingly-designed par two or three crazy golf holes positioned strategically under the glow of enough black lights to pick up even the most inconspicuous items of clothing. By all means wear white but, ladies, watch out for bright whites under relatively sheer fabrics.
‘Glow-in-the-dark adds a fun and cool twist to the game,’ Panjabi says. ‘It’s unique and very intriguing.’
Afraid of the dark? Not to worry, a fun popcorn, drink station and games area, which can also be rented for events and birthday parties, make sure it’s not pitch black.
‘Groups of three or four people usually take anywhere between 60 and 80 minutes to complete the course,’ Panjabi says, and mini golf can be enjoyed by everyone from age five to 105, according to the Dubai-based businesswoman. ‘It introduces golf to children at a young age and even gets adults who don’t play to have a go in a much less serious environment.’
Popular since the 19th century, the oldest mini golf course still standing is at The Ladies’ Putting Club of St Andrews, Scotland, which was formed in 1867 as a members-only green for women golfers.
Don’t tell my husband, but it looks like the girls still have it. Score.
Dhs75 per person, or Dhs65 per person when playing in groups of three or more. Tee & Putt, Wafi, Oud Metha (04 357 3290).
Three more play-in-the-dark sports
Often called Cosmic Bowling, although not exclusively, bowling in the dark with fluorescent bowling balls adds an extra level of fun at Switch Bowling at Ibn Battuta’s India Court.
Call 04 4405961 to reserve a lane.
Enter the Laserdrome for a game of laser tag – basically paintball without the pain(t) or mess. Laser guns are your weapon and a 400 square metre ‘day glo’ dungeon the battlefield.
Call 04 367 8700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Look out for the monthly glow-in-the-dark Full Moon Party at Spin – the ping pong player’s nightclub in Dubai. Head over to the dark side and enjoy a game of table tennis in the coolest UV blackout expérience.
Call 043707707 or visit www.dubai.spingalactic.com to find out more.