Fore! With spring in the air—and with every other fun activity from a Normal American ChildhoodTM having been already co-opted for ironic enjoyment then played out—over the next week WW brings you reviews of Portland-area putt-putt courses. We're also pretty excited about Brewvana's putt-putt event next Saturday.
509 SW Taylor St., 222-5554. Noon-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, Noon-Midnight Friday and Saturday.
Cost: $9.50 for 18 holes plus $1.50 for 3D glasses.
Alcohol: Nope, just sodas and whatever's in your flask. Not that we condone smuggling booze into a ghost-pirate-themed, glow in the dark, 3D, indoor miniature golf course, but then, they're the ones who created a ghost-pirate-themed, glow in the dark, 3D, indoor miniature golf course that doesn't serve alcohol.
Other club amenities: A party room to throw a birthday blowout that'll impress all your 8-year-old friends and make your 30-year-old friends wonder what the hell is wrong with you.
Our scorecards: 62, 64, 66 and 74 on 18 holes.
Overall ambiance: Like a Pirates of the Carribean-themed prom after the punch has been spiked? Like a pre-teen boy's interpretation of what a rave looks like? Like you fell asleep in front of the bong and woke up inside your blacklight poster? However you want to describe it, the appeal of Glowing Greens is pretty much all ambiance. Located in the basement of the downtown Hilton, the course is a Day-Glo hallucination of garish pinks and greens and blues and oranges vomited over mid-priced haunted house decorations. Golf is secondary to the fact that such a place exists at all. The holes are simple even by putt-putt standards: The only "challenges" are the animatronic skeleton pirates that suddenly buzz to life in an effort to startle your swing, but the whole experience is such an overload on the senses that the jump-scares aren't all that effective—especially on nights when there's reggae pumping through the speakers. It's still a fun way to kill an hour or so of an uneventful weekend evening, though.
Clientele: High school kids on dates; ironic college kids on dates; post-college thirtysomethings already loaded up on well whisky at the Yamhill Pub with nothing to do on a Friday night. (Guess which category I fall into.)
Biggest challenge: Getting through the entire course without drinking. Seriously, in a city that serves cocktails at barbershops and beer at second-hand stores, you should be able to at least sip a tallboy of Rainier at the only psychedelic indoor golf course in town. That, or putting up with the logjam that occurs when a huge group of uncoordinated teenagers refuse to recognize the five-strokes per hole rule.
Pro tips: Skip the 3D glasses. Their intended purpose—to make the illustrated sharks and snakes and demon-skeletons on the walls leap out at you—is defeated by the fact that you're already walking through a tactile landscape filled with giant plastic sharks and demon-skeletons and demon skeletons riding plastic sharks. Plus, they're uncomfortable, and all they mostly just blur your vision. Then again, that might be a way around the no-alcohol problem...