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Forget about moth-eaten, trampled felt carpets. Miniature golf courses like you've never seen before are springing up all over Sweden. Lukas, Wilmer and Emil tested the Pirate Adventure Golf course in Västerås and roamed across streams and through giant skulls.
Did you think that mini golf courses only consist of greens with holes? Think again. In recent years a lot has happened in the branch and so-called “adventure golf” is the latest trend, a mixture between miniature golf and mini golf that is played on courses with different themes. The imaginative content knows no bounds. In the US, for example, hard rockers can play at a Kiss-themed course which ends by playing the ball up the extended, long tongue of bassist Gene Simmons and into his mouth. In Cancun, Mexico, there is an indoor course that is more reminiscent of a laser disco where all the holes are illuminated in neon-like colors.
In Sweden adventure golf - also known as “fantasy golf” - courses can be found from the north to the south. Just outside Västerås, we visited a pirate-themed course adorned with a large skull, which is inspired by the superhero film, The Phantom. But there is something else on the course that grabs the attention of our three test players of 8 and 10 years:
“A raft! … a raft !!... a raft !!!
The raft traverses a stream in the middle of the course. It turns out that it is just as much fun playing on the raft, as playing on the course itself.
“Old-fashioned mini golf is not nearly as much fun, just grass and maybe a tree here or there. Pirate Golf lets you play and have fun at the same time! There are loads of great things to do between holes“ says Lukas Nilsson.
In Västerås there were previously a dozen ordinary mini golf courses with felt carpets, but these are progressively being replaced with more enjoyable alternatives, reflecting the growing trend and popularity of adventure golf. Pirate Golf is in its fourth season and attracts anything from kids’ parties to loudly guffawing women battling their way through the twelve holes, which includes an outside wc whose door springs open when the ball rolls under the house to reveal a seated skeleton intent on doing his business. But on the day we were there, we ran into a strict looking man who asked us to be quiet every time he played the ball. He had obviously confused the discipline that prevails on a standard 18-hole golf course with this playful place.
The Pirate Golf course is adapted for the disabled, and each hole can be played in an easy or hard way. Next to the course are a small ice-cream / coffee shop, and restrooms. We advise you to bring a change of clothes, including shoes, because for most children it is irresistible to jump in behind the two waterfalls flowing out through the eyes in the giant skull and get soaking wet.